He is the most powerful man in the world on the German football scene, he moves million-digit figures at FC Bayern, everyone wants his advice. At the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is primarily one thing: A fan. He is supporting his daughter Charlotte, who celebrated her premiere in Aachen on Friday in the Prize of the Liselott & Klaus Rheinberger Foundation, The U25 Piaffe Prize. And she did “very, very well”, confirmed the National Coach, Monica Theodorescu. We talked to the boss of FC Bayern München about the CHIO Aachen, dressage and stable visits.
Question: What do you like about the CHIO Aachen?
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: It is simply fantastic. In football there’s Wembley and Maracana, for equestrian sports it’s Aachen. I find the whole event great, I already watched the Opening Ceremony with the Swedish royal couple on TV. One has to say a huge compliment to the organisers here in Aachen. It is wonderful, very professional, but also incredibly pleasant too. It is always a thin line between professional, pleasant and simply “too much”. Here, it is a wonderful combination, and it is certainly no coincidence that so many spectators visit the show. It is a fantastic event.
Question: What is it like watching your daughter ride? Are you nervous?
Rummenigge: A bit. I know how emotional she is and of course she wants to ride and present herself well. If she makes any small mistakes, she sometimes gets really worked up about it.
Question: How did you find your daughter’s ride here at the CHIO Aachen?
Rummenigge: That is very difficult for me to assess. Of course, I notice if she makes a small mistake too. But I think she can be well satisfied with her ride today. I know that she is very ambitious and wants to perform well. It is the first time that she has competed at such a big show and of course experience plays a big role, Charlotte is very young still. She is extremely enthusiastic, puts herself under a lot of pressure and trains hard. I wish her the best of luck.
Question: Can you talk shop with your daughter? Or is it still all Double Dutch to you?
Rummenigge: Well, I certainly don’t talk the professional jargon. I find football much easier, I am a pure amateur when it comes down to the equestrian sport. My wife has a much better idea of it all than me and she helps our daughter with the sport. I like watching dressage, because it is a very nice, elegant discipline and of course I support her as far as possible.
Question: Do you help out at the stables sometimes?
Rummenigge: I really like being at the stables, I enjoy the atmosphere there. There is always a special atmosphere. But I haven’t put saddles away or anything like that yet.
Question: Can one also give you a horse to hold?
Rummenigge: I have huge respect for these beautiful, but very big animals. I probably wouldn’t be a good rider.