Germany’s gem, Bettina Hoy has been the linchpin to her National team for over three decades, having boasted success at domestic level whilst representing her country at Olympic, European and World Championships. With the strength of the German squad, it is no mean feat in itself to maintain a position in the team for a string of seasons and with a number of horses coming through the rankings, she has no plans to hang up her reins.
Bettina predominantly owes recent success to her top horse, Designer 10, with whom she has been competing on the circuit since 2011 and carried through the grades to become a real top class event horse. In his British Eventing debut season, the pair did not finish outside of the top ten. Bettina states, “I always knew he was special and he has the biggest heart a rider could wish for.”
The 16.3hh gelding has become somewhat of a master in the dressage, although nothing less would be expected from a Bettina Hoy horse. She has become a measure of consistency in the first phase and has only posted a dressage score higher than the 30’s once in the 2016 season – at Badminton of all places. I’m sure she and Designer may be forgiven for their respectable mark of 44.0, which saw them flying high in 20th at the end of proceedings.
The pair also flew around a very tough Burghley track, in the worst of the weather, back in September and were rewarded with a well-deserved 6th placed finish, following an unfortunate eight faults in the show jumping. Bettina suggests that Burghley is also her favourite event of the hectic eventing calendar.
“I won the European Championships there in 1997 and finished 6th with Designer over the biggest track I have ever ridden around last year, almost 20 years after competing there for the first time.”
Bettina is keen to pay credit to the enviable German training she has received throughout her vast career and attributes her dressage mastery to one person in particular.
“I have been lucky to have help from some of the greatest trainers we have in Germany. To me, the most important thing about training horses, is to develop feel and an understanding of what your horse is capable of doing. With all the fantastic trainers’ I have had, there is one person who taught just that and that is my dad.”
Following a busy season with Designer 10, Classic Mai Tai and Seigneur Medicott, where she only finished outside the top 20 once, Bettina is hungry for more success in the upcoming campaign.
“Designer will be aimed for Badminton, where I hope to better my result from 2016. Classic Mai Tai is aiming for Le Lion, so will do a CCI* at Houghton and then move up to two star.”
The 2017 season will be completely unique to any other for Bettina, as she strives to juggle being a
World-class event rider and now a World-class coach, after recently accepting the top role for the Dutch National team.
“I am very excited about my new job and am very thankful to the Dutch federation for giving me the opportunity to be part of such a great team.”
Many questioned whether accepting this new role meant that Bettina would be stepping down from the pinnacle of the sport, however, many also suggested this after the legendary, Ringwood Cockatoo retired and she had a quiet season in 2010. With her enviable string of horses, she has no immediate plans to wind down.
“I absolutely love what I am doing and with the right horse, it is only logical to aim high, at least if you are competitive. My team mate and very good friend, Dirk Schrade has promised to tell me when it is my time to quit, even if I stop talking to him for a while.”
“I want to go whilst I am still at the top, because there is nothing sadder than seeing well-respected riders missing that time in their career.”
With two top-20 finishes at four-star level last season, Bettina Hoy is going nowhere. Good work, Dirk – we may also need your help persuading her to publish a highly-anticipated autobiography in the near future.
“Being a one-woman show, I wouldn’t have time to do that (write an autobiography) and if I had, I would find it more interesting to turn my life so far into a novel rather than an autobiography.” With medals at World, European and Olympic level, that would be one heck of a story, that we, at Eventing Worldwide, hope to see hit the shelves one day.