Behind the Slide – Dieter Buerger, Germany

n the NRHA Futurity ended in 2018, all Dieter Buerger was thinking about was November 28, 2019. Hailing from Germany, Dieter looks forward to getting behind the wheel of a tractor to prep the ground in Oklahoma City all year long.

“I’ve been working for NRHA Germany since 1998. I’ve worked the dirt in Germany for the last three years. They asked me if I wanted to come over here and learn how to work the dirt from Jim [Kiser]. I did that, and ever since he’s hollered at me to come back.” Working the arena at for a reining event is a science. It all starts with the dirt’s composition, but pulling a drag isn’t just about driving around in circles.

“It’s difficult to do the dirt, especially if the ground is really heavy. That’s especially true at our facility in Germany. It’s not easy to work the dirt—you need a good drag and the experience to use it.”

A Kiser drag hooked to a bright-green John Deere tractor and serves as Dieter’s wheels for the event. He’s hard to find because he’s responsible for working several of the warm-up pens.

“What’s really important is how much water you put in the dirt. It can’t be too wet or dry; it has to be balanced. The humidity plays into that. The humidity here is different than in Germany.”

Dieter’s been involved with the sport of reining for the last 20 years. He’s a NRHA Professional who runs a training and boarding facility.

“I show customers’ horses, but I don’t show very often. When I’m at the shows, I do the dirt.”

Dieter was introduced to riding by a friend when he was 22 years old. What started out as trail riding quickly turned into something more. And the rest is quite simply, history.

“I’m very proud to be part of the drag team. I’ve learned a lot and gotten a lot of experience here. I enjoy every minute I am here because you see such different people, see a lot of good horses, and learn a lot about the dirt. It’s fun to be here; I’ve really enjoyed it. I want to thank Bob and Jim Kiser for allowing me to be a part of their team.”