Forty-five year old German born Guenter Seidel has been around the block a few times. Riding for the United States at three Olympic Games with three different horses (Graf George, Foltaire, Aragon) and winning team bronze thrice, he has filled up many a cupboard with trophies, ribbons and medals. And, of course, one should not not forget his team silver on Nikolaus at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera. By the way, did I mention he did all this the past ten years? Seidel rode his first international competition in 1995 at the Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Not bad for a "beginner".
It would be unfair to call Seidel a beginner, though. A professional dressage rider and trainer based in California, Seidel has made a life out of horses. With the wealthy Dick and Jane Brown as trusty sponsors supporting his career and future, Seidel is leading the dream life of any dressage rider. But for him, there is more to life than horses. We sat down with Guenter Seidel and Kyra Kyrklund at the CDIO Aachen for our first Between Heaven & Hell interview. Here are Guenter's answers to our secular, irreverent questions.
Guenter, what's your favourite dish?
Guenter: Wiener Schnitzel
What is the biggest intellectual joy for you?
Guenter: Talking with Kyra about the piaffe. I also love reading a book. It can keep me up all night. I live biographies, but now I'm reading "Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini.
What gives you the most artistic pleasure?
Guenter: Riding. I don't mean showing, just riding at home.
What gives you the most physical pleasure?
Guenter: Wiener Schnitzel. Good food.
What makes you cry?
Guenter: Seeing a good friend hurt.
What annoys you the most?
Guenter: Bad manners, people without tact, who don't know how to behave and how to treat other people well.
What does heaven look like to you?
Guenter: I don't believe in heaven. For me heaven is a sunny, happy day with friends.
Guenter: A dark hole.
What is the most beautiful place you've ever visited?
Guenter: Hawaii, but I don't want to live there. South California is the greatest place to live.
What is the ugliest place you've ever visited?
Guenter: There is something nice in every place. It all depends on who you are with.
At what moment were you the happiest in your life?
Guenter: When I have a great day and can go to bed tired. I love the days when I'm excited to ride or when I know I'm meeting a friend. You have to try to make a good day every day.
When were you the saddest in your life?
Guenter: When my father died.
Who would be your favourite one-night stand?
Guenter: Brad Pitt
Text and Photos by Astrid Appels/Eurodressage