Olympic showjumper to retire from national team

  • Four-time Olympic gold medallist Ludger Beerbaum has jumped in his last Games for Germany.

    The 52-year-old, who helped his team secure bronze in Rio this week on Casello (17 August), has announced his retirement from the national team.

    Ludger, who has also won two gold medals, one silver and one bronze at world championships and six gold, three silver and two bronze at European championships, “had always planned to stop with a success”, said a spokesman.

    “It was a tough decision,” said Ludger, adding that he is not completely quitting the sport.

    “I do have a lot of projects going. I will focus on my stable at home and training and selling young horses.”

    FEI jumping director John Roche described Ludger as “a legend in his own lifetime, a complete horseman and a man who is deeply involved in the development of the sport“.

    Ludger will still compete as an individual, the spokesman confirmed, adding that as president of the Longines World Equestrian Academy, the rider will “support the development of the showjumping market in Asia”.

    Ludger will also be kept busy with Riesenbeck International Equestrian Centre, a joint venture with Baron Constantin Heereman and his son Philipp, which offers national competitions, clinics and international seminars.

    I won’t get bored,” Ludger said.

    “I’m grateful that I was able to represent Germany as a rider. Now this job is for my younger colleagues.”

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    Ludger had qualified for today’s (19 August) individual Olympic final but the rules only allow the top three riders from each country to take part, and as he was the lowest-placed German rider, he will not jump.

    Ludger’s first appearance on a senior championship team for Germany was in 1987. Next month’s Nations Cup final in Barcelona (22-25 September) will be his last appearance in the red German team jacket.

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