Paul's Hanoverian Gelding, Deister!
The European Show Jumping Championships celebrated its 50th anniversary at Mannheim, Germany in 2007. For the first 18 years after the inaugural event was staged in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. In 1957, horses and riders competed on an individual basis, and it was only in 1975 that a team competition was introduced. Some very special horses stole the limelight during this memorable half-century. Deister was one of them.
DEISTER; an extraordinary horse with an extraordinary record. Deister was a dark bay Hanoverian gelding born in 1971. Sired by Diskant (a grandson of Detektiv) and out of a Adlerklett, a Hanoverian daughter of the Thoroughbred stallion, Alderschild xx, the tall colt was special from birth at his breeder's Hermann Hahl's farm in Osterbruch, Lower Saxony, Germany.
With Germany's Paul Schockemöhle in the saddle, this dark bay Hanoverian gelding won three consecutive individual European gold medals - in Munich, Germany in 1981, Hickstead, England in 1983 and Dinard, France in 1985. Deister had the heart of a lion and his jumping ability became legendary over the years.
In Rotterdam, in 1979 the partnership claimed their first European medal in 1979, taking silver behind Gerd Wiltfang riding Roman also for Germany. But once Deister got the taste of gold at Munich two years later, where Schockemohle defeated Britain's Malcolm Pyrah and Alglezarke, he learned to like it. At Hickstead in '83 he left both the remarkable Ryan's Son with Britain's John Whitaker and Frenchman Frederick Cottier and Flambeau in his wake, and at Dinard another two years further on, Whitaker had to settle for individual bronze with Hopscotch while Switzerland's Heidi Robbiani and Jessica slotted into silver medal position behind the dynamic German duo.
Deister might well have gone on to make it four-in-a-row had it not been for an injury sustained on poor ground in the early stages of the 1987 Championships at St. Gallen. Deister's European medal haul also included team gold at Munich in 1981, team silver in Rotterdam in 1979, and team bronze at both Hickstead in 1983 and Dinard in 1985. During his exceptional career he claimed the German Championship title on five occasions, won the prestigious Grand Prix at Aachen in 1984 and made Hickstead a home-from-home when winning the King George V Gold Cup in 1983 and the formidable Hickstead Derby in 1982 and 1986. A summary of his major show jumping acheivements documents a show record never duplicated by another horse:
- Winner, Individual Gold Medal 1981 European Championships in Munich, Germany
- Winner, Individual Gold Medal 1983 European Championships in Hickstead, England
- Winner, Individual Gold Medal 1985 European Championships in Dinard, France
- Individual Silver Medal 1979 European Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- Winner, Team Gold Medal 1981 European Championships in München
- Team Silver Medal 1979 European Championships in Rotterdam
- Team Bronze Medal 1983 European Championships in Hickstead
- Team Bronze Medal 1985 European Championships in Dinard
- Team Silver Medal 1982 Show Jumping World Championships in Dublin, Ireland
- 6th Individual 1982 World Championships, Dublin
- Team Bronze Medal 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles
- 7th Individual 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles
- Winner of the 1983 King George V Gold Cup, England
- Winner of the 1984 Aachen (CHIO) Grand Prix
- Winner of the 1982 Hickstead Derby
- Winner of the 1986 Hickstead Derby
- Deister won 5 German Championships with Schockemöhle (1980, 1982, 1983, 1986 & 1987)
Quotes about Deister:
Hermann Hahl (his breeder): "In the beginning he was very annoying, he was difficult to keep on the paddock and he got my son countless times on the ground at the beginning trying to ride him".
Paul Schockemöhle (last owner): "I was impressed by his mentality, his fighting spirit and his great fortune. His difficulties were certainly underestimated by me at. At first, if someone came to me to buy Deister, I think I would have given away him at a loss. It often took a long time until he mentally recorded certain things, for example his behavior in combinations. But he never put on, he wanted to learn!"
Despite his incredibly active career the hardy Deister, who was born in February 1971, lived to the ripe old age of 29. He lives on the memories of the thousands of fans who loved him.
Deister & Paul Schockemohle Winning The 1986 Hickstead Derby
Deister & Paul Schockemohle - 1986 Aachen Grand Prix (clear round)