Today we look back at an epic German dressage partnership that earned four Olympic gold medals.
Rembrandt was born in 1977, sired by the Westphalian stallion Romadour II out of a mare that was a full sister to Reiner Klimke’s multiple Olympic gold medal winning Ahlerich. Although a warmblood, Rembrandt resembled a thoroughbred both in appearance and demeanor–throughout his career he was prone to spookiness and sensitivity.
As a four year old he was purchased by Jürgen Uphoff for his then-14-year-old daughter, Nicole. The horse was too much for her so he was sent to train with Klaus Balkenhol. The trainer recognized the horse’s talent and advised the Uphoffs to keep him despite his difficult nature.
Nicole and Rembrandt began showing at young rider events and quickly advanced to international-level competition under the tutelage of Uwe Schulten-Baumer and then German national coach Harry Boldt. Once at the top of their sport, their accomplishments were numerous: They won both team and individual gold at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, individual and team gold at the 1990 World Championships in Stockholm, and individual silver and team gold at the 1994 World Championships at The Hague. Riding Rembrandt, Nicole helped to usher in a female dominated era of dressage–in 1989 the gold medal winning German team at the European Dressage Championships was comprised of four female riders. In 1996 Rembrandt was retired to the Uphoff’s farm, where he lived happily until the age of 24.
Enjoy this video of Nicole and Rembrandt at their peak, on their way to a gold medal win at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona:
Go Nicole and Rembrandt.
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