On Monday, Gerhard Schöningh had several reasons to look back on the past weekend with satisfaction. As the owner of the racetrack in Hoppegarten, he experienced a “creamy day” with 8,000 authorized spectators at the sporting unity celebration.
As a racing enthusiast and Vice President of Deutscher Galopp, the highest administrative body for the breeding of thoroughbred horses and for the horse races in Germany, he enjoyed the statement that the stallion Torquator Tasso had made with his victory at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. “In 2005 it was said: We are Pope. Now we are horse racing world champions, ”said Schöningh happily.
A great party, as is usual in other sports after winning big titles, was out of the question for the human protagonists of this success. Coach Marcel Weiß told Tagesspiegel: “We drove back to Mülheim that night, and my cell phone literally exploded.” At five o’clock in the morning we went back to the stable to start our morning work. “We not only have Torquator Tasso, but a total of 52 horses here to look after.”
Serious underdog in this race
Even the day after, it was still noticeably difficult for White to realize this racing sensation. “For many coaches, it is a lifelong dream to even be allowed to take part in this race. To win this race is almost unimaginable, ”said Weiß. After all, Star Appeal (1975) and Danedream (2011) were the only German winners to date at 100 editions of this exclusive event with a budget of five million euros this year.
Although Torquator Tasso, Galopper of the Year 2020, was considered above average in this country even before the trip to Paris, he went into this race as a blatant outsider, with a win rate of 725: 10. But because the heavy, wet ground was right and rider René Piechulek was able to apply the agreed racing strategy, the four-year-old racehorse beat the competition from the most exclusive stud farms in the world. “There were also a few Germans on site at the racetrack, of course they completely freaked out,” said Weiß.
In the coming weeks it will be decided where the stallion’s career path leads. Dizzying offers to buy from abroad will probably reach the owners of the Auenquelle stud in the next few days. Nevertheless, there is hope that Torquator Tasso will stay in Germany as a stallion.
“I will always be closely connected with Berlin and Hoppegarten”
The fact that this riding coup was successful on October 3rd fits in with the life story of Marcel Weiß. Growing up in Berlin, he got to know the racecourse in Hoppegarten personally for the first time in the summer of 1989, shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. And sport never let go of him. Weiss later completed his training with the late trainer Martin Rölke, only a few meters away from the racetrack.
Until 1998 he gained experience in various stables in Hoppegarten, before Weiß moved to Cologne, where he hired the most successful German trainer, Heinz Jentzsch.
Later he moved to Mülheim in North Rhine-Westphalia. Last year he celebrated a triumphant reunion in Berlin when Torquator Tasso won the Grand Prix. This year the team had to admit defeat to the British mare Alpinista. “I will always be closely connected to Berlin and Hoppegarten, it all started here,” said Weiß on Monday.
In addition to the renewed evidence that the relatively small German breed repeatedly achieves sensational results, Schöningh rates the victory in Paris as a pick-me-up for an industry that has suffered particularly since the beginning of the pandemic. “Equestrian sport is associated with a great passion. From the groom to the breeder to the functionary, days like this are good for everyone.
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