Hans-Heinrich Isenbart Passed Away
Legendary German equestrian show announcer Hans-Heinrich Isenbart has passed away on Christmas day in Hamburg, just weeks before his 89th birthday.
Known as "The Voice of the Equestrian Sport" Isenbart was famous for his eloquence and passion for horses. The Kirchlinteln based Hans-Heinrich worked for more than 60 years as an announcer for television and radio-stations.
Born in Vienna, Austria, on 5 February 1923 Hans-Heinrich was the son of an officer. He inherited the passion for horses though his family. Because of his Jewish grandmum, the Nazi regime was not interested in him despite his military background. The young Hans-Heinrich studied law and completed the exam for riding instructor.
After World War II he worked as a journalist covering politics and economics for the North West German radio. Afterwards he became sports director for the ARD tv-station in Munich. He kept this job until his retirement in 1987.
Isenbart covered the 1956 Olympic Games in Stockholm, the first Olympics ever to be broadcast on television. He was present at every single major equestrian championships since then. He made the quote "Und vergessen Sie die Pferde nicht" (Don't forget the horses) famous by repeating it at the end of each horse show.
Even after his retirement Isenbart was very active as announcer, commentator and speaker at seminirs, clinics and congresses. He wrote books, made a movie and lived up to his name as "The Voice of the Equestrian Sport."
Isenbart received many accolades in his life. He got the Riders Cross in Gold from the German Equestrian Federation in 1983. He received the Cross of Merit in Lower Saxony in 1997 and the German Olympic Equestrian Committee made him an honorary member in 2001. In 2008 he got the "Meteor Prize" for his accomplishments in the equestrian sport.
A special service will be held at the Niedersachsenhalle in Verden, Germany, on Tuesday 10 January 2012 at 13h00.
Photo © Barbara Schnell