A horse lover with style
The role model entrepreneur Toni Meggle and his wife Marina cherish everything that is close to their hearts. A visit to Georgihof, their picturesque riding facility near Wasserburg on the Inn River.
He is an art lover, he has a soft spot for classical musical, he is an entrepreneur, a sponsor and a horse lover. Toni Meggle has a simple reply to the question, how he would describe himself: “Ready to go into retirement,” the 90-year-old said with a warm smile on his lips. He is sitting there, elegantly clad, the slightly long, grey hair carefully combed back. The breast pocket handkerchief sits perfectly in the dark suit, his brown shoes are shining. “Life was very kind to me, gave me plenty of opportunities,” he said casting a satisfied glance around his equestrian facility. On clear days, he can see the range of mountains from the Dachstein mountains in the East to the Zugspitze in the West. He enjoys moments like these – and he appreciates them too.
In the form of the Georgihof in Rechtmehring, not far from Wasserburg, he and his wife, Marina, have created something exceptional. A place that couldn’t be a nicer home for their horses or more efficient for their gentle schooling. They travel here as often as they can and enjoy the time with their stallions. Watch their head rider, Matthias Bouten, training their top horse, Meggle’s Boston, or simply cantering through the self-built pond with a youngster. “The horses bring me joy,” stated Toni Meggle. Formerly, as a successful competitor, then as a sponsor and promoter – the aesthetics of the equestrian sport and horses have fascinated him for over 60 years. Breeding is his latest passion.
Toni Meggle, whose full name is Josef Anton Meggle, was always extremely ambitious. At the private high school – a boarding school in Schondorf on Lake Ammer that focused on humanities– he swotted German and learnt to play the piano. In 1950, he passed his higher education leaving certificate with the best grades of his class and was the first in the family to have the opportunity to go to university. But he was aware that his father had a different place in mind for him, rather than university: namely the family company. With two sisters as siblings, “I was more or less born to become his successor,” he reported. An obligation that he accepted and mastered with flying colours. Ambitious, but never overzealous, he set himself goals – and achieved them. Even without a degree. As a dairy master craftsman with qualifications as an industrial clerk, he turned his grandfather’s small village cheese factory into the internationally operating Meggle AG. However, his father’s patriarchal style of leadership was not his style. For him only true solidarity can guarantee long-term successful business. Toni Meggle is a gentleman, who stands for values and fairness. Somebody who likes giving back some of the good that life has bestowed upon him.
Toni and Marina Meggle also give a lot of good things to their horses. At Georgihof, even those who have ended their sporting careers are lovingly cared for. “Not only should those who go to the tournaments be happy, but also those who spend their twilight years with us,” says Marina Meggle, adding, “This is particularly important to us and simply wonderful to witness.” So Meggle’s Weltall VA, the team Olympic champion from Athens 2004, was also allowed to enjoy his well-deserved retirement life on the meadows of Georgihof. The Weltmeyer son, who in 2004 was the first horse ever to receive more than 80 percent in the Grand Prix Special and also set a world record in the Grand Prix Freestyle a year later, died in 2018 at the age of 24.
Whenever it is convenient, Marina and Toni Meggle accompany their horses to the showgrounds across the globe – but Aachen is their favourite venue. “The CHIO holds many wonderful memories for us and is the highlight in our show calendar,” said Marina Meggle. “No other show in the world can match the atmosphere Aachen offers.” As loyal sponsors, the Meggles have co-written part of the history of this traditional show. In the dressage discipline, there has been a MEGGLE Prize for over 20 years, it is on the agenda on September 18th, this year. And, as usual, Toni Meggle will be sat on the stand elegantly dressed next to his wife, enjoying a further moment that he appreciates so much.