In the year 2003, the Bavarian Dr. Gregor Tilch was sitting on his couch and reading the “Off Road” magazine. The animal-doctor from the little village of Röslau in Germany was reading an article about the Breslau-participation of the German Hannes Kollmannsberger, today main graphic artist of the magazine. “This is something for us,” he said to his girlfriend Nicole Reinel, “let´s go and drive the Breslau!”
Ok, they had a plan, but both never participated in a rally like the Breslau – and had no rally car. “We bought an old Suzuki Samurai from a local dealer in our village,” Gregor remembers today, “not because we like Suzuki, it could be a Toyota or Mercedes G-wagen, but our dealer had only Suzuki. And because our budget was very small, we only changed some parts, mostly home-made with the help of our local hardware store´s materials.”
The couple had a dog named “Emma”. Finally, in 2004 they gave the dog in the good caring hands of some friends and started in their first Breslau-adventure. Gregor and Nicole were impressed of the rally and found a new hobby. “Let´s do that next year too,” they decided. But what to do with the dog? Because they did not want to leave Emma to someone else again, they packed some dog-food and useful things and took Emma with them – to the Breslau Rally 2005.
“Now we were on the rally but with a dog. So what to do?” In the regulations, it was not prohibited to start with a dog in the car – so they decided to do so. From now on the trio wrote history. In every Breslau, Gregor Tilch started as driver, Nicole Reinel as navigator and the dog Emma, hmmm, let´s say for the entertainment. And she had fun. “As an animal doctor I was afraid that a rally is not suitable for a dog. But it was completely the opposite. She loved the rally. She loved the jumps, the freedom, the water, the pauses in front of the mud holes with many action. And everybody wanted to pet her,” Gregor remembered. The dog was responsible for the speed. When Emma needed a break, she got a break. The results did not matter…
So Emma became an institution for many years. From a Suzuki, the Team switched to a Bremach truck. The love of Gregor and Nicole broke but Emma went with “daddy” Gregor. And Gregor himself? Until today he is active in the Rally-sport. From a Bremach he switched to an Iveco called “The Submarine”, from the Breslau Poland he switched to the Balkan Offroad Rally in Bulgaria. “I love Bulgaria and don´t have the time for two rallies,” Gregor said.
And Emma? She is still alive but old, very old and not able to travel with the rallies anymore. But no matter what will happen: The trio wrote history – with the first rally dog ever.