The 35-year-old champion horseman, Hartwig Steenken, of West Germany may never ride again. Steenken suffered?
The 35-year-old champion horseman, Hartwig Steenken, of West Germany may never ride again. Steenken suffered critical injuries in a car accident in the Hanover suburb of Langehagen of Tuesday (12 July). He was rushed to the University Hospital where he underwent seven hours of surgery after which his condition was described as very serious.
Steenken became West Germany's first professional rider after luck robbed him of the chance of joining the national team for the 1976 Montreal Olympics He dropped out of the last qualifying event when four of his five horses became sick of lame. Steenken scored his greatest show jumping successes within three years....the European Title in 1974, a team gold medal in Munich in 1972 and the World Title in Hickstead, England, in 1974. For his win at Olympia on 19 December, Steenken earned GBP4,000.
SYNOPSIS: It was only last December that the West German champion rode Goya to victory in the Radio Rentals/Dunhill Grand Prix at Olympic in London. It capped a brilliant career that saw Steenken take out Olympic World and European titles. But now there's doubt that he'll ever ride again. A front seat passenger says Steenken swerved to avoid an oncoming car, crashing into a wall. He rushed to the University Hospital in Hanover where he underwent emergency surgery. The surgeon who carried out the seven hour operation is reported to have told fiends that Steenken's injuries included a fractured skull and jaw, ruptured brain membrane and damage to the optic nerve.