Wolfgang Niggli died October 30, 2011. All I know about his life is contained in this article in Eurodressage http://www.eurodressage.com/equestrian/2011/11/02/wolfgang-niggli-passed-away

I am grateful for his valuable contribution to the literature:

Niggli, Wolfgang M, Dressage: A Guideline for Riders and Judges, 2003, J.A. Allen, London.

I refer to it often. It does everything its title promises. I often take it to table discussions as a means of disabusing others’ misunderstandings.

Treasure buried with it’s bindings is an archive of the history of Olympic Dressage, in which I learned, among other things, that video was used to judge Rome 1960! From page 209: “Comparison of marks * Every performance was filmed. It took two days before all the judges arrived at the final score for the Grand Prix. All the judges were chosen from those countries that had no chance of winning (i.e. from countries not taking part).”

Causing me to wonder how much progress the “sport” of Dressage has made these recent five decades.

Embedded in Eurodressage’s obituarial article is a youtube of Niggli discussing leg and heel position at the 1994 USDF Symposium. I, for one, like his delivery and use of language. Amazingly, he speaks as he writes. Surfing around that youtube link, there are many more clips from the 1994 USDF Symposium, which he conducted with Betsy Steiner.

Advertisements