Eventer Bettina Hoy has announced she will step down from the German Olympic squad to concentrate on training commitments and her ambition to ride at grand prix dressage.
The 55-year-old — who was based at Gatcombe Park for 12 years before relocating to the home of the German federation in Warendorf — has represented her country at three Olympic games, five World Championships and ten European Championships.
She made her Olympic debut in Los Angeles in 1984, claiming a team bronze, and in 2004 she was awarded both team and individual gold in Athens, only to be later stripped of the medals following a row over a technical fault in the showjumping.
In a long and successful international career, she has claimed a total of seven individual and team medals, including a highlight victory at the European Championships at Burghley in 1997 on Watermill Stream.
Last year, she claimed her fourth German championship title in Luhmühlen, as well as finishing the season inside the top 10 on the world rankings list.
“It was always clear to me that I would go while I am still at the top of my game,” Bettina said. “2017 was a great year for my horses and myself and it was also the beginning of my second career as a national coach of the Dutch eventing team.
“The work for this fantastic federation is a great honour and very rewarding. Both the Dutch federation and their riders deserve my full attention now.”
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While Bettina has said she will not stop eventing at “selected” three- and four-star competitions on her top ride Designer and “other new horses”, she wants to pursue her “dream” to ride at grand prix dressage.
“That part of our sport has always been my special strength [and] I will now intensify my training in pure dressage,” she said. “And of course I will keep producing young horses for both dressage and eventing and also train selected riders.”
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