When Lisette Milner packed herself and her 3 horses off to Germany in the late spring of 2003, it was just supposed to be for the summer months.
But, both Lisette and her horses were doing so well training with Ernst Hoyos, she decided to stay. For Milner, that meant she was leaving behind her beautiful new home and farm in Wellington, Florida, her students, and husband Michael, who long ago nicknamed her Mia, for Missing in Action.
Michael Milner has been back and forth to Germany on many occasions in the past seven months. “When he is here,” Milner said, “he does not miss one training. With his camera ready, and a cigar in hand, he is right there watching from the sideline.” It was Michael, and accomplished photographer, who took Lisette’s holiday photo, along with her own Euro-companions Bella and Tada, the Milner’s West Highland Terriers. “They are allowed in all the restaurants here, and have become quite the connoisseurs of German cuisine.” added Milner in her holiday letter to friends. “They have their own water and food bowls in most of the restaurants here, and we are shopping for bigger winter jackets for both of them!”
First International Show, and First Grand Prix
For Lisette Milner, passing on the 2004 Dressage in Florida winter season, was not that difficult a decision, even though she has added layers of clothing to her wardrobe. The hard work is paying off. After their first International CDI in Oldenburg, which was also their first Grand Prix, Milner’s youngest horse Eminence scored an impressive 65.465%.
Stabled at Gëstut Höftehof, in Meppen, Germany, Milner has a new family of friends and supporters. “They gave everyone at the stables time off,” said Lisette, “so they were all there to watch and support. Ernst Hoyos was a great support as well at the show, as was Gerd Knoop (the owner of Gëstut Höftehof) who took us there.”
Filling in For Ernst Hoyos
When Hoyos came to the USA with Lisa Wilcox for the USDF Symposium, it was Milner he asked to ride his horses in his absence, perhaps one of the highest compliments bestowed upon her from one of the world’s leading dressage trainers.
In addition to Wilcox, Hoyos is known as the trainer for Ulla Salzgeber, and Heike Kemmerer, as well as many other top riders who seek his advice and time.
With limited English television, Milner has become a news junkie, having only CNN to watch, Larry King being the highlight of her viewing pleasure. Care packages from the US have included DVD’s giving her a reprieve.