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Farewell to Hans Günter Winkler

Monday, 09 July 2018
People

Photo (c) CHIO Aachen/ Holger Schupp Hans Günter Winkler in 2016 in the CHIO Aachen Museum. Photo (c) CHIO Aachen/ Holger Schupp.

Hans Günter Winkler, one of the most successful riders of all times, has passed away at the age of 91. 

An honorary member of the riding club Aachen-Laurensberger in Germany, Winkler had six Olympic Games on his record and came back with a medal every time – five times with gold. His Olympic title in Stockholm in 1956 is legendary, as he was injured while in the saddle but still won with his mare Halla. In 1996, Hans Günter Winkler founded the Halla Challenge Trophy which is awarded annually at CHIO Aachen after the last class on Sunday to the owner of the best horse of the show.

The story of Winkler's success is inseparable from Aachen: In 1955, he claimed one of his two World Championship titles there. Three times he won the Aachen Grand Prix: In 1954, 1957, 1969. His career began there in 1948 and ended well there as well: In 1986, he retired from active jumping, his last lap of honour was the traditional "Farewell of Nations" in the Soers, his "living room" as he himself always called the main stadium.

In 2016, he returned nearly 90 years of age on the lawn of the main stadium as he was honoured with a gala at CHIO Aachen. That he followed the event every year, was a matter of course.

"It is an honour to have known this great sportsman," ALRV President Carl Meulenbergh said. "With him, we have not only lost a legend and the most prominent ambassadors of our sport but also a great friend of the Aachen tournament," Meulenbergh said.

Already in 1954, Winkler was awarded for his outstanding contributions to equestrian sports and the CHIO Aachen, receiving the Golden Ring of the Aachen-Lauren Rennverein. About the CHIO Aachen, he once said, the tournament was "like an Italian opera, full of love, drama and passion." With Hans Günter Winkler, one of the biggest stars has passed from the stage.

 


Source: Press release from CHIO Aachen // Picture CHIO Aachen/ Holger Schupp

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