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Lis Hartel

Full name: Lis Hartel (Holst-)
Gender: Female
Born: March 14, 1921 in Hellerup, Gentofte, Hovedstaden, Denmark
Died: February 12, 2009 in Copenhagen, Hovedstaden, Denmark
Affiliations: Sportsrideklubben, Gentofte
Country: DEN Denmark
Sport: Equestrianism

Medals: 2 Silver (2 Total)

Biography

In the 1930s Lis Hartel was coached by her mother Else Holst, but when she reached a national competitive level, Gunnar Andersen, a professional horseman, took over. In the early part of her career she competed in both jumping and dressage, and was Danish champion in dressage in 1943 and 1944. Later in 1944, she was struck by polio. At that time she was pregnant with her second child, and no one thought that she ever would be able to compete on horseback again. But through her determination and strong will she gradually regained function in most of her muscles, although she remained paralyzed below her knees for the rest of her life.

In 1947 she started to compete in dressage again, and she improved her dressage skill together with her excellent horse Jubilee and was selected for the Danish team in the 1952 games. Although she needed help to get on and off her horse, she surprised everybody by winning the silver medal in the dressage competition in Helsinki. Four years later she won another dressage silver medal at the Equestrian Games in Stockholm, also this time together with her favorite horse Jubilee. She won the unofficial world championships in dressage in 1954, and was Danish champion in dressage in 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956 and 1959, the last time with a new horse, Limelight.

Lis Hartel's equestrian achievements caught interest among ordinary sport interested people in Scandinavia, where equestrian among many was regarded as an upper-class sport. She was a charming and charismatic woman, extremely popular not only among followers of equestrians, but also among people outside the horse circles. She also became a role model of other victims of polio, showing what was possible to achieve through training and determination. She was invited to do dressage exhibitions in several countries in Western Europe, and raised funds for treatment of polio victims. In Doorn in the Netherlands, a center for disabled was named after her, the Lis Hartel Foundation.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1952 Summer 31 Helsinki Equestrianism Mixed Dressage, Individual Denmark DEN 2 Silver
1956 Equestrian 35 Stockholm Equestrianism Mixed Dressage, Individual Denmark DEN 2 Silver
1956 Equestrian 35 Stockholm Equestrianism Mixed Dressage, Team Denmark DEN 5

Mixed Dressage, Individual

Games Age City Sport Country Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS
1952 Summer 31 Helsinki Equestrianism Denmark Jubilee Final Standings 2 541.50
1956 Equestrian 35 Stockholm Equestrianism Denmark Jubilee Final Standings 2 850.00
1956 Equestrian 35 Stockholm Equestrianism Denmark Jubilee Judges' Scores Judge #1 3T 157.0
1956 Equestrian 35 Stockholm Equestrianism Denmark Jubilee Judges' Scores Judge #2 4 161.0
1956 Equestrian 35 Stockholm Equestrianism Denmark Jubilee Judges' Scores Judge #3 4 166.0
1956 Equestrian 35 Stockholm Equestrianism Denmark Jubilee Judges' Scores Judge #4 1T 177.0
1956 Equestrian 35 Stockholm Equestrianism Denmark Jubilee Judges' Scores Judge #5 1 189.0

Mixed Dressage, Team

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Horse Phase Unit Rank PTS
1956 Equestrian 35 Stockholm Equestrianism Denmark DEN Jubilee Final Standings 5 850.00