The story of Elisabeth Max-Theurer, named Sissy, is also the story of Mon Cherie, a horse that she had received as a present that was practically unrideable in the beginning but went on to become a European and Olympic Champion. It is also the story of Hans Max-Theurer, who made the horse crazy young lady into one of the most successful riders of her day. And it is also the story of Victoria Max-Theurer, Sissy and Hans Max-Theurer’s daughter, who’s on track to be as successful in dressage as her mother.

But one thing at a time: Sissy Max-Theurer was born on September 20, 1956 in Linz, Austria. At the age of ten, her parents finally agreed and allowed her to take riding lessons. After taking lessons for two years on school horses, her parents bought her a small Lipizzaner named Pluto Alda. Sissy and Pluto Alda won their first ribbons in dressage and after a brief intermezzo in show jumping the story continues from there.

The two most important key dates during this period: In 1968, twelve-year old Sissy met the riding teacher, Hans Max from Ampflwanger, at the spring show organized by the Welser Riding Club - and fifteen years later, they married.  And in 1973, when the ambitious Sissy purchased a Hanoverian named Le Fort from Hans Schwelm in Neuss, Hans Schwelm threw in the young, dappled grey Mon Cherie as a present.

Under the auspices of her trainer, Hans Max, Sissy made the Austrian junior team for the European Championships in 1974 with a black horse named Mascagni.  Numerous achievements followed, the best with Mon Cherie. Initially, Mon Cherie was very disappointing but after a lot of hard work, the grey gelding matured into a dressage horse of international format with a special talent for the piaffe-passage tour and pirouettes. At the 1979 European Championships in Aarhus/DEN, Mon Cherie and Sissy Theurer beat the entire elites in dressage and took gold in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

  • Sissy Max-Theurer on Eichendorff, Hans Max-Theurer on Falcao OLD and Vici Max-Theurer on Moliere.
  • Sissy Max-Theurer with Loni, her favorite dog
  • The herd of mini-mares
  • 2007 State Championships in Achleiten
  • Sissy Max-Theurer is interested in the lesson being given; Penelope (the dog) is interested in the camera
  • With son Johannes
  • You certainly can’t deny that there’s a lot of similarity to Furioso II: Broodmare Liebelei at Gestüt Vorwerk/GER.
  • A foal named Romanze is about to get into trouble
  • Mother and daughter

The number of first and other placings that Sissy Max-Theurer collected with the help of her husband and trainer, Hans Max-Theurer, is impressive: In the period from 1978 to 1984, Sissy Max-Theurer, a state examined riding teacher, won the Austrian State Championships six times and successfully competed internationally in Aachen/GER, Rome/ITA, Berlin/GER, Munich/GER, Copenhagen/DEN, Goodwood/GBR and Paris/FRA. In 1983 she placed tenth individually at the EC in Aachen with Acapulco and finished eleventh in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles/USA. After the birth of her daughter Victoria in 1985 and her son Johannes in 1987, she made a comeback four years later.  At the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona/ESP she placed eighth in the dressage Final on Liechtenstein. After placing twelfth individually in the World Equestrian Games in Den Haag/NED in 1994, Sissy Max-Theurer ended her active career.

Since then she promotes her daughter Victoria who has been highly successful in the dressage ring since 1995. Her daughter’s training, however, is left to her husband, Hans Max-Theurer, since mother and daughter are often at odds with each other when riding. Son Johannes didn’t inherit the family‘s traditional passion for horses. He prefers to go fishing instead.

Sissy Max-Theurer, who is especially interested in breeding horses, has been the President of  the Federal Association of Riding and Driving in Austria since 2002. She always contributes her great knowledge and power as show organizer, international judge, Vice-President of the Austrian Olympic Commitees, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Spanish Riding School and as a generous supporter of social projects and animal welfare.

  • 1979 European Champion, Sissy May-Theurer and Mon Cherie in Aarhus/DEN
  • 1979 EC victory - ahead of the favorites, Granat and Christine Stückelberger/SUI
  • Olympic gold 1980 in Moscow/UdSSR: Sissy and Hans Max-Theurer
  • EC gold in 1979 in Aarhus/DEN
  • Mon Cherie‘s best movement: piaffe
  • Sissy Max-Theurer and Mon Cherie in 1980 at the CHIO Aachen: Second place behind Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer/GER on Slibowitz
  • Eleventh place with Acapulco at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles/USA
  • Three generations: Sissy Max Theurer with her daughter Victoria and her mother in Leombach
  • A glorious way to end a remarkable career: eighth place on Liechtenstein in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona/ESP and twelfth place in the 1994 WEG in den Haag/NED