Wellington, FL – March 1, 2012 – EquestrianCoach.com’s Bernie Traurig encourages enthusiasts of the sport to vote for William Steinkraus for the US Olympic Hall of Fame. Traurig first met Steinkraus with he was 14 years old at a horse show in Long Island where he was competing in the equitation and junior jumper divisions. There was an award for the most promising junior rider with the potential to represent the United States Equestrian Team. Steinkraus selected Traurig.
“I was so honored and proud to receive this trophy from Bill. To this day it sits on my mantel,” shared Traurig. “Bill had a huge influence on my career.”
When Traurig was 18 he had been training with Capt Vladimir Littauer for five years. His father wanted him to go to college. Traurig had other ideas. He wanted to be a professional horseman.
“Capt Littauer suggested we invite his friend Bill Steinkraus over to dinner to discuss my options with my family.”
In those days the training center for both the Show Jumping Team and the Eventing Team was in Gladstone NJ. There were a few select riders there that had the opportunity to ride and train the horses donated to the USET (now the USET Foundation). Steinkraus knew the eventing coach, Stephan Von Vichy and suggested, with his recommendation, Traurig might ride at Gladstone with the event coach. His father agreed.
“That was music to my ears. For my goals, that was my college education!” expressed Traurig.
Steinkraus’ influence on riding became obvious to the world with his first appearance in Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952 and continued through his last Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.
According to Traurig, “Bill is the consummate stylist. He epitomizes the American style and blends the best of the classical dressage system with the Forward Riding system, something his longtime coach, Bert De Nemethy, instilled in him. In my opinion if there was ever a rider in history to emulate, it would be Bill.”
Steinkraus competed at five Olympic Games and was the first American to win Individual Gold in show jumping. The quintessential horseman, known for his beautiful and timeless riding style, Steinkraus’ influence runs deep within the sport. He won the Maclay finals as a junior at Madison Square Garden in 1941. He rode for the United States Equestrian Team (USET) for 22 years and served as its Chef d’Equipe for 17 years. He was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1987. He authored a number of books, including Traurig’s favorite, Reflections on Riding and Jumping.
“Ironically, we both made the Olympic team in 1964 in Tokyo, Bill on the Show Jumping team and I was on the Eventing Team. Both of our horses went lame at the last moment and prevented us from competing,” confided Traurig.
Traurig feels it is essential that all equestrian enthusiasts vote for Steinkraus. “Equestrians are under-represented in the US Olympic Hall of Fame. To date, we have only one, 8-time Olympian, Eventer J. Michael Plumb. Bill is the consummate Olympian, gentleman and, perhaps most importantly, he is the consummate horseman.”
To Vote for William Steinkraus for the US Olympic Hall of Fame go to: http://halloffamevoting.teamusa.org/.
Register and vote daily until April 9th.
EquestrianCoach.com is an online education service that provides systematic, online “lessons” presented by Bernie Traurig and a host of world-class trainers and competitors, including Rodrigo Pessoa, Eric Lamaze, Laura Kraut, Ian Millar, Missy Clark, Peter Pletcher, Louise Serio, Julie Winkel and many more. It is a comprehensive resource for amateurs to augment their lessons, for trainers and professionals looking for lesson support materials and for riders with no access to qualified training.
For more information, go to www.equestriancoach.com.
For more information on Bernie Traurig, go to: www.bernietraurig.com.
To book a clinic with Bernie Traurig, go to: www.equestriancoach.com/bernie-clinic.
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