Legendary German dressage trainer Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer is celebrating his 85th birthday today 14 January 2011. Schulten-Baumer is one of the most successful dressage trainers ever, having led Nicole Uphoff and Isabell Werth to their individual Olympic gold medals.
Originally from Essen-Kettwig, young Uwe made a career in the steel and cement business after his formal education. In his dressage career he discovered and trained many riders to triumph, including his son Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer junior, daughter Alexa and stepdaughter Ellen, as well as Nicole Uphoff and Isabell Werth.
German journalist Dieter Ludwig wrote the following about Schulten-Baumer: "Der Doktor, what everybody calls him, is not really a sociable type. He hates crowds. Real friendschip is to him unquestionable, yet he has few friends. He never put high value on them. He preached independence. Years ago, a successful businessman asked him if he wanted to train his son, and as appetizer he put a blank cheque on the table kindly inviting him to fill in the amount. Schulten-Baumer declined."
Ludwig added: "The riding master, who was twice Trainer of the Year, sees horses in a different way. He looks through them and recognizes their potential sooner than anyone else. Gigolo and Satchmo are two of many which serve as example for his hunch. Gigolo, the most successful dressage horse ever, he bought from his son Uwe. Satchmo he bought as a 2,5 year old at the Hanoverian Stallion Market in Verden for 42,500 euro. For such a price one needs more than guts, one needs to have conviction. Isabell Werth became dressage queen on Gigolo, she confirmed her throne with Satchmo. Isabell Werth and him were like a marriage. It ended. He never overcame."
In 2009 Uwe Schulten-Baumer received the Honorary Cross from the German Minister of Sport Dr. Ingo Wolf. In 2005 he already received the prestigious German Rider's Cross in Gold after the Silver Plaque for Exceptional Achievements in the equestrian sport was bestowed upon him in 1981.
In 1992 and 1997 he was proclaimed Trainer of the Year by the International Dressage Trainers' Club (IDTC). In 1999 and 2002 he received the Otto Lorke Prix for having trained the most successful rising Grand Prix horse of the year.
Dr Uwe Schulten-Baumer is hardly to be seen at shows anymore, as he's no longer the fittest, but to him the "real" reason is that "I no longer meet people with whom I can entertain myself."
'Der Doktor' still has many words of wisdom to spread: "Horses who pace in walk, are not fit for dressage" or "the top horse of an auction if not meant for every rider nor very every purpose the ideal horse."
Nowadays he gets annoyed by the endless discussions between classical and modern dressage. "Nobody can no longer clearly clarify what is meant by classical dressage. What was classical 50 years ago, can no longer survive nowadays. Like in life, riding has developed," he stated to Ludwig. Schulten-Baumer added that, "knowledge in this sport doesn't suffice, you need to have a blind passion for it."
Text and Photo © Astrid Appels
Quotes © Dieter Ludwig
Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer
Greatest Oldies: Slibowitz, Germany's Most Reliable Team Horse
Photo Database: Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer
Final Schism Between Isabell Werth and Uwe Schulten-Baumer
Laurenti, New Ride for Isabell Werth
Ellen Schulten-Baumer Wins First Ever Piaff Forderpreis at 2001 CDI Stuttgart
2002 Otto Lorke Prize for Heike Kemmer and Ellen Schulten Baumer
Aleppo S OLD Wins 1999 Otto Lörke Prize