With only 1 year to go until the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, and his sights firmly set on there, we caught up with German Dressage star Sönke Rothenberger to hear his thoughts on his horses, his family, his career, and everything in between.
What draws the 22 year old Sönke to horseriding is "that you get to work together in a partnership with your horse over many years, until something special is created which allows you to compete at the highest level with your friend and partner."
And that sentiment isn’t just limited to dressage either. During his teenage years, Sönke spent quite some time in the Jumping ring – so why the switch back to dressage?
“I got the chance to ride Cosmo, so that’s why I switched back. It’s not a decision against jumping or for dressage. I just really like good horses, so for now I’m doing dressage but maybe in future it will be jumping again!
“Cosmo is a special character. He’s full of emotions, full of power. He’s super intelligent. That’s why he learned everything so fast and why he does everything with such charisma.
“I wouldn’t say he was easy, but of course he’s such a good horse and brings so much talent that it’s easier than a horse you have to really ride to bring out talent.
“The difficult part is keeping him happy and learning to lead him in the right direction and see how much he can give you back – when he gave back what we thought was the best he could do we had to really praise him and give him treats so he knows that what he’s doing is really good. He’s really energetic but he has a great character and that’s so important because it’s the aura and the charisma he has, so I’m happy he has that character.”
Cosmo and Sönke are also one of only five horse and rider combinations to score above 90%, and with the 4th best score ever!