Riders with combined age of 123 years claim top spots in London GCT CSI5* speed class

  • Legends of the sport Ludger Beerbaum, 57, and John Whitaker, 66, showed the younger riders how it’s done when they claimed first and third in the penultimate five-star class at the London Longines Global Champions Tour.

    John, fresh from his second place in yesterday’s grand prix, laid down a great round with the Old Lodge’s 11-year-old gelding Sharid in Sunday’s CSI5* 1.45m speed to collect third place, 1sec behind the USA’s Eve Jobs (Charleville).

    Ludger, who will host the European Championships at his Riesenbeck base at the beginning of next month, found a remarkable 1sec advantage with his experienced LGCT partner Mila to take the top spot.

    The German’s target from 12th draw proved untouchable — although Brit Scott Brash (Hello Shelby) trumped the time, it was at the expense of a rail.

    The third place in a rankings class was another boost for John, who was appearing at only his second five-star since 2019.

    “It’s been a really good week, I’ve had the chance to make the most of it,” he said. “There are so many good riders now, the standard is so high, once you slip down rankings it’s hard to get back up. When you are at a five-star, you have to take a chance.”

    John has partnered Sharid for the past two years and he is one of six horses he currently rides for Prince Torki.

    “The horse is a really good all-rounder, he’s jumped some four-star grands prix,” John said. “He’s a really good horse — although I don’t think I could have found an extra 2sec today!”

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