Katharina Offel: champion of Show Jumping and dedicated mentor

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”It’s important that we concentrate more on the horses and not always on the achievements”.

Katharina Offel, a renowned German show jumper, has been a formidable presence in the equestrian world for many years. Currently based in Maastricht, Netherlands, Offel has firmly established herself in the region over the past decade. 

Her stables in Maastricht are not just a hub for training elite show jumpers but also serve as a supportive environment for young riders balancing academic pursuits and equestrian ambitions.

A journey of passion and success

Offel’s journey into the world of show jumping began at a tender age. Reflecting on her early days, she fondly recalls her persistent requests to her mother to start riding, which eventually led to her first horseback experience at the age of six. 

I always asked my mother, ‘I want to ride, I want to ride,’” she says. 

Over the years, she transitioned from riding large horses in various disciplines to finding her true calling in show jumping. A pivotal moment in her career was training under Ludger Beerbaum, one of the most influential figures in the sport, where she discovered her passion for show jumping.

Her career is decorated with numerous accolades, including significant victories such as winning the Grand Prix at the Grand Palais in Paris and the Global Tour Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, her performances at prestigious events like CHIO Aachen have cemented her status as a top competitor in the sport. She proudly recalls, “What really stands out to me is the victory in the Grand Prix at the

Grand Palais in Paris. That was something truly special.” She continues, “Then, I won the Global Tour Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi and have competed in Aachen multiple times, even placing in the Grand Prix there.”

A shift towards mentorship

In recent years, Offel has shifted her focus from competing at the highest levels to training and mentoring young riders and horses. 

She finds immense joy in developing young talent and instilling the values of horsemanship that she learned from her esteemed trainers. 

Her current roster includes many young horses, with whom she works diligently to prepare them for the rigors of top-level competition. “I’m very satisfied,” she says. “I have a lot of young horses right now that I’m trying to train and get ready for the big sport. Compared to ten years ago, when I was heavily competing in the five-star category, now I focus more on the training of riders and horses, which brings me great joy.”

Offel emphasizes the importance of understanding and caring for horses, advocating that success in the sport is not solely about winning but about the journey shared with the equine partner. “We need to focus more on our horses,” she explains, “on what is best for them, rather than always thinking about results and winning. This is something I learned from my great trainers, and it’s what I try to teach my students – to develop the same feeling for their horses and understand them better.

She continues, “It’s important that we care for our horses and never lose the feeling for them. The results aren’t

always the most important thing; it’s about making the journey together with your equine partner. The best approach is to start thinking like a horse – then you’ll understand them better.

Recent achievements and future aspirations

Offel’s recent participation at events reflects her continued passion and dedication to the sport. 

At a recent competition, her nine-year-old horse secured a commendable third place in the ranking jumping event. “I have a nine-year-old, Cornet’s Pezi, that placed third today in the ranking jumping,” she noted with pride, during the CSI3* Borgo La Caccia. “He’s a real fighter and a joy to ride. Tomorrow in the Grand Prix, I’ll be riding my twelve-year-old Emerald son. He’s my best horse, and I hope we can have a bit of luck and deliver a clear round,” she says.

Looking ahead, Katharina Offel continues to aspire to achieve more significant victories and remains committed to her dual role as a competitor and mentor. 

Her love for Italy, where she often competes and vacations, hints at a future where she might continue her career in a country she deeply admires. “I love Italy. I go there on vacation all the time and could very well imagine living and riding there,” she mentions enthusiastically. “When you see facilities like this, you start wondering if they might have a stable available.

Katharina Offel stands out not only for her achievements in show jumping but also for her dedication to nurturing the next generation of riders. Her holistic approach to the sport, which balances competitive success with genuine care for

horses, sets her apart as a true ambassador of equestrianism. As she continues to inspire and lead, the equestrian community eagerly anticipates her future endeavors and successes. 

It’s important that we care for our horses and never lose the feeling for them,” she concludes, encapsulating her philosophy and dedication to the sport.

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