Legendary Ludger clinches GCT in Chantilly
29 05 2016
The name of a tremendous champion has been added to the rankings of the Grand Prix LGCT of Chantilly: the one of Ludger Beerbaum. 19 medals in championships (Olympics, European and World championships), among them four gold at the Olympics without taking into account his victory and his four podiums in the World Cup, Germany’s rider has added Chantilly to his victories for the first time in his career.
The Grand Prix took place in the best conditions possible despite a big scare in the first round with the fall of the young France Champion Alexandra Paillot, whose horse, Polias de Blondel has collapsed, approaching the fence and falling on his rider, freezing a bit the crowd. Last news were excellent: the thumb, that we thought broken has only grown a large bruise and nothing else. Polias de Blondel on his side just suffer from a really treatable displacement of the shoulder.
After two technical rounds, the course gave reason to the Jumping sport director, Jean-Maurice Bonneau who has announced eight riders in the jump-off. At the end, just like in soccer… Germany wins over all. Ludger Beerbaum and his grey mare Chiara settled the deal with 70 hundredths ahead of his compatriot Daniel Deusser (First Class van Eeckelghem). Another Daniel, Columbia’s Bluman, completed the podium with Conconcreto Apardi.
We have never seen a Beerbaum that gleaming in Chantilly! Yet, there was a time when he thought he will out on this win again: “I took a lot of inspirations from Daniel’s (Deusser) round, especially on a distance where he went on five instead of six, which made the difference on my chrono. I wanted to do exactly the same, and when I was at five, I was like “shit” (literally), I can’t make it so I had to do one more stride in the last instance. So I had only one solution left, turn shorter than him on the penultimate vertical and that’s where I made the difference."
"Chiare only has jumped two ‘five stars’ Grand Prix this season: one in Doha where she won, and one in Antwerp where she was clear in the first round but with one pole down in the second. In short, over three Grand Prix, she wins two, and I’m happy, like I’m happy now to be second of the overall Longines Global Champions Tour rankings as I have only participate in 4 of the 7 legs that took place.”
A rankings he also owes to Casello, winner of the Hamburg leg. Individual Olympic champion of 1992 has then two drums for the next Olympic Games of Rio. About that, Ludger dropped a few months ago that he was considering to retire after this major event. Meaning we won’t see him in Chantilly anymore?
“Maybe…” he said with a mysterious and charismatic smile. The owner, Madeleine Winter-Schulze, thus reassured us: “It’s the first time I come to Chantilly, and I think I’ve chosen the right year. It’s more beautiful than what I was told. There is a real atmosphere here, and I want to come back again. So, don’t worry, he will come back too!”
Source: press release