It’s been almost 30 years that Ludger Beerbaum is chasing victory in the World Cup Grand Prix of Bordeaux : "I remember that, the first time, it was in 1987. Bertram wasn’t even born yet. I was 23, and I thought I was very young… I already had 4 more years that he has today. I won a class this year, but I never succeeded in winning the World Cup Grand Prix." And really, it’s not for lack of trying. Every time, the amazing Ludger was disappointed. Often against his friend Franke Sloothaak as in 1999 with Priasmos beaten for nothing by Joli Coeur, the fetish horse of Bordeaux where it won two World Cup and two Grand Prix around 2000.
That year, the German really thought it was his turn. Especially after the round of his fellow Marcus Ehning, another rider who is used to winning in Bordeaux but a little less fit this year with the young Singular Is La Silla, a 9 year old stallion less experienced. Yes, but still, Bertram Allen was here. A phenomenon, a winning machine that shook the world of show jumping two years ago by becoming, aged 17, the best rider of the horseshow of Dublin, Ireland. Last year, he won the Grand Prix, among others thing. During the WEG in Caen, France, he was pointed out by winning the speed class before fading. Not for long though. During the Fall, he hits the World Cup circuit by the Italian competition of Verona with his as called leading horse, the grey Molly Malone.
With others points gathered along the circuit, he comes to Bordeaux with no pressure: he already has his ticket to the World Cup Final of Las Vegas. He wins the opening competition, the Prix CEB, and make it clear about what he wants for the World Cup class: "I will ride that class with all by best, with everything to enjoy it. I didn’t bring my best horse here, so I don’t expect much regarding the results. I just want to do good." And he obviously did good leaving the German big names more than a second behind him. A performance that doesn’t seem to amaze him more than that: "My horse jumped well, I'm glad of it." Minimalist comment: shyness or winner already jaded?
On the French side, where we all expected Pénélope Leprévost or Kévin Staut, the great surprise came from Timothée Anciaume, with two clear-rounds associated to Olympique Libellule: "It’s a horse that you don’t know well because it was injured last year. It came back at the end of the year in competition but here, in Bordeaux, it was its first Grand Prix at 1m60. Ten more centimeters than what it’s used to jump. So obviously, in the jump-off, the aim was not to be fast. It lacks experience for that. These two clear-rounds have paid off because I finish 4th and best French. But the others have not fallen because Kévin is 5th and Pénélope 6th." A 6th place that means the Normande is qualified for the finale of Las Vegas. A good evening after all.
As to Ludger Beerbaum, he had to resign himself and promised: "Despite my old age, I must come back to Bordeaux."
Full results of the FEI Longines World Cup Grand Prix : http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/987/sta_erg/S05_ergENG.htm?style=long...
Provisional ranking of the FEI Longines World Cup Circuit : http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/987/docs/WC.pdf