Show jumper and trainer "Kaiser" Heinrich-Wilhelm Johannsmann died

Show jumper and trainer "Kaiser" Heinrich-Wilhelm Johannsmann died

Heinrich-Wilhelm, "Kaiser," Johannsmann is dead. The Westphalian show jumper was 71 years old and died in bed.

Heinrich-Wilhelm Johannsmann came from a horse family in East Westphalia. While he enjoyed great success in show jumping as a rider and later as a trainer, his brothers pursued other paths in equestrian sports. His brother Friedrich, for example, is the man behind the green horse transporters. Hans Georg Johannsmann, on the other hand, has been working for the Pikeur and Eskadron brands for decades. The fourth brother, Reinhard, died in 2013. He was considered something of a super-encyclopedia of horse breeding, immediately recognizing horses he had seen years later. A colt he had seen at a show and presented for inspection at the age of two and a half, he remembered immediately.

He owed the nickname "Kaiser," which many attribute to the "Wilhelm" in his name, to Gustav Menke. The show jumper was the German substitute on the team at the 1936 Olympics. After World War II, he settled in Steinhagen. There, the 12-year-old Johannsmann piqued his interest. "What's your name?" he asked in the then common gruff commis tone. Somewhat shy and silent, the teenager replied "Heinrich-Wilhelm." "What?" echoed through the riding hall, "Kaiser Wilhelm?" The "Kaiser" would have to stay with Heinrich-Wilhelm Johannsmann. Not only because Gustav Menke told him to sit right on the horse as "the emperor." Later, it was Johannsmann's unmistakable style that was just so different. Only "Kaiser" rode like that.


From 1978 he rode for the Römersee Stud, which then belonged to relatives of the C&A dynasty. Here his international career began in the show jumping saddle. Two horses took him to the world top: Sarto, the Hanoverian Sender son, with whom he competed in the 1978 World Championships (fifth place) and the 1979 European Championships in Rotterdam. He won the silver medal with the German team alongside Gerd Wiltfang with Roman and Paul Schockemöhle with the legendary Deister. Later, Sarto prepared the way for former national trainer Kurt Gravemeier in top sport.

In total he rode 22 times in the red coat for Germany in Nations Cups. He won many Grand Prix; in 1980 he finished seventh in the World Cup Final.


Between 1998 and 2004, in addition to his sporting activities, he worked as an honorary trainer for the DOKR Federal Training Center in Warendorf. In October 2005, he went on his last tour of honor. As winner of the Vienna Indoor Derby, "Kaiser" concluded his active career. In December of that year he officially retired from the sport in Frankfurt.

Horses, however, continued to dominate his life. He trained many riders. For a time he worked in Ludger Beerbaum's stable, acted as head of the team in the Ukraine and was a welcome course trainer also for the Federal Professional Riders' Federation (BBR).


Yesterday the athletic Heinrich-Wilhelm Johannsmann had traveled by bicycle from Steinhagen to the tournament in Herford, a good hour there and back. In the evening he had gone out to dinner with his wife Jutta. This morning Johannsmann, who liked to sleep a little longer, did not get up. He was found dead in bed.

Source: St Georg