Herr Mertins was a Grand Prix dressage trainer and rider,
who did his apprenticeship at Herr Egon Von Neindorf's and then went on to train and work for Herr Willi Schultheis at the
German National Center in Warendorf for 4 years. In addition he spent 6 months
in Vienna with Col Albrecht across from the Spanish Riding School. His
training was supplemented by Philip Karl at the French National Riding Academy at Saumur, and later with Ulrike Stadelmeyer,
the trainer of Jonegger's Weyden (Bronze Medalist in the 1996 Olympic Games), Palladio, Corinth, and two other horses that
have made international teams with different riders. Frau Stadelmeyer and her
father, Fritz Stahlecker developed the method known in Germany as "Hand Saddle Hand".
Herr Mertins trained numerous horses to Grand Prix, and had scored 953 points in a Grand Prix on William. This was 67%, and he placed just ahead of Lisa Wilcox in this test.
Herr Mertins’ style was one of classical correctness,
emphasizing the fundamentals, with unique sensitivity to the horse. He
emphasized working to achieve the horse being 100% over the back, soft and through.
See his article on schooling exercises in the Dec 07 issue of Dressage Today, p. 18.
Herr Mertins died suddenly on Aug 20, 2008, while doing
what he loved most - riding. He is greatly missed by his family, friends, students,
and his beloved horses.