Birthday: Lutz Merkel 75 years
Happy Birthday to Lutz Merkel, celebrating 75 years today!
Lutz Merkel (* April 13, 1937) stepped into the international show jumping scene when he won his his first S-class in Frankfurt 1961 on Hardenberg. He was invited to join the DOKR centre in Warendorf where he came under the wings of Hans Günter Winkler. In Warendorf he was given a young horse called Fidelitas on which he reached immediate success with a third place in the Hamburg Derby after Raimondo d’Inzeo and Nelson Pessoa. Winkler was impressed and decided to “take over” Fidelitas himself. Merkel started all over again with a new horse, Dozent II, but in 1962 it was taken over by Alwin Schockemöhle and later by Hermann Schridde. This meant that in the Tokyo Olympics 1964 two of Merkel’s ex-horses were in the German team, while Lutz Merkel had to stay home in Warendorf.
After Merkel had recovered from a terrible fall in the Hamburg Derby in 1967 he began to ride for the sponsor Werner Stockmeyer, a successful meat producer who also sponsored Sönke Sönksen. A new horse, Sir, grew into a world class jumper under Merkel. With Sir he won the Siegerpreis in Berlin 1969. He was second in the German Championships in 1969 on Sir and third in 1970. In the 1977 European Championships in Vienna he got a bronze medal with the German team on Salvaro together with Paul Schockemöhle on Agent, Norbert Koof on Minister and Gerd Wiltfang on Davos.
Lutz Merkel was Marcus Ehning’s trainer during the early years of Ehning’s career. For many years, until 2002, he was the national coach of the German pony team.
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