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Ludger Beerbaum: An interview with Mr. Show Jumping– “Father” of the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters


Ludger Beerbaum: An  interview with Mr. Show Jumping– “Father” of the Longines Equestrian Beijing  Masters 

 

It is everything but a  secret that Ludger Beerbaum is the face of show jumping in Germany. However, he  is also a true superstar in China too. Together with further partners, he  initiated the “Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters” six years ago. Next week,  international top stars will once again be competing against the best Chinese  riders in the legendary Olympic stadium, the “Bird’s Nest”. Today, on Friday,  “Mr. Show Jumping” is celebrating his 53rd birthday. We spoke to him  about him stepping down from the German national team, his plans for the future  and the unique concept of the equestrian show in Peking.

 

Question: A few days  ago you announced you will no longer be riding for the German national team.  What is stronger the feeling of melancholy or the joy about what is to  come?

Ludger Beerbaum:  Neither really at the  moment. Initially I am satisfied with the decision I have taken and will just  wait and see what comes my way. I am at peace with myself and think it was the  right decision at the right point in time. Everything that happens now, will  happen. I will gladly accept it.

 

Question: But you  will still continue to compete at international level?

Beerbaum:  Yes,  exactly.

 

Question: Training  aspiring young talents will play a considerably bigger role in your sporting  life in future…

Beerbaum:  It has always played a  major role. I have already given courses in the future or had young riders here.  Take Marco Kutscher, Philipp Weishaupt, Henrik von Eckermann, for instance, they  all started off here as young lads, and of course I will continue to do that  too. But in future I will be focusing more on other regions. In the same way  that I am currently travelling through Asia with the Longines World Equestrian  Academy or inviting riders from Asia to come to Riesenbeck, to train  them.

 

Question:  Can you tell us more  about the promotion work of the youngsters in China that you are involved  in?

Beerbaum:  Our aim with the  Academy is to train young people and make their way onto the international  equestrian sport circuit easier. That is the target of the Academy and that is  what I would like to be acknowledged for in five, eight or ten years’  time.

 

Question: You have  been following the development of the equestrian sport in China for many years.  How do you assess this development?

Beerbaum:  I have been involved in  the Chinese equestrian sport market since 2006. Things are growing extremely  quickly there, every year there are more shows, more competitors, above all more  young people, who are finding their way to horses. But there is actually a huge  need for the conveyance of know-how. And whereas the one development is indeed  fast, the development in the field of know-how is unfortunately slower. There is  a great need to catch up, this starts with the care of the horses through to the  riding abilities and basics.

 

Question: What role  does the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters play in the development of the  equestrian sport in China?

Beerbaum:  It is a highlight in  the Chinese event calendar and is a big goal for many young people to be able to  ride in this traditional sports venue, the Bird’s Nest, one day. As such, it is  a big motivation factor. But many stages have to be passed on the way there,  this is where the Academy comes into play again. But the motivation factor is  definitely a very important cornerstone, without doubt.

 

Question: Which other  partners are on board in Peking, explain the organisation structure?

Beerbaum:  On the one hand there  is of course the Dashing Equestrian, the company that holds the contracts with  the Bird’s Nest and the Federation locally, and who ultimately carries the  economic risk for the event. Then, the Chinese Federation, the CEA, of course.  As well as the organisers of the CHIO Aachen, who are on board for the fourth  year running.

 

Question: The show  will be staging its in the meantime sixth edition from September  1st-4th. What is the special thing about its  concept?

Beerbaum: It is the  only show in China, where really international top riders – due to the  quarantine regulations on borrowed horses – compete against Chinese riders in  the same class. In contrast to the Global Champions Tour in Shanghai, for  example, which we fly over or, but where the Chinese only sit on the stands and  watch us. In the Bird’s Nest they really have the opportunity to compete against  us with their horses.

 

Question: What course  should Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters take? What are your short and  mid-term goals?

Beerbaum:  The biggest goal is for  the event to progress from its current 3-star rating into a 5-star show. And  that we will then also be able to compete against the Chinese riders on our own  horses. How fast this will be achieved, not only depends on us, but also on the  quarantine regulations, the EU, the Chinese, the introduction of a vaccination  status in China and other points. I can’t say whether this will take a year, two  or three.

 

Question: You won in  the Bird’s Nest last year. How do you rate your chances of defending this  title?

Beerbaum:  Ultimately, that  depends on the horse I am allocated, I drew a really good horse last year and  simply had the best chance to win as a result.

 

Question: How will  you celebrate your birthday?

Beerbaum:  I haven’t got any  plans. I hope no one will notice because it isn’t a round or special birthday,  it is just 53. So there is no plan to celebrate it in a special way. It is a  normal weekday too, so I hope it just passes by quite normally.

 

 

Longines Equestrian  Beijing Masters 2016 

September  2nd-4th, 2016, Peking, Bird’s Nest

 

International  riders:

Ahlmann, Christian  (GER)

Beerbaum, Ludger  (GER)

Bost, Roger-Yves  (FRA)

Delestre, Simon  (FRA)

Dubbeldam, Jeroen  (NED)

Kutscher, Marco  (GER)

Richard, Jane  (SUI)

Schröder, Gerco  (NED)

Wathelet, Gregory  (BEL)

Whitaker, John  (GB)

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