Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum: 10 fascinating facts

  • In December 2004, Meredith became the first woman to top the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) world rankings
  • Her victory in Gothenburg earlier this year was her second World Cup final win with Shutterfly — the duo also took the honours in 2005 in Las Vegas
  • Despite her brilliance in the saddle, Meredith’s family had no links with horses — her father is a film director and her mother an actress
  • She was born in Los Angeles on Boxing Day, 1969
  • She won an Ivy League place reading politics at Princeton, but gave up on her degree after three years of studying in order to pursue a career with horses
  • In 1991, Meredith went to Germany to train with the legendary Paul Schockemöhle. She planned to stay only for the summer, but ended up taking full German citizenship after meeting Markus Beerbaum. The pair married in 1998
  • Meredith is the first woman to ride on a German championship show jumping team
  • She was crowned individual European champion at Mannheim last summer, where she helped Germany to team silver. She also won two bronze medals at the 2006 World Equestrian Games
  • Away from riding, Meredith enjoys sailing and scuba-diving
  • Although she still visits California regularly, Meredith’s adopted country has taken her to its heart and in 2005 she won the Bambi Award, the German equivalent of our Sports Personality Award