Early turning on hot days for Gelsenkirchen trotting horses

Gelsenkirchen Feldmark.
Animals also suffer from heat. The 60 horses in the stables are currently being trained at the Gelsenkirchen trotting course in the early period.

“A couple of weeks ago, when we first got to the stable at four in the morning, the horses were almost a little terrified. They were all still asleep,” Ralph Opole says and laughs. “They also have their rhythm. They didn’t know it.” But on such hot days as summer, you have to start working early, he says Jogging coach. By about nine in the morning, the physical stress should be over. But what a real racehorse has to be trained.

Gelsenkirchen horses tend not to be angry in the morning

Are there complaints among animals? “No,” said Ralph Opole. “When the first one gets up, they will all soon be standing at the door of the stable. And as soon as they hear you go to the bag of food, there is no more grumbling in the morning.” In fact, the animals are served a light breakfast before they start exercising. But then things have to be done quickly.

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The three go to the track in Gelsen Trap Park. This makes humans and animals happier. “It awakens ambition,” says the experienced trainer, who currently has 15 horses in his care. He specialized in training very young animals. When they reach their peak at the age of three, they do not usually return to the stables in Gelsenkirchen, but rather return with their owners in their stables.


Maximum speed is required only twice a week

Ralph Opole, his daughter, and his clerk set off very quietly. Today, drivers take things easy. “We’re only driving ten kilometers. That’s about eight laps. This is as easy a walk for the animals as it is for us.” And this is not just because of the weather. Otherwise it will be a few more kilometers, the coach explains. But the animals are brought to top speed only twice a week – including racing. After all, horses need a few days to regenerate their muscles.

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While some four-legged athletes are challenged in these special, faster training sessions, others take it easy. “You have to go into the breath individually. You also have to challenge some animals properly in training so that you can perform well in the race.” Others will be emphasized. They themselves understand the difference between training and racing, and they perform at just the right moment – ideally.

Victory rewards have become significantly lower in recent years

One thing soon becomes clear: “These are high-performance athletes.” Horses are an investment for their owners. Even if a lot has changed in German jogging, the prizes are not as high as they once were. In the last two decades of the last century, she has earned 3000 marks for a win. This covered maintenance and training costs for about three months. Today you get 500 euros. This is not even enough for a month.

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The three horses make their rounds very easily. Even when the sun is already shining, temperatures are still bearable – for people and animals. Early in the morning, a water truck passed over the racetrack, explains Marco Schindler, who took on the public relations job at the racetrack. This cools the track a bit. But most importantly: “It binds the sand. In this way it does not get dusty. Otherwise, it would be unhealthy for the horses and the driver.” It takes the animals barely ten minutes to get back into the barn. In no time, they’re released from their buggies and belts and queuing up for a real treat: a cold shower. The little stallion can not wait, eagerly scratching his hooves. It appears in the best condition. As if he could still do many laps. However, people here should be sane and protect the animals from the heat and from their temper.

Even when running freely, the animals are quickly pushed into the stall

We take a quick shower and then go out again. A few short turns in the yard allow the fur to dry quickly in the sun. Then it’s time for a little nap. In the afternoon, animals are allowed to run freely. As great as the joy was, says Ralph Opole, it evaporated quickly in these temperatures. “It won’t be long before they stand at the gate and want to return to the cold stable.” Concept.


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