Leatherdale Farms announced that three-time Olympian Guenter Seidel has joined their high performance team aboard their 9-year-old Hanoverian, Beltano. Originally based at Hengststation Jens Meyer in Dorum, Germany, Beltano (Belissimo M—SPS Heavenly, Hohenstein) was recently imported to the United States with the goal of developing him as an international Grand Prix prospect.
“We are quite pleased to welcome Guenter to our team of high performance riders,” Louise Leatherdale said. “One of our riders, Sue Blinks, was on the 2000 Olympic team and two World Equestrian Games teams with Guenter. Also, Damsey FRH’s rider, Helen Langehanenberg, coached Hengststation Jen Meyer’s young trainer aboard Beltano for several years so this new partnership is a very natural fit with our program. We are a worldwide team and we cannot wait to see what Guenter and Beltano achieve together!”
Standing at 17.2 hands, Beltano earned impressive rideability scores of 10 from both test riders during his 30-day test in Schlieckau, Germany. He also received a 9 for his interieur, 8.5 for his trot and 8.75 for his canter, which qualified him for the Bundeschampionate.
A German-native, Seidel moved to the United States in 1985 and soon became one of the best dressage competitors in the country. He helped the United States win the team bronze medal at three consecutive Olympic Games with different horses: the 1996 Atlanta Games with Graf George, the 2000 Sydney Games with Foltaire and the 2004 Athens Games with Aragon. Seidel also earned a team silver medal at the 2002 World Equestrian Games (Spain) and a team bronze medal at the 2006 WEG (Germany). The United States Equestrian Team Foundation also awarded him with the prestigious Whitney Stone Cup in 2002.
“After riding Beltano for a few days in Germany last fall, I saw what a nice horse he was,” Seidel explained. “He has three quality gaits, has great bloodlines and has a very nice training foundation. He is the entire package! Now that he has settled into my program, I have been working on the basics and learning more about him with each ride.”
As they continue to develop a partnership throughout 2018, Seidel’s goal is to showcase Beltano in the small tour, while working on strengthening his training towards the Grand Prix.
“I am very excited to compete Beltano for Louise,” Seidel said. “I have admired the Leatherdales for many years and I am honored to be a member of her team. To have someone like Louise, who understands the ups and downs of the sport and who has been instrumental in supporting dressage, behind you, is unbelievable. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings for us—it’s going to be really fun!”