Linsenhoff, Liselott (1927—)

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Linsenhoff, Liselott (1927—)

West German equestrian who was the first woman to win the individual gold medal in dressage. Name variations: Linsenhoff-Schindling. Born on August 27, 1927; children: Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff (b. August 1, 1960, also a dressage rider).

Won the Olympic individual bronze medal in dressage, as well as team silver, on Adular in Stockholm (1956); won the Aachen Grand Prix on Piaff (1955, 1956, and 1959); won the silver medal at two World championships; won Olympic team gold in dressage in Mexico City (1968); was European champion in dressage (1969, 1971); won the Olympic gold medal in individual dressage on Piaff (first woman to win individual gold medal in dressage) and team silver in Munich (1972).

In what is an unusual occurrence in a world championship sport, women in equestrian events compete directly against, and with, men. When Liselott Linsenhoff, Hannelore Weygand , and Anneliese Küppers won the team dressage silver medal for West Germany in 1956, it was the first Olympic equestrian event in which medals were won by a team comprised entirely of women. (In that same Australian Olympics, women participated with men in show jumping for the first time.) Australia had strict quarantine laws in 1956, so while the Summer Olympic Games were held in Melbourne, the equestrian events were held in Stockholm, Sweden. There, Linsenhoff also took the individual bronze medal in dressage on Adular behind gold medalist Henri Saint Cyr and silver medalist Lis Hartel of Denmark. Linsenhoff was also awarded team gold in the summer Olympics in Mexico City in 1968.

In the 1972 Munich Olympics, 21 of the 33 riders in individual dressage were women. Linsenhoff topped her West German teammate, Dr. Reiner Klimke, who had previously amassed eight Olympic medals, to win the individual gold medal in dressage. Again, she was the first woman to do so. That year, she also took team silver. Linsenhoff went on to coach later successful German teams, as well as her daughter; Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff was a European Young Rider bronze medalist, a European individual silver and bronze medalist, and the recipient of a team gold in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.


Watchen, Guy. Great Horsemen of the World. London: Trafalgar Square, 1991.