It is my sad duty to report that my brother, Uwe Steiner, has made the ultimate transition to greener pastures. He had been downplaying his health issues for some time, but it caught up with him on Wednesday morning. His son Devon was visiting and got him to the hospital, but all efforts failed, and he left us on Thursday. I'm glad I had a chance to say my personal goodbyes.
The dressage world has lost a quiet - and sometimes not so quiet! - gentleman of the sport. He left behind not only his two children, Jessie and Devon, but also a legion of friends and students.
Not long ago, Uwe joined Terri and I in Wiesbaden Germany, where I was judging at the time. We were both born in Wiesbaden and started our riding education there. On this particular trip we scattered our mother’s ashes in her favorite places. It was a moving experience for both of us.
In 1957, our mother and Uwe moved from Wiesbaden to Karlsruhe in order for him to be able to further his dressage training at the well known riding institute of Egon von Neindorff. I stayed in Wiesbaden and worked for a military hotel in preparation for my emigrating to the US in 1961. Over the years, Uwe progressed to become head rider at von Neindorff’s, but also did an apprenticeship in Switzerland and ultimately passed his professional exams at Warendorf. In the late 60’s he met Betsy at von Neindorff’s, and he joined her when she returned to the US. They got married on Valentine’s Day in 1971. Much dressage success followed for both of them throughout the Midwest and East Coast. After he and Betsy divorced he remained a bachelor, traveling the country to work with his many loyal dressage students.
For years his students followed him to Venice, Florida to train with him for the winter. This March he came to visit me in Wellington while I was judging at Global, and he was planning to join us for a family reunion in San Diego in August.
Uwe was classically trained, and adhered to those principles all his life. I’m sure that his students can attest to how outspoken he was about proper riding, and to the fact that he always considered the horse first and foremost.
Uwe and I are both founding members of USDF, and were frequently queried by Lowell Boomer as he built that budding organization. Many people believe that the USDF logo depicts Uwe saluting the judge. Geography will preclude having an organized celebration of life for Uwe. However I urge all of you to raise a glass to him in his honor and memory. To further honor him, a donation to the Dressage Foundation in his name would be a fitting tribute.