Martin Hölle

By Michelle Klutman / KWPN
Photography: courtesy KWPN

For the third time in a row, the Hungarian Martin Hölle was crowned World Pairs Horse Champion. The 24-year-old driver competed with three KWPN harness horses in Kronenberg. To be successful with the same horses for six consecutive years is an extraordinary accomplishment. Are these miracle horses? Or how else does he pull it off?

Martin Hölle, Mieke van Tergouw and Claudio Fumagalli form the trinity that is at the basis of the success during three world championships. “My horses are in training at Riant Equestrian Centre all year round,” begins Martin. “I try to be there every weekend. For an inter-national competition, or for the world championships, I am present for several successive weeks to train as much as possible. Obviously, the training towards the WC was more intensive and afterwards the horses get some time off. After all, a serious competition costs a horse lots of energy. I started with Mieke with my ponies and later with my single horse. At some point, Claudio started to coach me. We immediately clicked, so I kept training with him. Mieke is the extra pair of eyes or the mirror on the ground so to speak, she takes care of the management around my horses.”

Management as the foundation

The management of a top sport horse is the foundation for success, according to Hölle. “A timely visit from a good veterinarian, dentist, or physiotherapist. You have to try to stay ahead of real problems. If you ask for help once a horse is irregular, you are already too late. Some horses are slightly more sensitive than others, but you must notice every change. Is the horse stronger on one side, does he respond less actively to the aids? Everything has a reason. You can train until the cows come home, but if a horse is not well, you will never get where you want to be,” he ponders.
“You do not become best in the world three times by chance,” adds Mieke van Tergouw. “Martin’s personal strength is definitely his talent to drive and his desire to learn. Triple world champion and with the same horses, that is quite a feat. To keep the horses healthy and fit remains a challenge. That’s where the solid management comes in.”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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