• GLC: Discipline and commitment.

    Text: Jelena Pecic | Photos: Regina Recht

Infectiously cheery.

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl is among the best dressage riders in the world. The businesswoman trains her horses herself and has a clear concept of leadership: instead of simply having the animals obey, she wants them to develop their strengths. We paid Bredow-Werndl a visit with the new GLC.

Things are hustling and bustling at the Aubenhausen estate, located just under an hour’s drive from Munich. We see hay being pitched into wheelbarrows, horses being led out to pasture. We pass a dressage arena and a race track. And everywhere there are stables, with horses peering curiously out from them. The sun is warm, and the Alps are in full view: a scene almost too good to be true. The woman who created it all parks her polar-white GLC 300 e 4MATIC plug-in hybrid and greets us cheerfully through the car’s open window.

GLC 300 e 4MATIC:
Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 2,6–2,2 l/100 km;
CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert: 60–49 g/km;
Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 18,7–16,2 kWh/100 km.¹

Infectiously cheery: Jessica von Bredow-Werndl at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Infectiously cheery: Jessica von Bredow-Werndl at the wheel of a GLC.

The keys to success.

Dressage rider Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and her brother Benjamin Werndl, also a dressage rider, took over the estate from their parents ten years ago.

Von Bredow-Werndl is clearly proud of her parents’ achievements, proud of her employees, and of her 50 horses, some of which boast world-class dressage credentials. The Aubenhausen estate is very much a family project. And the sense of cohesion that abounds here is among the keys to its success.  

Firmly in the saddle: Jessica von Bredow-Werndl has dedicated herself to horses both as an athlete and a businesswoman.

Firmly in the saddle: she has dedicated herself to horses both as an athlete and a businesswoman.

Successful businesswoman and mother.

“I feel deep appreciation for all that I have here,” says von Bredow-Werndl as she shows us around, introducing the horses to us by name and stopping occasionally to discuss an urgent task with an employee. Though she is known in equestrian circles as an accomplished dressage rider, the Aubenhausen estate is clear proof that von Bredow-Werndl is also a successful businesswoman.

In addition to training dressage horses and riders all the way up to Grand Prix level, she has 18 employees to supervise. And she is also a mum. Her daily life is intense, she explains, “but I love it that way.” She then goes on to tell us: “Once I have put my son to bed in the evenings, I go out to my horses to put them to bed too, so to speak.”

Mother to a toddler, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl’s daily life is intense. “But I love it that way,” she explains. The two like to visit the horses in the stables. Here they are with Zaire.

Mother to a toddler, her daily life is intense. “But I love it that way,” she explains. The two like to visit the horses in the stables. Here they are with Zaire.

Encountering a coach.

Von Bredow-Werndl was only 16 years old when she won her first European Championship. A lot has happened since then. As we sit in the GLC, gliding almost silently through the picturesque Upper Bavarian countryside near Rosenheim (von Bredow-Werndl loves the peace and quiet of the electric drive), she shares some of her memories with us. After completing her degree in marketing and communication, she took over the management of the Quest Club, a sports club belonging to the family company.

Until she was 25, she split her days between work and horse riding. But this meant that she could not dedicate herself fully to either and, upon transferring to senior competition, she was unable to continue the international success she had enjoyed as a junior. “For five years I suffered one failure after another, which eroded my self-confidence.” Von Bredow-Werndl was on the verge of giving up competitive sports when she encountered a coach who helped open her eyes. 

With the Mercedes-Benz GLC in quiet electric mode, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl takes us on a tour of the idyllic countryside surrounding Aubenhausen estate.

With the GLC in quiet electric mode, she takes us on a tour of the idyllic countryside surrounding Aubenhausen estate.

True passion.

“I was good at my job and, unlike in competitive sports, was at no risk of failing at it. I also really enjoyed my work,” she says, “but I knew that riding was my true passion and that I could only excel at it if I gave it my full attention.” So she gave up her studio management role, invested in a few young horses and set about training them herself.

“Back then I set myself an ultimatum: I’m going to go all-in with the horses and, when I hit 30, will assess whether it was all worth it.” But she already had her answer at 28, when she was selected to join the German competitive team. Today, von Bredow-Werndl (34) is a member of the World and European Championship-winning team and, together with her mare Dalera, ranked third in the world.

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl is among the best dressage riders in the world.

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl is among the best dressage riders in the world.

Achievements need to be rewarded.

She sees the holistic approach she takes to horse training as one of the reasons for her success. She describes herself as painstaking and a perfectionist. “Making sure the horses are motivated is what’s most important.” The horses’ well-being clearly has a top priority. The animals are taken out four times a day and spend a lot of time in the fields. They are also allowed to play around during training sessions. “I want the horses to love me, not obey me,” explains von Bredow-Werndl.

“I want them to want to get things right for me. And this can only happen if I respect them, motivate them and give them enough time to recover.” She compares her horses to children whose talents need to be individually cultivated, whose achievements need to be rewarded. 

“Riding is my true passion,” explains Jessica von Bredow-Werndl.

“Riding is my true passion,” explains Jessica von Bredow-Werndl.

Patience, energy and focus.

Back at Aubenhausen, she parks in front of a row of horse trailers and jumps out to quickly discuss the logistics of the next tournament with her brother. The estate and its horses are not her only projects. She was recently part of an initiative to develop vegan riding boots, and has her first book coming out this autumn. She also wants to use her high profile to campaign for animal welfare. And then there are the gold medals that she still has her sights set on. 

When competing, von Bredow-Werndl makes dressage look so easy that you forget about the intense physical effort that it involves, and the patience, energy and focus that are necessary.

More information.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert Stromverbrauch im kombinierten Testzyklus

Product may vary after press date on 10.12.2020.

1 Die angegebenen Werte wurden nach dem vorgeschriebenen Messverfahren ermittelt. Es handelt sich um die „NEFZ-CO₂-Werte“ i. S. v. Art. 2 Nr. 1 Durchführungsverordnung (EU) 2017/1153. Die Kraftstoffverbrauchswerte wurden auf Basis dieser Werte errechnet. Der Stromverbrauch wurde auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

4 Angaben zu Kraftstoffverbrauch, Stromverbrauch und CO₂-Emissionen sind vorläufig und wurden vom Technischen Dienst für das Zertifizierungsverfahren nach Maßgabe des WLTP-Prüfverfahrens ermittelt und in NEFZ-Werte korreliert. Eine EG-Typgenehmigung und Konformitätsbescheinigung mit amtlichen Werten liegen noch nicht vor. Abweichungen zwischen den Angaben und den amtlichen Werten sind möglich.

6 Stromverbrauch und Reichweite wurden auf der Grundlage der VO 692/2008/EG ermittelt. Stromverbrauch und Reichweite sind abhängig von der Fahrzeugkonfiguration. Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO₂-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem „Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO₂-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch aller neuen Personenkraftwagenmodelle“ entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der Deutschen Automobil Treuhand GmbH unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.