About Bernie







As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing. In 2009 he was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame. In 2010 the California Professional Horsemen's Association honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2012 he was awarded the USHJA President’s Distinquished Service Award. He is recognized as a legend in the sport. As a teacher and trainer, he is one of the most sought after clinicians in the country today. His talent for teaching goes back to his roots where he was fortunate enough to have been educated by some of the very best Master Instructors this country and the world have to offer. He served as the West Coastʼs associate Chef d’ Equip to George H. Morris, the former Chef d’ Equip of the United States Olympic Equestrian Team. After amassing over 50 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.


Bernie Traurig



Q: What got you riding and when?
A: I was introduced to trail riding with my Mom at age 11 in a rental string.

Q: Where did your equestrian education begin?
A: I rode in our backyard in Syosset, Long Island. My Dad bought a prefab two car garage. Half was for the horse, half for the tack room. I joined the Meadow Brook Pony Club and trained with Molly Harnden & Sarah Schwartz, who came to my place and taught me twice a week.



Bernie Traurig


Q: Your first horse?
A: Rusty a strawberry roan gelding, a little pre- historic in type. He was purchased from Jimmy Fallon for $600. He was an all around family horse that my Mom and Dad rode and shared with me. I started Pony Club and small equitation classes at shows and eventually took him over as my own. I did Pony Club, equitation and small jumper classes with him. He happened to be a very good jumper.

Q: What inspired you to become a professional?
A: I loved riding and wanted nothing more than to make this my lifelong profession. My Dad, however, really wanted me to go to college. It was over dinner one evening with Vladimir S. Littauer, my coach of 4 years, William Steinkraus, the captain of the United States Equestrian Show Jumping Team, and my Dad, that Steinkraus informed us that there was a spot open at Gladstone, New Jersey with the 3-day team. Gladstone was the USET training headquarters and I would be under the tutelage of Stephan Von Vischy, the coach. This made my Dad comfortable with my decision not to go to college and instead , pursue my passion. Knowing that my education would continue at the highest level, my Dad gave me his blessings.

Q: Have you tried any other disciplines?
A: Steeplechase

Q: Best moment on a horse?
A: I have been privileged to have ridden many exceptional horses who have provided me with a lifetime’s worth of memorable moments, so Iʼd be hard pressed to pick just one. 


Bernie Traurig


Q: Who have been your mentors?
A: Vladimir S. Littauer
Stephan Von Vischy (Eventing)
Bert DeNemethy
Johan Hinneman & Christolot Boylan (Dressage)
Rodney Jenkins
George Morris
Bill Steinkraus
Frank Chapot
Mike Smithwick

So many more...too numerous to mention!

Q: Best time or place to ride?
A: At clinics where I can demonstrate what I am teaching. 


John French



Q: Your philosophy as a horseman?
A: Imagine you are a horse. Speak (communicate) in a clear, simple language and be able to read and evaluate the horseʼs reactions. Keep the horses friendly, you want them to like you. Get involved with the horse, study horsemanship, become a horseman.

Q: Do you have any of your own horses?
A: A couple family horses.

Q:Career aside, non horsey accomplishments or interests?
A: Private pilot, boat captain, dive master.

Q: Charities or causes you care about?
A: Horse rescue organizations

Q:Your inspiration to ride and teach?
A: Horses & riders are always challenging and provide a never ending supply of knowledge. You never stop learning. 



Bernie's Junior Years

  • Winner of the AHSA Medal Finals & the ASPCA Maclay Medal Finals in 1961 on Troublemaker
  • Member of the United States 3-day Eventing Team placing 2nd in the trials for the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo riding Envoy


  • 2009 Bernie was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.
  • Bernie has ridden many National Working Hunter Champions including: Gozzi - Ciruit Breaker - Royal Blue - Riot Free - Mink n Pearls


  • Bernie has won over 60 Show Jumping Grand Prixs. He has represented the United States Show Jumping Team several times including the 1982 World Championships in Dublin, Ireland.
  • Bernie has competed in 8 World Cup Finals and was the winner of the United States League 4 times, qualifying in the top spot for the World Cup Finals. Some of the famous Jumpers Bernie has ridden over the years:  Springdale - Springer - Dreamy Sam - The Senator - Jet Run - The Cardinal - Singapore - Fair Warning - Southside - Gucci - Don Carlos - Edenvale - Maybe Forever - U2 - Flying Scott - Eastern Sunrise - Corsair - Bonneville - It’s Cruising
  • 2010 CPHA Lifetime Achievement Award


  • Bernie was the winner of 15 Grand Prixs and Grand Prix special classes.
  • He was short listed for the 1986 World Championship Trials & 1988 Olympic Games.
  • Bernie won the High Point Dressage Award in 1988 at the Olympic selection trials.