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Portrait: Nations Cup Champion Richard Vogel

photo kamila tworkowska
photo kamila tworkowska

Despite his young age, Richard Vogel has been competing in equestrian events for many years, and the last three years have been particularly fruitful. While many professional riders felt a sense of stagnation in 2020 due to the cancellation of several major competitions and the postponement of the Olympics, the 26-year-old showjumper had his breakthrough year. Since then, his development has continued, and earlier this month, he contributed to Germany’s victory in the Nations Cup final in Barcelona.

Born into a riding family

Vogel hails from a family involved in the equestrian world, and he has been riding since he was a child. At a young age, he knew that his clear top priority in life was to become a professional in the world of equestrian sports. He chose to end his formal education early to pursue a full-time riding career. At the age of 19, he began working for the legendary showjumper Ludger Beerbaum, which opened up entirely new sporting opportunities for him compared to what he had experienced before.

Read also: Portrait: Emil Hallundbæk, Rising Star of Danish Showjumping

Early success and rising through the ranks

In less than two years, Vogel had achieved moderate success, demonstrating his ability to perform with a variety of horses, both young and adult. At just 21, he left Beerbaum and became self-employed. In the initial phase of his independence, he primarily focused on young horses. An exception was the gelding Lesson Peak, whom Vogel was allowed to continue riding after parting ways with Beerbaum. With Lesson Peak, he won the German U25 championship and continued to train young horses to a top-level performance.

In 2020, Vogel began to make his mark on the international stage with impressive results at some of the world’s largest competitions, moving up more than 600 places in the FEI ranking. Since then, he has continued to climb the rankings and is currently ranked 16th. In 2021, he showcased his work with young horses on the biggest stage at the World Young Horse Championships, where he rode two 7-year-old horses, Junior Kannan and Looping Luna, securing an 8th and 10th place, demonstrating significant talent from both rider and horses. At the age of 24, Vogel had proven that he was a rider to watch in the future.

Read also: Can horses really think and feel?

Reaching new heights

This year, Vogel has taken his still-young career to new heights. In April, he made his first appearance in the World Cup Final, earning an impressive 8th place. He rode United Touch S, a horse he has been partnered with since the previous year. The 11-year-old stallion has slowly established himself as one of Vogel’s star horses, and their partnership recently reached a new peak. The Nations Cup final concluded on October 1, where Vogel and United Touch were one of three German pairs to navigate the decisive round without faults, securing victory for the German team. Vogel has also enjoyed a succesful partnership with the 9-year old gelding Cepano Baloubet with whom he is ranked among the ten best combinations in the world.

Richard Vogel is one of the most promising young showjumpers today, and although he has not yet represented his home country in European Championships, World Championships, or the Olympics, it seems to only be a matter of time. His ability to bring young horses to the highest level and perform at a top level with a variety of horses is crucial for long-term success in the equestrian world. If his career continues with the same momentum it has had thus far, it won’t be long before he is considered the best in the world.

Read also: Portrait: Olympic Gold Medalist Rodrigo Pessoa


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