Lis Hartel, Danish Equestrian Legend, Dies

Lis Hartel

Lis Hartel and Jubilee

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Lis Hartel, an equestrian who won two Olympic silver medals for Denmark in the 1950s despite being paralyzed below the knees because of polio, has recently died, according to the Danish Equestrian Federation. She was 87.

Lis Hartel’s equestrian career was one of true heroism.

Lis Hartel on Jubilee

In 1944, at age 23, Hartel was paralyzed by polio.

She gradually regained use of most of her muscles, although she remained paralyzed below the knees.  Her arms and hands also were affected.

Against medical advice, she continued to ride but needed help to get on and off the horses.

After three years of rehabilitation, she was able to compete in the Scandinavian riding championships.

In 1952, she was chosen to represent Denmark in the Helsinki Olympics.   Prior to this time women were not permitted to compete in the Olympic Equestrian events.

Even though she required help on and off her horse, Jubilee, she won the Olympic Silver Medal.

Lis Hartel and Jubilee
with Gold Medalist, Henri St-Cyr

Following her stunning performance, as Lis was helped down from her horse, a gentleman rushed to her side. It was the Gold medal winner, Henri Saint Cyr. He carried her to the victory platform for the medal presentation.

It was one of the most emotional moments in Olympic history.


Lis Hartel at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.
She became the first woman ever to share
an Olympic podium with men.

In 1954, Lis Hartel won the unofficial World Championships in Aachen, and the Olympic Silver Medal in the 1956 Olympics held in Stockholm. She became the Danish National Dressage Champion seven times.

Lis Hartel was the first Scandinavian woman entered into The International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in New York, and was named one of Denmark’s all-time top 10 athletes in 2005.

In 1992, Hartel was included in the Scandinavian country’s Hall of Fame.

Lis Hartel is widely credited with inspiring the therapeutic riding schools that are now located throughout the world.

Shortly after winning the Olympic medal, Lis Hartel and her therapist founded Europe’s first Therapeutic Riding Center. This soon came to the attention of the medical community and Therapy Riding Centers spread throughout Europe.

By the late 1960’s equine riding was accepted by the America Medical Association as an “invaluable therapeutic tool”.

Today, the spirit of Lis Hartel lives on around the world.


Through her inspiration countless handicapped children and adults have become heroes in their own lives
through their work with horses.

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Re-written from news sources

“The Horse” Featured Exhibit At The American Museum of Natural History

 

 

The American Museum of Natural History has announced a major new exhibition, The Horse, opening May 17, 2008 and remaining on view through January 4, 2009.

The Horse will examine the powerful and continuing relationship between horses and humans and explore the origins of the horse family, extending back more than 50 million years.

The exhibition will also examine early interactions between horses and humans that eventually led to horse domestication, and show how horses have, over time, changed warfare, trade, transportation, agriculture, sports, and many other facets of human life.

Museum President Ellen V. Futter states:  “The Horse exhibit will celebrate this magnificent animal while presenting one of the most fascinating stories in the history of life on Earth—the close and complex relationship between horses and humans.

The exhibition will show how the two species have influenced each other through the ages and explore the integral role the horse has played in the history of humanity and civilization.”

Seven life-size fiberglass horses, each over 6½ feet tall, were delivered to the American Museum of Natural History from the Saratoga County Arts Council in upstate New York for display in conjunction with the Museum’s upcoming exhibition .

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions.

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Horse Exhibit: Museum of Natural History 

Earlier Post: Saratoga Fiberglass Horses

Super Pony With The Heart Of A Winner

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 “Teddy” and Karen O’Connor win the Gold
at 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil

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Good things are said to come in small packages. And “Super Pony” Theodore O’Connor proves it.

Teddy, also known as the Flying Pony is the exciting new star of a tough equestrian sport called eventing.

At 14.1 hands high — a little more than 56 inches at the top of his shoulder — this mighty midget is a hair short of the height of a horse. But that hasn’t stopped him from winning big — really big.

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Teddy thrilled the horse world by winning an Individual Gold Medal and helping the United States win the Team Gold at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil this past July.

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If he continues to perform at this level over the winter in Florida and into the spring, he and his rider, Karen O’Connor, of The Plains, Va., could make the U.S. Olympic equestrian team next year and travel to Beijing.

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Teddy once again displayed his amazing athletic ability, under the skillful guidance of his Olympic veteran rider, to the delight of their growing throng of international fans.

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Teddy, Karen’s bionic pony partner, is a 14.2h sport pony, bred by P. Wynn Norman. “He doesn’t know he’s small,”   says Karen.

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He has tremendous springs and a huge jump, making even the most difficult combinations look like simple gymnastics.

Teddy is 3/4 Thoroughbred, 1/8 Arabian, and 1/8 Shetland Pony and, with Karen on board, thinks all things are possible!

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Eventing is a demanding three-part test of horse and rider.

Part I is usually dressage. The goal is to make a difficult set of carefully controlled movements look simple. It requires precision, balance and grace.

Part II is usually cross-country, which involves 25 to 40 jumps strung across a course of several miles. Cross-country showcases strength, endurance and smarts.

Part III is show-jumping, which is done in a ring. This measures speed, nimbleness and accuracy.

In all three areas, Teddy makes up for his size with something that can’t be measured in inches: a huge heart.

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“It doesn’t cross his mind that it can’t be done,” says O’Connor, even though Teddy is so small he sometimes can’t see what’s on the other side of a cross-country jump.

As Teddy approaches a jump that might be four feet high and 6 1/2 feet wide, O’Connor’s job is to keep him “wanting to be careful but also brave and confident.”

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Eventing takes a lot of training, which takes a lot of time. Many horses in the sport are teen-agers. Teddy, a chestnut gelding, is 12.

Several trainers passed on a chance to work with Teddy because they thought of him as a kid’s mount. O’Connor saw past his size to his potential. The result is a champion pairing that’s the talk of the eventing circuit.

Teddy comes from a breeder who has been experimenting with a mix of thoroughbreds, Arabian horses and Shetland ponies. Although Teddy is worth $300,000 to $400,000, the group that owns him isn’t looking to make money; it just wants to support his career.

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O’Connor’s husband, 2000 Olympic gold-medalist David O’Connor, compares Teddy to a wide receiver in football or “a 5-7 point guard” in basketball.

Teddy beats much larger competition because he is so quick, intelligent and athletic, David O’Connor says.

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 His wife agrees. “Size is never going to stop Teddy,” she says. “He feels like a giant out there.”

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Update
Farewell, Teddy
May 29, 2008

News Link: Washington Post

Link: O’Connor Event Team

Link:  Photographs from O’Connor Pan Am Gallery

Anky and Salinero Win FEI European Title

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 Anky van Grunsven and Keltec Salinero

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Dutch rider Anky van Grunsven and Keltec Salinero won the title of 2007 FEI European Dressage Kur Champion in La Mandria, Italy. This is Anky’s third individual European title after Arnhem in 1999 with Gestion Bonfire and Hagen in 2003.

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Video
Grand Prix 2007
Anky and Salinero

 Earlier Post:  Anky and Salinero ~ Final World Cup 2006

Advice Column For Horses ~ Chapter Two

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Dear Mane Mare
A “Dear Abby” for horses
and their problems with people … (us).

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Dear Mane Mare,
We’ve been doing dressage for a while now, but apparently we need to have more collection. That’s according to the new coach. But I think that collection is what is causing all the sore muscles I have since we switched coaches.  What do you recommend?
*Achy

Dear Achy,
I think you’re right about the cause of your aches and pains. Make it perfectly clear to both rider and coach that if they want collection, they should hire an agency. For some reason, people don’t think collection is quite so desirable if it comes through an agency.

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Dear Mane Mare,
My owner is the trendsetter at our stable, which means that I am the first one to wear the newest trend in tack, suffer through the “improved” training methods and try to eat the hottest supplements on the market. She’s driving me nuts! I’m just a …
*Routine Guy

Dear Routine Guy,
Set your own trend: refuse to eat any supplements, refuse to go along with the new training methods and destroy all new tack.

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Dear Mane Mare,
The instructor says that I should be put into a better frame. What does that mean? Will it hurt?  Will I like it? Is a frame a good thing, or a bad thing?
*Frameless

Dear Frameless,
For those of us who do not naturally possess the desired frame, yes, it can hurt, and it is always hard work.  If the instructor demands a good frame, tell her to go to a gallery.  She’ll fit right in there once you add a little color to her. Black and blue are nice colors.

~~

From Ride Magazine

Horse and Carriage Show Displays Old Time Elegance

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Once each year, during the second week in August, the picturesque Pittsford, New York countryside comes alive with the magic and romance of an earlier era – a time when the Horse and Carriage reflected the quality of life and influenced the pace and scope of occupational and social activities.

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It was a time when the Horse and Carriage were elevated from a simple means of personal conveyance to a portrait of their owner – a social commentary as to profession, personal taste, and character.

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It was a time when the Horse and Carriage were elevated from a simple means of personal conveyance to a portrait of their owner – a social commentary as to profession, personal taste, and character.

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It was the last decade of the 19th century.

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In an attempt to recapture the essence and spirit of the 1890’s, the Pittsford Carriage Association annually hosts The Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition.

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This international celebration of the art and sport of traditional driving in held in a 19th century country fair setting on the commodious grounds of Walnut Hill Farm in Pittsford, New York.

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This living showcase of Americana presents a unique marriage in modern day equine sport – that of combining the pageantry and beauty of exquisitely turned out equipages with the excitement of demanding competition.

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The comprehensive five day schedule of classes offers spectators the opportunity to view a wide variety of 19th century carriages exhibited by over 250 competitors from some 20 states, Canada, and Europe. This year included an exhibitor from Australia!

 

Walnut Hill Farm

Veteran Rider, 69, Wins Denmark’s National Three-Day Title

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Proving that you’re never too old to ride, compete and excel is Johan Iversen, a 69-year-old who won the Danish National Three-Day-Event Championship this past June.

And what’s more – he did it riding Ocean, a horse whom he bred and developed himself.

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The Event Riders Association reports that Iversen impressed both the spectators and judges with his dressage performance, and according to the Danish website Heste Nettet he also went well across country.

 With only two rails down in the showjumping he secured the victory.

 


And The Winner Is …

Denmark Wins World Pony Driving Championship Titles

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Danish hero Peter Koux and his Welsh Cob pony Taffy made history at the World Pony Driving Championship in Dorthealyst, Denmark, after they came out best in the dressage for single ponies. This is the first Danish world championship in horse driving dressage … ever.

The thrill was intact all through the afternoon since Koux took the lead with 37.92 penalty points only halfway through the class with several top drivers to go.

“I have been waiting for this for two years. My pony has been very steady during the last seasons so I expected to end in the top,  but today we made it home.

Anky van Grunsven Dressage Final World Cup 2006

Published in: on June 23, 2007 at 12:17 pm  Comments (1)