Reining: Portrait of the day: Rudi Kronsteiner
During his career, the 38-year-old Austrian rider based in Germany, has won every European major event at least once. He has represented his country in all editions of the World Equestrian Games and this year, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy was part of the Austrian squad that claimed the Bronze medal in the team competition. Thanks to his run aboard Dr Lee Hook obtained in the Team Competition and in the 1st individual qualifier, he also earned a spot in Saturday’s individual competition.
The Austrian professional is also a three-time FEI World Reining Masters champion. Yet, the road to success has not always been an easy one to travel: “Dealing with the pressure showing involves has always been my main problem, especially so after I started winning. I truly have to give my wife Steffi credit for always having been by my side and helping me get over the pre-show panic. I have changed a lot in these past years. I have matured and have learned to deal both with the pressure and with the people around me. When it comes down to my horses and my work, it’s as if I were in a tunnel. My goal is that of focusing on the light at the end of that tunnel and getting there without looking at what is around me. It’s the same thing when it’s show time, but we all know that there is so much involved, so many variables, that it doesn’t always work out the way we would like it to.”
Rudi was born on March 9, 1973 in Steiwr, Austria and he turned to equestrian sports when he was around 10-years-old. “I started off with the hunters and jumpers and showed a little, but it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. Then, one day, by chance, I encountered my very first reining horse, Shades Of Wonder, and I told myself that those were the horses I wanted to ride. I was overwhelmed and fascinated by these ‘American’ horses. Everything about them fascinated me, the control, the speed, their cool. So, I moved on to trail, western riding and western pleasure horses, but I knew what I wanted was to become a reiner,” recalled Rudi.
To date, Kronsteiner’s achievements in the pen are history just as those he achieved in his home country. In 2008, he was recognized by the Austrian Equestrian Sports Federation (FENA) with the Gold Medal of Honor and in 2010, he was awarded the Silver Medal of Honor by the State of Austria.