1. Ludger Beerbaum
The German Olympic showjumper is to take legal action after welfare-related accusations were made against him in a programme shown by TV broadcaster RTL. Ludger has stated the allegations are “demonstrably false” and that his horses’ wellbeing is his top priority. The report included footage of a rider labelled “Ludger Beerbaum”, allegedly showing what the report described as the practice of “parallel bars” or “bars”, similar to rapping, which is illegal in Germany and under FEI rules. The broadcaster said that a two-year project by an “investigative journalist” had led to the report. Ludger said that the video had “nothing to do with parallel bars”; he said it was “touching”, which is allowed under German rules, “performed by a skilled, experienced equine specialist”. He added that the object shown in the video met the German equestrian federation’s requirements for touching, in terms of its dimensions and weight.
2. Tragedy on the road
Two horses suffered fatal injuries and their riders were seriously injured on a stretch of road for which locals have been campaigning for safety measures for years.The riders, twin sisters, were taken to hospital after the collision on Woodgreen Road, near Epping Forest, on 7 January. A local horse owner told H&H that riders and pedestrians have been campaigning for safety measures on the stretch of road for years. “Things have to change now,” she said. Essex Police said the driver of the vehicle has been reported for careless driving and is appealing for information on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
3. In the genes… for horses and riders
Showjumping fans are used to watching younger generations of Whitakers following in the footsteps of their relatives, but the grand prix victory at Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex (5 January) was extra special. Jack Whitaker, the 20-year-old son of Michael, partnered Negredo De Muze to the win, who is a son of Michael’s former top grand prix mare, Portofino. Jack followed his father’s advice to seal the win, which was: “It’s gone 9pm, give it your best shot and don’t fanny about!”
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