Hannah Erbe, a multiple medal and title winner at the European Junior, Young riders and Under 25 Championships, has decided to move to Hamburg and pursue a professional career in medicine instead of riding full time.
The 22-year old Erbe is one of Germany's most decorated youth riders. Aboard the now 14-year old Rhinelander gelding Carlos (by Carabas x Weltmeyer) she won individual gold at the 2015 European Junior Riders Championships, triple gold at the 2017 European Young Riders Championships and team gold at the 2020 European Under 25 Championships.
After training with Heiner Schiergen as a junior-young rider, she trained with Isabell Werth for almost two years before moving to Johann Hinnemann's Krusterhof in Voerde, where she got coached by Hinnemann and mainly by Stefanie Wolf.
Career in Medicine
"I decided to start medical studies because I feel like this is the profession I want to work in for the next 40 years," Hannah told Eurodressage. "Especially my own knee injury piqued my interest in medical issues."
In 2018 she sustained a knee injury from getting kicked while getting a horse off the trailer, which sidelined her for almost a year and a half. She made her international come back in July 2020.
Not only Hannah will shift her time more to studies, also her younger, dressage riding twin sisters Helen and Linda are currently re-orienting themselves to a professional career outside the horse world.
The 20-year old Helen and Linda are doing real estate studies as distance learning, something Hannah did as well.
"I am currently finishing my Bachelor thesis and doing my internship for medical studies at the hospital at the same time," she said.
For those reasons, the Erbes have decided to downsize on horse stock.
"My sisters and I are currently reducing the number of horses we have due to the fact that my sisters both are also studying and working at the same time and time is limited because we all try to focus on our professional future," Hannah explained. "Riding will always be our passion and sports but because we all do not want to become professional riders, the time has come to focus on educating ourselves and to earn money."
Helen has been competing the 18-year old Westfalian Furst Kaspar (by Furst Piccolo x Attraktiv) and the 10-year old Hanoverian Dolce Vita (by Dannebrog x Hohenstein) at young riders' level, while Linda showed the 11-year old Fierro (by Furst Wettin x Eskadron) in 2020.
Wendel and Hilberath
Hannah will of course not part ways with her top ride Carlos, with whom she won double bronze at last weekend's 2021 German Under 25 Championships in Balve. The move to Hamburg, however, might entail a shift in trainers.
"I am currently working with Christian Wendel at home and Jonny Hilberath helped me in Balve," Hannah explained. "I went to his place for training twice at the end of last year. I am super happy about this combination and feel like I am learning and improving my skills a lot at the moment."
Hannah concluded, "we are all really very busy but also super excited about the future and highly motivated."
Photos © Astrid Appels