Keeping the tradition alive!


Talea in action in the FEI test

The prowess of German equestrians is well known. Medals of all colours are regularly won at European and World Championships and Olympic Games. But could that tradition be carried on here in ‘the warm heart of Africa’?

Talea Richter, age 13, recently took part in her first Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) dressage test against riders from Malawi, South Africa and Zambia.

Olympic judges

She was faced by FEI judges who have officiated in Olympic competition so the standard was tough but she still finished in fourth place in the Malawi section of the event.

“I started riding when I was in Standard One, aged about six, and then started dressage about three years ago,” said Talea.

“I took up dressage because the horses we have at the Nantipwili stables near Limbe are more suited to that than show jumping,”

Harder than it looks!

“Dressage is a lot harder than it looks but it is very enjoyable. The test in front of those judges was tough but I enjoyed it and felt I did well. I go riding normally once a week but this increases to every other day before a big test.”

One of the bidding cities for the 2024 Olympics is Berlin. Talea will be 23 by then so is it possible that a Malawi-trained rider could represent Germany at those games?

“Probably not!” says Talea. “I ride and do dressage because I really enjoy it but don’t think it will go that far!”