Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum stable visit

By: Horse Deals

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum stable visit
The Beerbaums

Horse Deals takes a look behind the scenes at Meredith and Marcus Beerbaum’s yard

Sponsor Rolex arranged for members of the international media to spend a day at the home of former world number one show jumper Meredith Michael-Beerbaum and her husband, international rider Marcus Beerbaum, in Thedinghausen, Germany.
Meredith, who celebrates her 40th birthday on Boxing Day, is awaiting the birth of her first child in February. She was born in Los Angeles, where her father was a film director, and after starting out on a pony called Buttercup enjoyed a successful career in ponies and as a young rider, combining riding with studying political science at Princeton University.

Meredith, who had her early training with the legendary George Morris, first showed her determination by returning to the ring after a fall in which she broke both wrists. She travelled to Germany in 1991 to train with Paul Schockemöhle for a summer and this turned into a permanent move. She took German nationality after her marriage to Marcus in 1998 and has since won three World Cup finals and numerous medals at world and European level.

Her most famous ride is Shutterfly, the horse most other international riders covet. The Hanovarian gelding with plenty of Thoroughbred blood has been with Meredith since a six-year-old and is still competing at the highest level at the age of 16. The son of Silvio whom Meredith describes as "the best horse in the world" is now on a break during her pregnancy. Meredith’s "second horse" Checkmate is almost as good and would be the leading light in most other riders’ strings.

Meredith has raised the bar for women riders after being the first woman to be world number one and also breaking a record by holding the World Cup, European and German national titles at the same time.
After an average of six hours in the saddle at home every day, Meredith and Marcus relax with a spot of scuba diving and sailing at their favourite holiday destination of Portugal, but horses remain Meredith’s passion.

Despite being surrounded by German stars, Meredith describes British rider John Whitaker as her hero, saying that John has now become a good friend. But she doesn’t leave out husband Marcus, calling him her "inspiration".

As champion, Meredith will not have to qualify for the Rolex World Cup final in Geneva, so she is planning to defend her title.

"As Shutterfly’s coming up to 17, I listen to what he tells me," said Meredith. "We hope he and Checkmate will be refreshed by their break, but you have to be prepared for the possibility that they could come back rusty instead."