About Steven Wolgemuth
Steven Wolgemuth has been riding since age 12, when he and his
neighbors all had horses. Little did he suspect that this was the perfect education for becoming one of the countries top dressage riders in the 1990's and an industry leader in importing dressage horses. Steven earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Lancaster Bible College in 1981, with the idea of
using his administrative abilities and trained educational/ communication
skills as a equine camp administrator. Life had other plans for
He soon (by 1983) found himself with working full time as an instructor
and trainer in the south eastern Pennsylvania region while taking every opportunity to advance his own education in dressage riding.
Before long, Steven emerged as a
locally respected rider who earned various year end awards, all breed
awards, and championships through the AHSA levels. By 1990 he earned
the USDF award of most successful AHSA competitor, determined by popular
vote of East Coast Group Member Organizations. This was presented to
him in a ceremony at the prestigious Dressage at Devon.
In 1990 Steven began training under Olympian Robert Dover. He gives Robert
credit for putting the finishing touches on the Hanoverian stallion Graf Gotz, and helping
Steve solve problems with several other FEI horses over the next decade.
"Robert has a great eye, is a good communicator and he always built
me up. From the start, Robert believed in me and my horse. He
was always respectful to me and he taught me a lot about collection."
Steven on the beautiful stallion Graf Gotz made a combination that was
hard to beat. In 1992 Steven and Graf Gotz won his first six Grand Prix classes As a benefit to being a USET long listed rider in
1992, Steven got additional help from famous German coach Harry Boldt.
Mr. Boldt took an interest in the pair and coached them in the next two
Florida seasons, supplementing Robert Dover's instruction.
This famous picture of Steven and Graf Gotz (see right) has certainly
been a popular photo in the USA for paintings, sketches and even a popular
dressage license plate.
Photographer Susan Sexton captured a magical
moment here in the Spring on a clover covered pasture with Graf Gotz
launching from passage to medium trot. "It just doesn't get any
better than this. Thank goodness she had film in the camera!"
By age 34, Steven had emerged as an accomplished Grand Prix trainer and competitor who was one of the first
relatively few in the USA to have achieved his USDF bronze, silver and gold medals (at that time). Steven's continued success at International competitions earned him a place on the USET developing horse list in 1992.
(This is the United States Equestrian Team's list of approximately 36 horse/rider combinations most likely to emerge as an international contender). By the following year and after consistently placing high in competitions at the grand prix level, Steven and Graf Gotz
were moved to the USET's Grand Prix list of the (top 12 combinations). In 1993
Steven competed in the qualifying USET classes for a place on the North American
Championship team. Coming into Gladstone's team trials in 1993, Steven was 4th ranking in the United States. Steven finished 7th at the Selection trials that year and then
retired Graf Gotz from International competitions.
Besides his own competitive successes, he has brought along several
students through the FEI levels who have gone on to win at major US competitions.
Steven has carried a national clientele of students through regular clinics to
different parts of the US. His farm has been host to a few now prominent
FEI dressage trainers, teachers and judges. Steven has gained the respect
(and friendship) of many of the top riders and professionals in the US.
With the turn of the century, Steven retired from teaching and training to have more time to develop Graemont, Inc as a premier consulting agency for buyers of dressage horses. Within a few years, importing companies reported to Steven that he was importing more dressage horses than any other American, Dressage Today Magazine listed him as a contributing editor and several equestrian Web sites credit him as mentor/designer. Steven has several professionals now helping him with regular buying trips to Europe each year. When not traveling, Steven enjoys spending time with his family at their Manheim, PA farm.