Katharina Offel has had a hugely successful career, and has been competing in the top of the sport for nearly two decades. Kathi has competed at two Olympic Games, three World Equestrian Games and three European Championships in addition to winning some of the most prestigious Grand Prix competitions on the circuit.
Kathi is also a specialist on developing young talented horses for the highest level of the sport – and a real challenge is what she loves the most. During her career, she has brought countless of horses up to international Grand Prix level.
Kathi was born in Rosenheim, Germany on the 8th of the December in 1976, and her love for horses showed at an early age. When Kathi was seven she started riding at her local riding school and from there on it quickly became clear that horses were her big passion.
From Kathi was 13 years old until she was 16 she competed both in showjumping and eventing, but at the age of 16 she turned her attention to jumping only. Still in school, Kathi spend her afternoons, weekends and holidays working as a groom for Alexander Moksel in Buchloe, Germany – where Ludger Beerbaum, Markus Beerbaum and Ralf Schneider during this time were all based. When Kathi left Moksel’s yard, she was given the horse Stroke of Luck as a present. Kathi started to jump the horse in junior competitions, and as a young rider Kathi rode her first German Championship on Stroke of Luck.
Kathi has been twice third in the German Championship – first in 2001 with Granie and then in 2002 on Divine before she won in 2004 on A la Ballerina
Proving her great riding skills and talent on Stroke of Luck, Kathi got in contact with Robert Schiffelholz – who she started to work for in 1996 in a little village close to Augsburg, Germany. With Schiffelholz’s horses Rauhnacht and Impisa Laika, Kathi started to win some big classes – taking home eleven national Grand Prix victories in Bavaria in one year.
At the end of 1998 Kathi started to work for JS Sportpferde, an international dealing stable situated close to Cologne. During her years there Kathi had much success, and was twice third in the German Championship – first in 2001 with Granie and then in 2002 on Divine before she won in 2004 on A la Ballerina.
In 2005 Kathi made a sport nationality change, and started competing for Ukraine.
The same year she did her first European Championships on Nike in San Patrignano – ending 16th individually. In 2006 Kathi competed at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen on Atlanta 325 – where she ended 22nd individually and 4th with the team. In 2007 Kathi jumped at the European Championships in Mannheim with Lord Spezi – ending 17th individually and 9th with the team.
In the beginning of 2008 Kathi became a mother to Leopold, but already the following summer she went to the Olympic Games in Hong Kong – also this time with Lord Spezi ending 59th individually and 10th with the team. In 2010 Kathi competed La Bomba 3 at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky – doing a double clear round in the Nations Cup to end 16th with the team and 44th individually. In 2012 Kathi went to the Olympic Games in London with Vivant, ending 59th individually and 14th with the team.
During this period, Kathi also won several major Grand Prix classes – among them the five-star Hermès Grand Prix of Paris and the Global Champions Tour of Abu Dhabi, both in 2012. Kathi was also on the winning Ukrainian team at the 2013 CSIO5* Nations Cup in Rome.
In the autumn of 2013 Kathi started up her own company; Katharina Offel Sporthorses.
During her first year on her own, Kathi's top results included a second place in the five-star Longines Grand Prix of Hong Kong on Charlie and a third place in the five-star Hermès Grand Prix in Paris on Lacontino.
In 2013, Kathi started up her own business: Katharina Offel Sporthorses. Kathi now has her base in the neighbourhood of Maastricht, Netherlands, at her brand-new stables to which she opened the doors in 2017
In January 2015 Kathi started up a new chapter, and moved to the Netherlands. With a growing business Kathi realized that she was in need of more space to be able to expand, and also to have the possibility to welcome students at a central location. At the same time, Kathi’s sports career continued successfully and that summer she competed at the European Championships in Aachen on Zipper – ending 8th with the Ukrainian team and 39th individually. During 2015, Kathi took eight big international wins and had an additional sixteen podium finishes including a third place in the CSIO5* Grand Prix of Mannheim aboard Zipper.
At the end of 2015, Kathi made a big decision and changed her sport nationality back to compete for her birth-country Germany – after ten years flying the Ukrainian flag. Unable to ride Nations Cup and World Cups due to her nationality change, 2016 and 2017 were transition years for Kathi and she spend time developing young talented horses towards a future in the top sport as well as building her own stables. Still, during 2016, Kathi won two international Grand Prix classes: The CSI3* Grand Prix in Vejer de la Frontera and the CSI3* Grand Prix at Sentower Park – both on Umeunig Z.
In October 2017, Kathi made a dream come true when opening the doors to her brand new stable in Bemelen – a stone's throw away from beautiful Maastricht in The Netherlands. A private training facility for Kathi and her horses, the modern stable offers everything the horses could wish for – also with the possibility of stepping right out on the many quiet pathways in the surrounding area. A short drive away from big facilities such as Sentower Park, Zangersheide and Peelbergen Equestrian Center, Kathi's new stable is ideally located.
As 2018 kicks off Kathi looks forward to the season with several talented 9-, 8-, 7- and 6-year-olds in her stable that hopefully will help take her back to the very top of the sport over the next few years