That Hinrich Romeike? He’s a funny guy, and the recently-announced retirement of his double gold medal-winning Olympic eventer Marius brought a treasury of humorous quotes to light.
On naming the gelding after German musician Marius Müller-Westernhagen: “When he had his greatest hits he had a lot of hair and when Marius was at his breeders he was always a bit hairy and had very skinny legs, so that’s how he got his name.” [Horse & Hound]
On the gelding’s need for a sophisticated ride: “Marius seems to work like a machine—he sniffs the track and goes off like he’s after a fox. You could tie a mechanical ape on his back and I’m sure he would do it.” [H&H]
On a sketchy moment on course at Badminton in 2007: “I turned him like a lawnmower and I don’t know how, but he managed to get over the rail.” [H&H]
On his cross-country code of ethics: “This horse has such strong morals. He never gives up and he is never frightened. Even when he hurts himself, he doesn’t become shy, he just says, ‘That was a sh**ty jump, let’s do it better next time.’ He’s very keen across country—he almost eats the obstacles.” [H&H]
On inter-species bonding: ” ‘[Marius] knows he’s a star. We treat him like a star. At the end of the day, though, he’s an animal—I wouldn’t say he was a friend.’
“Marius obviously disagrees. He turns his head and throws Hinrich a rather disgruntled look. ‘Of course you’re a friend,’ Hinrich concedes as he gives him a hug.” [BBC Sport]
Oh, that German sense of humor.