“It’s time to say goodbye,” Ulla Salzgeber says on her Facebook page. Together with Herzruf Erbe’s team she has decided that it is time for the 16-year-old Rheinlander gelding to start his life in the meadow. In 2008, the pair had a flying start in international competitions and they were able to jump to the top of the German dressage ranking. They already won in their first competitions, for example in Mariakalnok in the Grand Prix and the Special as well as in Verden, both CDI three star competitions. In the same year, they won the Otto-Lörke-Preis and they were nominated for the A squad. In 2009, the pair began where they had finished the year before. After winning third place at the German championships in Balve they were nominated for the team for Aachen, but Herzi got injured. Since then, Herzi time and again had problems with his health. In 2010, he had a successful World Cup season with two second places in Lyon and Stuttgart, as well as a victory in Frankfurt; in 2011, they finished third in Leipzig. In 2012, the chestnut horse was able to achieve successes in Dortmund, Stuttgart and Perl-Borg, but he had to take breaks again and again. Therefore Ulla Salzgeber decided to give him a longer break in the meadow in Hungary, where Rusty also enjoyed his retirement. The plan was to give the gelding one year to recuperate.
And Herzruf’s Erbe actually came back from the meadow in 2013 in good condition. With two second places in Stuttgart and two third places in Mechelen Ulla Salzgeber again was nominated for the A squad. One year later they finished second in the Special in Balve and achieved fourth place in the Freestyle and they won the World Dressage Masters in Munich. The indoor season 2015 was successful with victories in Frankfurt and at the World Cup in Neumünster. The rider decided not to compete in the finals due to Herzi’s age and wanted to concentrate on the European Championships in Aachen. However, the last start of the pair was at this year’s Pferd International in Munich. Now Ulla Salzgeber says: ” I never would have though that Herzi would come back to the international top sport after his break in Hungary, where Rusty already enjoyed his retirement. We did all that and even more together – I’m very grateful for everything this once in a lifetime horse did for me. Now enjoy your retirement, Herzi – you’ve earned it.”