Berlin – When the German dressage team rode to team gold at the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Tuesday, Madeleine Winter-Schulze was briefly seen in the TV picture and was presented as a patron of Isabell Werth. That is a bit of an understatement. In fact, the now 80-year-old Berliner has been the most influential woman in German equestrian sport for decades. And she is by no means just the protective hand behind Isabell Werth, who has made it possible for the sensitive rider to select the best young horses time and again since 2001. As a sponsor, consultant and functionary of the German Equestrian Association (FN), she was also associated with the Olympic champion Ludger Beerbaum, who dominated the international jumping scene for several years.
If you look up Wikipedia, you will come across the job title entrepreneur, which certainly applies to her activities in sport, which, in addition to pure passion, was always driven by business interests. For more than 50 years, Madeleine Winter-Schulze has always managed to invest profitably in sport horses, even if they only paid back with fame and not in hard currency.
The entrepreneurial streak and the necessary change came from her father, the West Berlin car dealer Eduard Winter, who died in 1959. Daughter Madeleine – her sister was the grand dame of German trotting sport Marion Jauß, who died in 2020 – was just 18 when she became German dressage champion with a horse named “Coca Cola”. The horse wasn’t just the victim of funny naming. At the time, his father Eduard Winter was the general agent for Coca-Cola in Berlin, and the touch of Billy Wilder’s film “One – Two – Three”, which is also about Coca-Cola in Berlin, wafted through the mundane Life of Madeleine Winter. Today it is downright touching to see the more ladylike, reserved woman with the accreditation dangling from her neck – and after the silver for Isabell Werth and Bella Rose – with a relaxed smile on the dressage square.