Ludger Beerbaum (born August 26, 1963) is an internationally successful German rider who competes in show jumping, and has been ranked the No. 1 Show Jumper in the world by the FEI on multiple occasions.
Early life and competitive career
Beerbaum was born in Detmold, Germany. In school he took Business Studies, but eventually gave it up for a career in show jumping.
Beerbaum began riding on a Highland Pony at the age of 8. He had a very successful career as a Junior and Young Rider, which continued into his adulthood. His most notable accomplishments include winning 4 Olympic Golds (his first at age 25) and numerous European and World Championship medals.
On Sunday September 21, 2008, at the Samsung Super League Final in Barcelona, Beerbaum was a member of the winning German Nations Cup team. He was awarded Leading Rider of the 2008 Super League, along with 50,000 CHF ($46,000). In the Final he rode the nine year old Westphalian gelding, All Inclusive NRW to a double clear round, and was one of only two riders to do so, his team mate Marco Kutscher being the other.
Ludger Beerbaum is the oldest of 4 children, his siblings being Ruth, Monika, and show jumper Markus Beerbaum. He has two children: Alexander and stepdaughter Vivien. He is also brother-in-law to Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum.
- Goldfever: 1991 chestnut Hanoverian stallion (by Grosso Z)
- Ratina Z: 1982 bay Hanoverian mare (Ramiro Z x Almé Z)
- Gladdys S: 1992 chestnut Westphalian mare (Grandeur x Apart)
- PS Priamos: 1982 chestnut Westphalian gelding (Pilot x Direx)
- Enorm: 1997 bay Hanoverian gelding (Escudo I x Calypso II)
- Couleur Rubin: 1996 chestnut Oldenburg stallion (by Cordalme Z)
- L'Espoir: 1996 chestnut Zangersheide gelding (by Landwind II)
- All Inclusive: 1999 bay Westphalian gelding (Arpeggio x Phantom)
At the 2004 Olympic Games, Beerbaum and his mount, Goldfever, managed to finish with only 4 penalty points, helping Germany earn the team gold medal. However, following the competition, Goldfever tested positive for the prohibited substance betamethasone. The International Equestrian Federation found Beerbaum guilty of breaking the rules, stripping both him and his German team of their medals, dropping Germany down to bronze. Beerbaum believed the substance to have been present in an ointment administered to the horse due to a skin irritation, and the FEI agreed that the substance provided no competitive advantage. However, in accordance to the rule, Beerbaum was disqualified.
- Team Gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games: 17.25 penalties (The Freak)
- Individual Gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games: 0 penalties (Classic Touch)
- Team Gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games: 1.75 penalties (Ratina Z)
- Team Gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games: 15 penalties (Goldfever)
- Disqualified, losing team gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games—See "Doping Offense" above (Goldfever)
- Bronze medal team, individually 5th place at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany (L'Espoir)
- 4th place team, 22nd individually at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain (Gladdys S)
- Gold medal team, 5th individually at the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome, Italy (Priamos)
- Gold medal team, 4th individually at the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Hague, Netherlands (Ratina Z)
- Silver medal team, 73rd individually at the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden (Gazelle)
- Team Silver, Individual Bronze at the 2007 CH-EU in Mannheim, Germany (Goldfever 3)
- Team Gold, Individual Silver at the 2003 CH-EU in Donaueschingen, Germany (Goldfever 3)
- Team Bronze, Individual Gold at the 2001 CH-EU in Arnhem, Netherlands (Gladdys S)
- Team Gold, Individually 26th at the 1999 CH-EU in Hickstead, (Champion du Lys)
- Team Gold, Individual Gold at the 1997 CH-EU in Mannheim, Germany (Ratina Z)
- Team 4th, Individually 29th at the 1993 CH-EU in Gijon, Spain (Rush On)
- Team 5th, Individually 21st at the 1991 CH-EU in La Baule, France (Grand Plaisir)
- Team 5th, Individually 23rd at the 1987 CH-EU in St. Gallen, Switzerland (Wiener Domspatz)
- Team Bronze, Individual Bronze at the 1984 CH-EU-Y in Cervia, Italy (Wittersfernde)
World Cup Final
- 6th place at the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, USA
- 12th place at the 2005 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, USA (Couleur Rubin)
- 8th place at the 2003 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, USA (Goldfever 3)
- 2nd place at the 2002 World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany (Gladdys S)
- 3rd place at the 1998 World Cup Final in Helsinki, Finland (P.S. Priamos)
- 1st place at the 1993 World Cup Final in Göteborg, Sweden (Ratina Z)
Other major achievements
- Multiple No. 1 Show Jumper ranking by the FEI
- 8-time winner of the German masters (1988, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004)
- 3-time Rider of the Year (2001, 2002, 2003)
- 3-time winner of the Grand Prix of Aachen (1996 Ratina Z; 2002 and 2003 Goldfever)
- Winner of the Bambi prize in 1992
- Winner of the 2002 CN International at the Spruce Meadows Masters