How did you first meet Mumbai? What was it like riding him for the first time?
I met Mumbai for the first time when he was 6 years old, and actually, I heard a lot about him from Philipp (Weißhaupt) and Ludger (Beerbaum). But my first riding experience with him wasn’t the greatest for me, because he was a young, wild stallion (laughs) and a bit all over the place. He was not used to my German dressage flatwork.
How long did it take to establish your connection with him?
It took me quite a while to get the connection with him that I wanted to have because he still was very young and wild. Until I was happy to go to a show, it took us 6 months.
What makes him special to you?
Could you share a moment with Mumbai that left a significant mark on your heart, something unforgettable?
The most special moment was for sure winning the Nations Cup in Aachen last year when we jumped clear in the second round, and 45,000 people went crazy and cheered us on. That was very, very special.
When it comes to treats, what does Mumbai favour?
Probably, I am the wrong one to ask (laughs). We should ask my grooms for that, but as any other horse, he likes apples and carrots. But how I know him, I think he doesn’t really have a favourite treat; he eats any treat because he really likes to… eat (laughs).
With Mumbai participating in GCL worldwide, how does he adapt to different environments, from varying arenas to shifting climates?
I would say that doesn’t really impress him. He is basically the same in Cannes (France) in a small sand arena as he is in Mexico in a big grass arena. He is always a little bit excited; he gets a bit of extra adrenaline when he comes into the ring. But I think the good horses need to have that, they know when it’s still a bit relaxed in the warm-up, but when they go through the gate into the arena, they have 20% more energy and adrenaline. Which is good, but for a stallion like him, you sometimes have to be careful that it doesn’t get too much. He shouldn’t get too fresh, but different arenas, climates, surfaces, or pressure do not affect Mumbai.
With the upcoming months on the horizon, what are your plans and hopes for Mumbai?
We have Riyadh and Prague still to come for our GCL Team “Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland,” but then over the winter, he will have a little break from December to January. The plan for next year is not done yet, but we will start in Doha with the GCL team again next year. But we have a new format for the Nations Cup in the next years, so there are two Nation Cups already in January and February, one in Ocala and one in Abu Dhabi. So far, we have not decided who will be going with the team there, so it will be either one of the Nation Cups or the GCL start in Doha for Mumbai and me, I guess.
Seeing that you're dressed in Kingsland gear from head to toe during training and competitions, could you share your top 3 products?
My top choice is the Kingsland saddle pads, primarily because of their special Coolmax lining that benefits horse well-being. Next, I like riding in the breeches from the Classic collection. Lastly, I have to mention the show shirts. I'm always amazed by their breathability and great material that allows you to move the way you want.