Interview Chloe Reid – The new Michaels-Beerbaum student

02. Dec 15 | 6:06 | By | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS, interviews

2 dec   2015

Chloe Reid just turned 19 a few months ago but since this summer she has become a very successfull competitor all over Germany´s showgrounds. She trains with Markus Beerbaum and says Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum is an idol for her. So – thinking of Lucy Davis – she is following quite successful and big footsteps.

In the interview she talks about being in Germany, training at the Beerbaum farm, her horses and her famous uncle Chester Weber.

You won the Grand Prix and this amazing jump off in Riesenbeck. Was this a special victory for you?

Yes, this was my first Grand Prix win and to be able to have that memory at the show hosted by Ludger Beerbaum, the brother of my trainer, made it extra special. These past six months have been my first real time away from home and I have been so lucky to have the Beerbaum’s as my second family. Competing at Ludger’s show against his riders and all the Beerbaum’s really made the event a family affair.

How did you like the new site in Riesenbeck?

I was blown away by the new facility! I was at Riesenbeck the summer previous watching my Uncle Chester Weber compete at a driving show before the indoor was completed. It was a nice facility but the indoor takes the grounds to an incredible new level. The ring was one of the biggest indoor shows I’ve competed in. The design of the building with the ability to open the sides will make it a great ring all year round.

Your horse Codarco is a really great horse. How did you get him?

I started riding Codarco after Christmas last year (2014). Markus had seen Billy Twomey showing the horse and knew right away that it would be a perfect match. Markus went and tried the horse first and told me I didn’t even need to come try it. Since it was our first purchase with Markus, we went the morning after Christmas to London in a snowstorm to try him and fell in love.

What is special for you about Codarco? What does he like and dislike?

My colleague Ben Maher once told me that my horse was “pocket sized.” Cody is not a very big horse, which makes him a great fit for a small girl, but he has the scope and a powerful hind end that doesn’t make him feel small at all. His stride is also very large for his size, which is very useful in a jump off. Cody won the 4-year-old Irish championships, which makes him very experienced for an eight year old. Competing with a horse where it is both of our first times achieving a new task I think makes our partnership and bond even stronger.

You train with Meredith and Markus Beerbaum. When and how did this cooperation start?

I started riding with Markus a little over a year ago. My goal is to compete on US teams and represent my country and Markus has had great success in helping his riders achieve that. We considered several trainers, but chose Markus because he has had a lot of success training young riders for international competition and because he is the sweetest man. Markus is so thoughtful in everything he does and takes a real pride in his training. You can look back at videos of anyone he has trained and he is standing on the sideline riding every single jump with them.

Meredith was the first and only woman being No. 1 in the world. Is she a kind of role model for you?

Meredith is a wonderful role model. She is very dedicated to her horses and pays attention to the smallest of details to make sure her horses are comfortable to perform their absolute best. She is also very dedicated to her sponsors, which as a rising professional, is an important lesson for me to learn. She is also very good at sticking with her longtime goals, which requires a lot of patience.

What would you say did you learn already from Markus and Meredith? What do you like about their training?

I have learned so much from them, I don’t know where to start! I have learned that it is important to set both long-term and short-term goals. Markus and Meredith are very focused on the fitness and health of the horses and making sure that everyone is at their best to perform. They never ask a horse to do a job that the horse is not ready for and are amazing at projecting a plan to help make a horse become the best it can be. What I love about training with Markus and Meredith is how involved I am in every decision made towards the horses. I’ve learned so much about the little things on the ground that only help to improve my riding. There is never a stupid question to be asked and with so many talented riders, there is so much to learn! I also love how involved and supportive everyone at the barn is. Even if it’s a young horse or a horse with not amazing talent, all the horses are treated like superstars and I think that really increases their performance.

How does your life look like now? I guess most of the time you are in Germany, not in the USA?

I have been in Germany since graduating from high school in May. I will return to the US for the winter equestrian circuit in Florida as well as starting college at the University of Miami. Meredith and Markus also spend their winters in Florida, and we will all be back in Germany when the circuit is complete (aka when the winter is over in Germany).

What do you like about Germany? And what do you miss here?

In the US, shows tend to be more multi-week based, but in Europe you get to go to unique shows each week. The equestrian sport culture in Europe is much more respected from the general public. The crowds are always packed with educated horse people and the riders are respected as athletes. While some people find all the traveling we do each week to be tiring, I find it refreshing for the horses to go to new venues. I also find the riders to be extremely supportive and wanting to learn and help each other. I miss the little things at home, like family dinners, large showers, city living, whiting tooth-paste, and friends, but I know all those things will still be there when I get home and having this experience is an opportunity I wouldn’t trade for anything.

What is different about riding in Germany and in the USA?

The equestrian sport is much more about sport then lifestyle here in Europe.

Did you already learn some German words?

Many of the people working at the Beerbaum stables are from all over Europe. Many are Finish and a few Slovenians, so German is not the main language spoken at home. I’ve learned a few words from all of these languages, but I find it frustrating I don’t speak German yet. I plan to take German as my language at university.

Can you imagine, like Reed Kessler or Lucy Davis, to more or less move to Europe one day?

If you had asked me this question at the beginning of this summer I would have said no chance, but after living in Germany for six months, this sounds like a definite possibility. There are so many opportunities here that make the sport top level and to be able to compete against top riders every weekend continues to push my levels as a rider as well. I think it is really brave of Reed to have moved here permanently, and after hearing how much she is enjoying it, it makes the idea of maybe doing it one day more comforting. Not sure my family would like to hear this response, but I guess I will see where the future takes me.    

Young US riders and the Michaels-Beerbaum stables is a successful story. Lucy Davis rode at the WEG and maybe will be in the Olympic team. Sear and Audrey Coulter win Grand Prix. How do you as a very young rider look at that. What are your dreams for the future?

While at times it can be intimidating being the “new” Beerbaum student following in the footsteps of incredible riders, it is also really cool. From the outside, I definitely feel an extra pressure added riding with such a talented barn, but at home, no matter how small or grand an accomplishment is, the team here is always supportive. I dream for a successful future like so many of the riders here, and with the amazing program and support offered by the Beerbaum’s, those dreams really do seem within reach.

You are 19. Will you also attend college or focus on riding at the moment?

I am going to start attending the University of Miami in January when I return to the states. While horses are my passion, I also really enjoy studying. Luckily Miami is so close to the horses in Wellington so I can continue to do both.

How did you start riding? When did you start riding at competitions?

I started riding when I was four years old. My uncle, Chester Weber, was dating Lauren Hough at the time, and they entered me in the Devon lead line for my first show. My grandmother also runs a very successful thoroughbred operation, so I guess the love of horses is in my blood.

Which success from your youth do you remember most?

One of the most rememberable experiences I have was making and competing on the US young rider team that traveled to Europe (2013). At 15, this was my first time ever showing in Europe and the level of the competition blew me away! All of the riders were so good and the classes were huge! I remember being so impressed by the riding level in Europe and competing on a team representing the US was incredible.

Aside from riding what do you like to do?

When I am not riding, I love spending time with family and friends. I also have a passion for drawing/painting.

How does a normal day look like for you at the moment?

A normal day right now consists of riding anywhere from 3 to 10 horses a day, going to the gym in the afternoon, then spending the evenings with everyone from the barn. We spend a lot of time together at the stables here and I am lucky to have my “Beerbaum family” away from home.

Do you have a special philosophy in life?

One philosophy that I find really important is that in order to win, you have to believe you are a winner. You have to believe in your training, your horses, yourself, and all the hard work you put towards those things in order to succeed. If you walk in the ring with a bad mindset, you won’t rise to the best of your abilities. Even if your best is not achieved that day, you cannot let that affect you. The best riders in the world are not winning every class and make mistakes. You have to not let bad days stand in your way, but instead learn from the experience to make you even better prepared the next time. You have to let disappointment be the building blocks to your success. That same weekend in Riesenbeck, my first class with Cody, I missed terribly to the first jump and almost fell off. We were able to laugh it off, I learned what to do so that wouldn’t happen again, and we won the Grand Prix.

Is there a thing on your bucket list you certainly want to do one day?

One thing I really want to do is compete in the jump and drive at Aachen with my uncle as my partner. Sharing the passion of horses with my family makes us really close and to be able to combine our disciplines and compete with Chester (especially at Aachen!) would be incredible.

Interview: Alexandra Koch

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