Cornelia founded the Ewalia brand together with her husband Ewald and was the first member of the Ewalia Equestrian Team. The journey hasn't always been easy. As a child, Conny had to display considerable perseverance and argumentative skills before she could finally enjoy her first hours on the back of a horse.
As a new rider she spent every free minute at a riding stable near the Austrian town of Weiz. There she learnt how to care for horses and took lessons on a regular basis. The teacher there was impressed by Cornelia's ambition, and began to give her personal encouragement. She was permitted to train and school the difficult and very young horses, and later to compete in her first shows with horses from the stable. Her violet phase (from feed bucket to bandages to tails), for which she is still recognised at shows today, began with Spartacus, a double-maned Haflinger whom she rented at the time. Who couldn't love a Haflinger decked out in violet?
After many hours of training, competitions and completed licensing tests, Cornelia's dream of having a horse of her own came true when, on Austria's National Day in 1998, she purchased a trusty and compact 7-year-old Baden-Württemberg gelding named Rio Grande. He was still at A level in training, but he had a personality and charisma that Cornelia found fascinating. She and her motivated bay developed their skills together, reaching the highest levels of dressage. Their efforts were rewarded with a number of Austrian championship titles and victories from A to Grand Prix. Cornelia's fondest memory is of the first time she competed in a Grand Prix with Rio Grande, who was 16 at the time.
But Cornelia's ambitions were not limited to dressage alone. After completing her secondary education, she went on to receive a degree in business economics from the University of Graz at age 24. For strategic reasons, she spent a year as an international student at Newcastle University in England at age 22. There she was part of the Equestrian Club team. She rode horses borrowed from the university at competitions and helped the team qualify for the British Championships for the first time in 30 years.
After Cornelia successfully made the transition from university to full-time job, she continued to pursue her childhood dream of owning her own horse stables, a dream that came true in 2009. Unfortunately, major reconstruction work on the yard and the hard physical exertion also left their mark, and Cornelia had to withdraw from riding in 2010 due to severe back problems. Current trainer Karin Kosak was brought in to continue the schooling and exercising of Cornelia's horses. This experience had a profound influence on Cornelia. She didn't let it stop her, though, because one can always learn from life's experiences. It helped her to better recognise her own personal limits and to put more focus on body awareness and on the need for extra daily training to stay fit.
Cornelia is an ambitious woman and an ambitious rider who places great importance on fairness and especially on the health and well-being of her athletic partners, i.e. her horses. The slightest display of discomfort is taken seriously. Every horse at the stables is gently encouraged in accordance with its potential and capabilities. Adequate rest breaks, peaceful grazing at pasture and an enjoyable roll in the grass after a ride are a matter of course. Cornelia and Karin Kosak make up an individual training plan for each sport horse as well as a feeding plan that naturally include Ewalia products. Long-term planning, a holistic approach, and a lot of emotion and love are what make Cornelia stand out, both as a rider and as a businesswoman.
About her horses:
Rio Grande: Cornelia's first horse of her own, competed successfully up to Grand Prix. Now 28, he is enjoying his retirement at the Ewalia stables.
Quattro: This horse is something special, because without him there wouldn't be an Ewalia, or this Equestrian Team. This chestnut gelding by Quaterback is everyone's darling. Always courteous and friendly, capable of performing up to Grand Prix level and always with gusto.
Fürstenhit: Purchased by Cornelia as a foal and now schooled up to advanced level. This big, cheeky rascal is a motivated – but also a very demanding – partner who hasn't exhausted his immense potential. However, our Fürsti can get rather tense and so we give him Nerve Care Liquid II, and that helps him to concentrate on his tests.
Herzdame: This bay Hanoverian mare is a special horse with a terrific disposition and who radiates warmth, which, as a broodmare, she also gives to her foals. She's already produced several foals at the farm and is trained daily.
Franz Josef: This giant bay was Herzdame's second foal born at the Ewalia stables. The "little" stallion is now almost 3 years old and is occasionally groomed and led in introduction to the life of an adult horse. He'll be a large horse and his sunny, courteous character and elegant movement indicate great potential.
Rotkäppchen: The large chestnut mare with the gravity-defying gaits (how else can you describe them?) is Ewald's personal favourite. The four-year-old is currently in training and showing outstanding promise. Cornelia is looking forward to her training sessions with this young talent.
As a young rider she won numerous state and national champion titles in dressage, with victories from A to Grand Prix levels on horses she trained herself. In 2019 Cornelia won the state team dressage championships in the Styrian team with Ewalia´s Quattro.
Favourite Ewalia product:
The Airway Respiratory Care Liquid, because this was the first product that Cornelia and Ewald developed together, marking the beginning of EWALIA. The Itch-Care Creme is primarily used in the warmer months to treat bites from gnats and other insects.
Cornelia's main goal is to successfully train her horses in line with their potential and present them at shows. But she has another very special goal: to compete at the Wiesbaden Pfingstturnier.
Dear Cornelia, we'd like to say thank you for all your enthusiasm and commitment. And when you ride in Wiesbaden with the lovely castle in the background, we'll be cheering you on from the stands!