Soldier, rider, bronze medalist of the Olympic Games Amsterdam 1928, team eventing, Knight of the Virtuti Militari, Emperor Charles Cross, Cross of Valor.

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Józef Piotr Trenkwald was born on August 14, 1897 in Vienna. He was the son of Robert, a general of the Austrian army, and Hermina, Countess Fellner von Feldegg. (…)

On December 7, 1918, he joined the Polish Army and was assigned to the 8th Uhlan Regiment. Prince Józef Poniatowski in Krakow. In 1919, as a platoon commander, he fought against the Ukrainians on the Volhynian front, making bold and very dangerous raids against the overwhelming enemy forces, for which in January 1920 he was presented with the Virtuti Militari War Order. He participated in the Polish-Bolshevik war. He fought with Semyon Budyonny's Horse Army at Berestechko, Artasov and Komarov (August 31, 1920).

He commanded a squadron in the 1st Mounted Rifle Regiment, which in 1920 fought fierce battles with the Red Army. For his courage on the battlefields, he was twice awarded the Cross of Valor and the Silver Cross of Merit, the Bronze Medal of Valor, the Emperor Charles Cross, the Silver and Bronze Medal of Merit "Signum Laudis". In 1919 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and in 1924 - captain.

Józef Trenkwald was a very good rider, and his superiors noticed his skills, qualifying him for the team preparing to participate in the Olympic Games in 1920. Poland was to make its international debut in Antwerp after 123 years of captivity. It was the first riding group that was established at the Central Riding School in Grudziądz based on the order of the General Inspector of Riding in April 1920. The organizers of the group were Lt. Col. Sergiusz Zahorski, Major Karol Rómmel (who took over the leadership) and Lt. Tadeusz Daszewski. In addition to Lieutenant Trenkwald, 14 other players were trained. However, the departure of Polish riders to the Olympic competitions did not take place because in mid-June 1920 the officers were sent to the Eastern Front and fought in the Polish-Bolshevik war.

Before the next Olympic Games in 1924, he was excluded from preparations due to a fracture of both bones of the left lower leg. In 1928, he received a third chance to compete in the Olympics. This time, no event interrupted the participation of the captain. Trenkwald in the Olympic competition. He qualified for the national team in eventing. The Concours Complet d'Equitation was held from August 8 to 12 in Hilversum near Amsterdam. After the first trial, in which the judges paid attention to the horse's exterior, the Poles placed only 17th place out of 46 teams taking part in the competition, but Captain Trenkwald on Lion's Claw took a high 12th place in the field of XNUMX riders. The field test significantly improved the position of the Polish team, which moved to third place, and the captain. Trenkwald was once again the best in the team. The last attempt at eventing, the show jumping competition was organized at the main Olympic stadium in Amsterdam. The parcours with XNUMX obstacles was overcome by Lion's Claw without any major problems and, ultimately, individually by Captain. Trenkwald took XNUMXth place. The remaining Poles won: XNUMXth place – captain. Antoniewicz and XXVI - Lt. Col. Rómmel, and in the team classification, the Poles won the Olympic bronze medal.


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In the years 1923-1939, Józef Trenkwald participated many times in international competitions in Poland and abroad. He took part in the prestigious Nations Cup competition three times, and twice he was in the national team that managed to win the trophy. It was in 1931, in June in Warsaw and in August in Riga. In both competitions he rode the mare Madzia. He also competed in the Polish Equestrian Championships held since 1931, standing on the podium three times. In 1931, in Warsaw, on his horse, Partyzant, he became the 1933nd vice-champion of Poland in eventing, in 1937 in Warsaw - on Madzia, he won the title of runner-up in eventing, and in 1935, in Gniezno - on Zwiahel, he won the title of XNUMXnd vice-champion of Poland in the show jumping competition. He was involved in horse riding not only practically, but also theoretically, being the author of numerous professional articles in specialist magazines and cavalry periodicals of the interwar period. In XNUMX, the Polish Equestrian Federation awarded him the Honorary Equestrian Badge for participating in the games and winning the Olympic bronze medal.

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The entire article and other sources can be found in the Polish Digital Equestrian Library (click)

Author: Renata Urban

Entry updated: 14.05.2024/XNUMX/XNUMX


Joseph Trenkwald died November 19, 1956 in London.
He was buried in Brompton Cemetery in London.
Posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.


Publications in the Polish Digital Equestrian Library:

Click on the links below to access related materials in the Polish Digital Equestrian Library (will open in a new tab):

“Origin and activity of CWK in Grudziądz” (2022) – Renata Urban

“Traditions of horse sports in Poland until 1939” (2022) – Renata Urban

“One driving school, different fates” (2019) – Hanna Łysakowska

“Józef Piotr Trenkwald” (2012) – Witold Duński

“Józef Trenkwald – Olympian from Amsterdam 1928” (2012) – Renata Urban

“Polish rider what was Grudziądz for Polish equestrian” (2002)

“History of horse riding, part X” (1992) – Witold Domański

“Reflections on the Polish Riding School” (1976)

“Great Military Riding Schools. Poland – Grudziądz” (1934)

“The Sixth International Official Horse Competition in Warsaw” (1933) – Józef Trenkwald, Seweryn Kulesza, Kazimierz Szosland

“In defense of the horse riding system we have chosen” (1932) – Michał Woysym-Antoniewicz, Józef Trenkwald

“Los Angelos” (1932) – Józef Trenkwald, Michał Antoniewicz

“Amsterdam – Hilversum” (1928) – Leon Kon


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