With four Olympic gold medals and more German national titles than any other rider, Ludger Beerbaum is the master of showjumping. Together with Swiss watchmaker Longines and CEO of Beijing Dashing Equestrian Cultural CO Ltd. Jing Li, Ludger Beerbaum is also initiator of the Longines World Equestrian Academy. This academy aims at promoting the equestrian discipline of show jumping in China by teaching best practice to professionals working in this sport through a whole program designed by Ludger Beerbaum and implemented by a team of experts under his supervision.

Time to have a chat with this talented rider and trainer.man and woman

Has it always been clear to you that you wanted to be a showjumper?

No, definitely not, I was not as the cliché often goes born into it or “put into the cradle” for it, as in my family the equestrian sport was not even practiced or popular, and as a young child and as a boy I did not have the urge to mount a horse. I was rather sceptical about horse riding but I did have a proper amount of respect for horses. I grew up in a farming culture, and there were always animals around, and for as long as I can remember, there were always horses. In the beginning, we only had cold-blooded breeds, just in order to do proper agricultural work, they were not meant to jump with. In the beginning, I really did all kinds of things: school, football, handball, volleyball, but when I was about 10-11 years old, I had a friend who was really obsessed with horse riding, so I took up the sport too and started horse riding.

Can you still remember your first horse?

My first horse? I can still remember my first girlfriend (laughs). My very first horse was a school horse. The horse that I then rode for my first well-known event, my first tournament, was a Polish mare, “Dunia“.

With which horse did you build the most beautiful memories?

That is a difficult question. I am in the fortunate position to have worked with a dozen really exceptional horses, with which I have had many different beautiful moments, defeats, successes, so it is difficult to single just one out. If I think about it a bit longer, maybe the horse that I had as a junior, the first horse that was a bit better and with which I became German junior champion and also won a bronze medal with the juniors in Italy, the first time away from home. This was a competition mare, in the years when I was about 16 to 19. I had incredibly beautiful first successes as junior, which have paved the way. My first horses have opened all doors.white horse

Did you learn anything from your horses too?

A lot already. Most of all about my character, which was rather tumultuous when I was younger to say the least, and I tried to have it my own way regardless, something that my teachers at school also considered as one of my flaws. Working with horses has somehow taught me that to get forward, you sometimes have to take a few steps back too.

When looking back at your career, are there things that you would do differently now?

If I have to give you a detailed answer now, then I would say that there are many things that I would have done differently with the experience that I have today, with a better insight into things. There are many small things that I would definitely do differently, but in general, the first big decision to do this professionally was kind of a big decision for my family, as I broke off my studies and then really rode as a professional and thus earned my living, but I would do it all over again now. So, I don’t regret my basic decisions, but there are many details when working with horses, like perhaps allowing the horses a little more time, maybe not doing one thing or another, I would surely do some of those things differently.

Which successes were the most beautiful for you?

Well, I was very-successful, but quite honestly, I’ve also experienced many defeats. This is normal, of course, during such a long period of time (30 years).  A great one was, for example, in Athens, when we had to give up the fifth gold medal because the fetlock of Goldfieber was treated with an ointment and it was not indicated that it contained metasone, and therefore the horse tested positive with only 0.1 nanograms of metasone. That was a very painful defeat, that’s not a big secret. I think that a lot of ambition is needed and the necessary drive, and somehow also the will to improve and I believe that today, although I am already old and grey, I am better placed and better prepared for tournaments and I can ride better than 10 years ago, not to mention 20 or 30.

Today, you are a role model for many in the equestrian sport – Did you have a rider to look up to?

Yes, already in my first years and with my first horses. Later, I worked with Frank Sloothaak for 5 or 6 years. This was a great example, in the daily work and also when training horses and then going to tournaments. A bit later during international tournaments, I got fascinated with John Whitaker, who was different, because he was English, and also because his way of dealing with horses was a bit different.

Do you think that the jumping sport is on the right track? Have there been many changes during your entire career?

         That is a difficult question. I think we first have to agree on what you think is good and what I think is good or what the outsider thinks or the fan, or if we were now to discuss the subject with our Federation, for example, talk with a tournament organizer or young riders or with a pro who is now in the top 3 of the World ranking list, we would come to different points of view. Therefore, I can’t objectively answer the question with just yes or no, to be completely honest. I believe that there are a lot of positive things, and that the jumping sport has become very popular, because of the globalization that has taken place in the rest of the world. There were 15 five-star tournaments in different continents 15 to 16 years ago, and today there are more than 90. New markets have access to our sport, and that also affects the German market without any doubt. I want to see that as a positive thing but it needs to be organized, canalized, and we need to make sure that nationally and regionally, the riding sport has a chance, that young riders (whether girl or boy) have access to horses and have a chance to access the top sport. These are big challenges and there is, I believe, a lot to optimize.

What would you do differently, just to encourage horse riding to more people, to inspire them and to promote the sport?

In short, what we do in Riesenbeck already. You have mentioned it before, Riesenbeck international is a platform, where we have the mission to, in the international, national and also regional sports, organize courses, invite young people that are really just at the beginning of finding their way in this sport. We are at the moment not at five stars yet, only at two, but the Longines world equestrian academy is twice a year our guest. These are young Asian people that are still at the very beginning of their career that come over. But we also do things regionally, here in Kreis Münsterland and Kreis Steinfurt, riders have the chance to take amateur examinations twice a month, and I believe this should also be offered by the federation, by the national associations but also especially by the Federation in Warendorf, and be supported, because I believe that this is the first step towards the horse riding sport for many people. It is not about a lot of money yet, so the cost is the same, and if we win as many people as possible and find interest, then we do not need to worry about our sport’s future.brown horse

Part II of the interview is coming online next month.

Interview by Equestrian Lifestyle Blog – L.M.

 

 

 

Longines, the famous Swiss watchmaker whose slogan is “Elegance is an attitude“, is celebrating its tenth year as the Official Timekeeper at the Royal Ascot races, Britain’s most renowned racing event. Ascot Racecourse, founded in 1711, is the premier racing venue in the United Kingdom and home to Europe’s premier flat race meeting, Royal Ascot. The Royal Meeting, run in mid-June, is attended by around 300,000 people over the week and annually showcases the best horses in the world and brings champions together from every continent.PROFITABLE (Adam Kirby) beats COTAI GLORY (right) in The King's Stand Stakes Royal Ascot 14 Jun 2016 - Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com2016 marks the 10th Royal Ascot since the beginning of the Longines-Ascot partnership. Every year, this week of exceptional races, 18 in total, is highly anticipated by a large number of spectators who attend to witness the achievements of some of the world’s fastest horses. Each day begins with the Royal Procession, an iconic moment which makes this equestrian event one of Britain’s most renowned.
Equestrian Lifestyle Longines queen-elizabeth-ii-and-prince-phillip-duke-of-edinburgh-arrive-on-the-royal-procession-during-royal-ascot-2015-at-ascot-racecourse-on-june-16-2015-in-ascotThroughout the world, Royal Ascot is held to be one of the most prestigious sporting events, combining tradition and performance for the last 300 years. In order to offer horse-racing enthusiasts and elegant ladies in their fancy hats the most agreeable surroundings possible, the racecourse was closed in 2004 for total refurbishment. Today, it is now the most modern racecourse in Europe. The main work involved the construction of a new grandstand with a spectacular sun-roof. The grandstand is flooded with light and spectators who walk along the impressive gallery get the impression that they are outside.Equestrian Lifestyle Longines Ascot

Equestrian Lifestyle Ascot Last weekend (Saturday 15 October 2016), Official Timekeeper and Watch of Ascot racecourse, Longines had the honor to time the races of Britain’s richest race day: the QIPCO British Champions Day. The 2016 QIPCO Champion Stakes is the end-of-season championship race for Ten-furlong horses. Following this glamorous event, I will take you on a trip down memory lane to highlight the most memorable moments of the partnership between Longines and Royal Ascot.Presentation by The Princess Royal to Alan Spence, Adam Kirby and Clive Cox for The King's Stand Stakes won by PROFITABLE Royal Ascot 14 Jun 2016 - Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.comPrize-giving ceremony for The King’s Land Stakes won by Profitable: (from left to right) Sir Francis Brooke (Ascot Trustee), Clive Cox (trainer), HRH The Princess Royal, Amy Dickens (lad) and Adam Kirby (jockey) 14 Jun 2016 – Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.comLongines Simon BakerAustralian actor Simon Baker (The Mentalist), who has been an Ambassador of Elegance since 2012 and perfectly embodies Longines’ slogan “Elegance is an Attitude”, enhanced a race day with his presence last year in 2015.Simon Baker Longines Not only famous actors were present at Royal Ascot, also tennis champion Stefanie Graf joined Longines for a quintessential English day at the races in 2014. Winner of 22 Grand Slam singles titles, Stefanie remains the only player to win those tournaments at least four times. Stefanie now dedicates much of her time to helping suffering children through her charity Children for Tomorrow which provides psychological help for children affected by the traumas of war and violence. Through her courage, commitment and generosity, this tennis champion is the perfect embodiment of the Swiss watch brand’s values and slogan: “Elegance is an attitude”.Longines Equestrian  Considered by many as one of the world’s most beautiful women, the Indian beauty and Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai, Longines Ambassador of Elegance, has embodied Longines’ slogan “Elegance is an attitude” for more than ten years and brought glamour and sophistication to a day at Ascot races in 2013. Longines Equestrian Ascot Last Friday in Longines’ London boutique, the Swiss watch brand and Ascot celebrated their successful partnership. longines-boutique-in-london-photo-by-matt-keebleTo mark this celebration, a Longines Equestrian Pocket Watch Racing Horses 1911 in rose gold was presented to Ascot’s Chairman Johnny Weatherby as a gift for this special anniversary.johnny-wetherby-chairman-of-asco-t-racecourse-with-juan-carlos-capelli-vice-president-of-marketing-longines-photo-by-matt-keeble-2The original pocket watch, along with other exceptional historical pieces from the Longines Museum in St. Imier, Switzerland, will be displayed in a temporary exhibition in the boutique. Ascot presented to Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing, a miniature of Yeats – the only horse to have won the Ascot Gold Cup four times – by the equine sculptor Charlie Langton.longines-equestrian-pocket-watch-racing-horses-1911-in-rose-gold

Longines has almost a century of experience in equestrian sport, gained in every corner of the world. As equestrians we can be more than happy to have a brand sponsor as Longines which allows us to take our sport to a professional level.

www.longines.com

www.ascot.co.uk

Photography courtesy of Ascot Racecourse and Matt Keeble

Blogpost in collaboration with Longines

For the 3rd year on a row, Paris was hosting the Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping. Over the past few years, the famous Eiffel Tower was the guardian angel of the event, but this year the organizing team invited themselves to another location.  In the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, you’ll find the “Plaine de Bagatelle”, a real urban heart and soul spot of Paris, perfectly fitted for sports and entertainment, and loved by Parisians.Blue Sky Green Grass Longines The top 30 riders of the planet were present during one of their last competitions before taking off to the Rio Olympic Games. Blue Sky Horse Jumping Clock Longines In the VIP area, equestrian and gastronomy went hand in hand and the hospitality service was on point. Guests had a beautiful overview of the arena and lovely details were added to give the spectators that luxury Parisian feeling. The equestrian art piece filled with flowers was without a doubt the eyecatcher of the venue. Vip Table Pink Flowers Glas Wine diner The audience could not only enjoy the five-star competition but also several sport animations like pony initiations for the kids and artistic demonstrations such as horse shows and exhibitions. Thanks to a collaboration with la Mairie de Paris the extra animations were free of charge. Let’s have a moment to enjoy this antique horse carousel, a piece of art by Longines and a perfect way of branding.Horse Party Longines Molen Paardenmolen The latest equestrian trends were presented in the lifestyle village. If you were looking for the perfect souvenir, there were plenty of merchandising goods in the Longines Paris Eiffel shop.Hoodie Grey Sweater Grey Chair beige with stripe teddybearThe main reason why we visited the event was because of the Luxury Living Group decorated the interior of the lounge village and vip area. The furniture and homeware company founded by Alberto Vignatelli develops, produces and distributes furniture collections for some of the world’s most celebrated brands. Luxury furniture equestrian fendiFor this occasion, the Fendi Casa, Bugatti Home and Bentley Home Collections decorate in a contemporary guise the lounge pavilion inside the special Village set up near the Eiffel Tower, inside the natural scenario of the Plaine de Jeux de Bagatelle.luxury furniture equestrianLuxury Furniture Equestrian ParisLuxury cussion bentley homewareWe are proud to attend the Paris Jumping Eiffel horse-show with our Collections and to be fully involved in an event which renovates and strengthens even more the relationship between Luxury Living Group and the world of luxury and excellence.”, says Alberto Vignatelli President and CEO of Luxury Living Group.Luxury homeware bentley fendi designerAs this equestrian event is taking place during the EURO2016 football competition in France, we need to show you this wonderful and classy soccer table in glass by Italian design brand Teckell.Kicker Table Footbal table in glas with grey beige carpetFrom one Italian designer to another with these gorgeous leather riding boots by DeNiroCo. Always a trendsetter in the equestrian industry.Horse riding boots with cristal italianHandcrafted luxury, appreciated by equestrians worldwide and personalized styling, that’s where DeNiro boots company stands for. An extensive line of popular designs and customization option allows equestrians to satisfy their unique tastes, make a statement of simply show off their personality.Italian Leather riding boots in blue Saddlery company CWD recently released a new saddle, especially made for women. A revolutionary design with the women morphology in mind and with an additional feminine touch because you can choose the color of the seat stream and stirrup leather keeper. If you are looking for a combination of the ultimate comfort for the female rider and a healthy back of your horse, you need to check out this new saddle. Jumping saddle in leather brownSee you soon “dear Paris” . Thanks to Paris Eiffel Jumping Team for a great weekend!

In 2017, the event will come back to its birth location, the Champ de Mars, under the Eiffel Tower.Horses and fences in wood paris

The 3 indoor picture are taken by Luxury Living

 

 

 

Baselworld 2016, the unique and unmissable trendsetting show for the global watch and jewellery industry was the place to be for the launch of the new equestrian watch collection by Longines.equestrian lifestyle longinesLongines’ history and the history of equestrian sports have been intertwined for over a century. It was therefore natural for the brand to dedicate a collection to this passion. The various models of The Longines Equestrian Collection are linked by their references to the equine world. Shapes and materials derive their inspiration from symbolic elements of this environment, like a sublime echo of the world of horse lovers. Longines thus celebrates the elegance of riders and their mounts.Equestrian Lifestyle LonginesLongines is expanding this collection and proposing new variations that repeat the lines of the rectangular buckle found on the show bridle of the only Swiss horse breed, the Franches-Montagnes. In addition, this horse is native to the historical Swiss Jura area, a region that is dear to the winged hourglass brand since it is also the region where Longines was founded and earned its place within the inner circle of great watchmakers.Equestrian Lifestyle Longines These new models mirror the overall distinctive attributes of The Longines Equestrian Collection, and are dedicated to female equestrian sports lovers. On their wrist, the hands waltz to the rhythm of time and merge with the pace of the horses. With the Longines Equestrian Collection, Longines offers a genuine allegory of the equestrian world in tribute to the deep bonds the brand has forged with it.Longines equestrian lifestyle

Press info & Pictures by Longines

An exciting day, off we go to Zürich (Swiss) for a press day with Longines. The luxury watch brand will announce their collaboration with showjumper Ludger Beerbaum to create the Longines World Equestrian Academy. The academy aims at promoting the equestrian discipline of show jumping in China by teaching best practice to professionals working in this sport through a whole program designed by Ludger Beerbaum and implemented by a team of experts under his supervision.

Equestrian Lifestyle

Longines announces together with four times olympic gold medal winner Ludger Beerbaum and CEO of Dashing Equestrian Jing Li the creation of the Longines World Equestrian Academy. The aim of this academy is to promote the equestrian discipline of show jumping in China, as well as mediate best practice to all the professionals of this sport, with a special focus on horse welfare. Beerbaum designed a program made up of two annual “clinics” – or seminars – for riders and grooms at the Ludger Beerbaum Equestrian Center in Beijing, the second being more focused on the preparation of the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters, of which Dashing Equestrian is the organizer.

Equestrian Lifestyle

The program is also based on educational video sessions filmed in riding sport center Riesenbeck International in Germany. As a next step, the program should offer the opportunity to Chinese riders and horses to come to Riesenbeck and take part in its shows.

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Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, said, “Longines is a brand deeply involved in equestrian sports, having a long lasting passion of more than a century for them and sharing the common values of Elegance, Tradition and Performance with the equestrian world. Therefore we are very excited to support the Longines World Equestrian Academy’s purpose of further developing equestrian sports in such a high potential region as China, leaning on the expertise of world star rider Ludger Beerbaum. Besides, this partnership is perfectly in line with our large commitment to equestrian sports events in China, in the disciplines of horseracing and show jumping.”

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Ludger Beerbaum stated, “I have been closely involved in the equestrian development in China since 2006, two years before the Olympic Games in Beijing. Over the last decade I have followed the expansion of the sport and rapidly growing interest in equestrianism in China. With the newly founded Longines World Equestrian Academy –LWEA- a concept of two top class equestrian centers, one in Beijing, China and one in Riesenbeck, Germany, my team and I will be able to train, teach and further educate Chinese riders and people interested in the horse industry i.e. course builders, grooms, stewards, farrier etc. It is a great honour to have a global player such as Longines as a partner for this unique project. With their support we now have the platform to take the horse sport in China to the next level.”

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Longines HQ in St Imier (Swiss)

Jing Li, CEO of Beijing Dashing Equestrian Cultural CO Ltd., commented, “It is with great appreciation and honor that we are teaming with Longines to open the Longines World Equestrian Academy in Beijing. This center will not only act as a riding school for all levels looking to get the best possible training available, but also to educate China in all facets of the equestrian sport. China is currently in its infancy with regards to its experience in the sport and to establish this training center in Beijing to assist in expediting this process is invaluable. With Ludger Beerbaum expertise and Longines support we are quite fortunate to have the best in the world associated with the Beijing facility. To have Longines recognize the importance of this development and partner with us at the training center is another example of their commitment to the equestrian sport in China and throughout the world. We are indebted to Longines for this wonderful commitment and we look forward to working with them to establish a first class center we all can be proud of.”

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Longines’ commitment to equestrian sport dates back to 1878, when the brand produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and his mount. Seen on the New York racetracks as early as 1881 and extremely popular among jockeys and horse-lovers, this model enabled its user to time performances to the seconds. In 1912, the company partnered for the first time with an international show jumping competition in Portugal. Today, Longines is an active partner in flat racing, show jumping, eventing and endurance. In these four disciplines, Longines is the Official Partner, the Official Timekeeper and the Official Watch of international institutions, events, races and competitions. Elegance, Performance and Tradition are values that both equestrian sports and Longines share, which strengthen the profound bounds that the brand has been developing with the equestrian world for more than a century.

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Longines HQ Hourglass in St Imier, Swiss

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier in Switzerland since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. Longines has generations of experience as official timekeeper of world championships and as partner of international sports federation. Known for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd, the World’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 150 countries

Press info Longines

Thanks to Swiss Air