Ludger Beerbaum is one of the living legends of the sport. He has been a key rider for the German team for many years now and has already competed at several World Cup finals, European championships and Olympic Games. Yet, at first he didn't think of becoming a rider at all: "As a little boy I was actually afraid of horses," he says.
“As a little boy I was actually afraid of horses,” laughs Beerbaum. "So I almost never started riding at all. At the age of six I got a pony but he bit me. The love between him and me was therefore quickly cooled. I did not want to have anything to do with horses for years until I accompanied a friend of mine to the stables when I was about ten years old. I used to spend time there and watch him ride. There I decided I wanted to give it another shot, "he continues.
"I also believed for a long time that I was not good enough to make it at the higher level. I think the turning point in that area came when I was 17, when I became German Junior Champion. It was only then that I realized that I could actually ride ". Nevertheless, the start of his career was not smooth sailing: "My parents especially wanted me to look for a 'real' job, which often led to discussions. I even started an education at the university: I studied economics there. However, after four semesters I was able to make a deal with my parents. I took a gap year to fully focus on the horses. If then I found that I could not make it in equestrian sport, I would go back to college, I promised my parents. The rest is history", the German laughs.
Source: GCT Stars in the Spotlight