German Olympic gold medalist Ingrid Klimke is following in the famous footsteps of her late father, dressage master Reiner Klimke. Like her father, she is both an international eventing and dressage icon and, as a five-time Olympian, she has created her own world-renowned legacy.
Born in Münster, Germany, in 1968, Klimke competed in dressage, show jumping and eventing as a youngster. After years of consistent training she came to understand the necessity to develop an intensive bond with her horses and to never overburden them. “It is essential to build the horse’s confidence and willingness to do better,” she says. While she continues to develop modern athletic dressage horses Klimke remains true to implementing a classical approach to training.
She is one of the few riders in the world who competes successfully in show jumping, dressage and eventing, all at the top level.
She is famous for her perfect style in the saddle but what is most important for Ingrid Klimke is that her and her horses are at one, in harmony, with each other.
Very few riders have the same experience as Ingrid Klimke. For years she has been competing at top level in eventing but she is also capable of giving most dressage and jumping riders a run for their money.
For example, she educated Damon Hill to Grand Prix dressage level and she has been competing at the German Championships in dressage on more than on occasion.
Ingrid Klimke has been using USG's protector combination FlexiPlus EquiAirbag® since 2011. We have asked her to share her experiences:
USG: We are delighted that you have decided to wear FlexiPlus EquiAirbag®. What made you come to this decision?
Ingrid Klimke: Well, when competing you can see different versions of inflating jackets that seem to be very similar at first glance. In respect for my family and having witnessed some really bad falls in recent years, I decided to take the time and ask for detailed information and advice. I learned that EquiAirbag® is currently the only airbag protector for riders that is certified – which really makes a big difference to all the other airbags.
USG: Have you already had any falls using the FlexiPlus EquiAirbag®? Please tell us about your personal experiences.
Ingrid Klimke: Fortunately, I have not fallen off since I decided to wear USG's FlexiPlus EquiAirbag®. Therefore, I did not gain any experiences in that regard. This protector, however, gives me a real save feeling and is also very comfortable to wear.
USG: When do you wear the FlexiPlus EquiAirbag®?
Ingrid Klimke: Whenever I do Cross Country, go hacking or when riding young and unexperienced horses. Being a mother and professional rider at the same time, I do not want to take any unnecessary risks as far as my health is concerned. I have practised handling of EquiAirbag® in my daily training sessions and got used to it so well, that I actually like to wear the Airbag protector in competition and all other situations that might bear a risk.
USG: Can you recommend the FlexiPlus EquiAirbag®?
Ingrid Klimke: Most definitaly! My husband started using this protector combination and is also very pleased with it. Also my cross country colleagues Sara and Frank Ostholt as well as Kai-Steffen Meier have been using USG's FlexiPlus EquiAirbag® for a while. No other product is able to protect the spinal column as effectively as EquiAirbag®. And since this part of the body is most endangered when falling off a horse, its protection is extremely important to me.
USG: Thank you very much for your positive feedback and best of luck for the future!