Ludger Beerbaum’s many Likes

 

Ludger’s

 

many

 

Likes 

 

For the German show jumping legend it is impossible to name a favorite horse as there were so many. A couple of hundred when he is only counting the ones that he took to international shows.

 

By Camilla Alfthan

 

It is the horses who helped Ludger Beerbaum secure his numerous trophies – three Olympic team gold medals (1988, 1996 and 2000) an individual Olympic gold from Barcelona in 1992 and two team gold medals from the World Equestrian Games to name just a few.

 

If you don’t have a favorite horse, which ones are in the top ranking?

 

Ratina, Classic Touch, Gold Fever…..these are for sure my peaks. But then I also had Priamos, who was a really nice horse that I only had for two and a half years. Even a horse that was a bit a second rate; Figaro’s Boy, was nice and competitive. I don’t know how many horses I’ve had during the years. 250-300 when it’s just the ones I’ve been on to international competitions.

I’ve been lucky to have many good ones. If I just see all the horses I won championship medals with, even Glady’s, Champion de Lys, they were all very different.  If a horse has courage and character, and it’s competitive you can live with different types of horses and blood. In the end; if they have a good heart and a good will, then that’s what is important.

 

Which is more important, your horses or your family?

 

The family is number one, the horse is always second. I’m also not in love with my horses. I like them. Some people say, I love, I love, I love….but it is not the German way of interpreting feelings. I really like my horses and I’m a lucky guy to find a way and a job in this sport. But love and families are a little bit different.

 

 “I’m also not in love with my horses. I like them. Some people say, I love, I love, I love….but it is not the German way of interpreting feelings.” 

 

But your family and the horses are nevertheless inseparable..

 

My family is a part of the game. We live in the yard, so they are pretty much involved. But the travelling is not easy. I can’t go to all the shows. You have to have priorities and make compromises. The show is a vagabond life. In the end it is the family first, and the horses are a job.

 

Would you one day want your children to follow your path?

 

I’m not sure, to be honest, if I want my kids to follow my path. Especially for the girls. It’s a hard life. If they really want to do it I wouldn’t say no. But I would definitely never push them.

 

How did you get into this sport in the first place?

 

I was always really keen and I loved to go to competitions. When you’re young and you realize that you are becoming successful it’s like a drug; you like what you’re doing. And then once it came to a point where I had to decide whether I wanted to stay as an amateur, so I decided to try riding professionally for a few years. And that was it.

 

 “If a horse has courage and character, and it’s competitive you can live with different types of horses and blood. In the end; if they have a good heart and a good will, then that’s what is important”

 

For how long will you go on?

 

I won’t stay in this business forever, like some of these guys who are in their sixties. Because I’d really like to do something else at some point. It will always be something with horses but not riding every week because it gets kind of boring.

 

I have some riders working for me already. I’d like to do a little bit of farming. I have some land in East Germany. I’d like to do some more there. I could do this for another 10-15 years and then it’s time to change.

 

Interview December 2012    © Horse-Tales.com

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Ludger’s power play with Chaman at Le Saut Hermès 2013  – in Norwegian  :

 

 

Chaman, the 15-year old son of Baloubet de Rouet, holds a special place in Ludger Beerbaum’s heart.

 

I felt as if the horse and I were one. When we are on the same wavelength, it’s a bit like slalom skiing where the transition from one gate to another is really smooth. When the horse is so receptive and responsive, everything becomes easy.

Winning is one thing, but to win like that, with a feeling of total empathy, is something that does not happen every day. I’m really happy,” he said when Chaman in 2013 ended up taking home the Grand Prix d’Hermès “one of the most prestigeous Grand Prixs on the circuit, if not the most prestigious”.