Besides her own sports career that began when she was 13 years old, there is lots more. She runs a stable with 140 horses in Moscow. She is the national coach for Russian riders, rides with her sister in the Russian Dressage team at WEG2014 – and she is a wife and mother.
Mister X (10) is Merkulova’s special darling. She bought him as a three year old together with Vox for her sister Marina Aframeeva. Now the sisters and the two Russian horses are in the Russian national team.
As a national coach Merkulova brought a junior rider to European championships and has clients from her stable in Russia’s junior rider’s equipe. Daughter Victoria, now 12, will take over her mother’s older grand prix horse next year to follow the other students. “Horses are our family’ s life and I am at the stable for 24 hours.”
Inessa’s husband Anatoly Merkulov is the mastermind behind all this, although he had nothing to do with horses at first. “I did not plan the stable so big, but he wanted me to become a world champion.” A dream husband? “Every day I thank God for him,” Merkulova says.
And by the way, this lady loves flowers. That is why there are 5000 roses at her stables and guess who is tending to them? “I do all my flowers myself and love it that people think my stable is in fact a park.” After WEG2014 this park will turn into a wellness hotel for Mister X. “I promised him if he does well he gets a month’s vacation with massage and spa treatment.”