Ludger Beerbaum is currently in China, where he has been involved in the Longines Beijing Equestrian Masters – both as a competitor and as organizer. As an ambassador for the horse sport in China, Ludger speaks about the globalization of the sport in an interview with the Longines Beijing Equestrian Masters. Below you can read an extract of what Ludger had to say.
The horse sport has become more global over the last years. What do you think about this trend?
"Our sport has without doubt made a really big step in a short period of time. For us riders it was like a big mountain that was in front of us; long travels for the horses, big logistic challenges and suddenly we had a lot more to manage. When I look back at the last years, I most of all see it as a big opportunity. Showjumping is not football or Formula 1, so we should be happy that we have gotten the possibility to present our sport internationally. Many sports envy us, that we can be part of the emerging markets globally. And for us personally it gives us broaden horizons.”
And not just for the riders...
"Of course not. We riders see ourselves as ambassadors for the whole horse sport. Not just in Germany, that also goes for the other nations. And know-how is asked for in many professions. Trainers, judges, blacksmiths and veterinarians are needed as well as breeders, show organizers and outfitters. This transfer is a big chance for the sport - and of course also lucrative."
What do you think about the development of Longines Equestrian Masters, that is taking place this weekend at Bird's Nest in Peking and that you also are involved in?
"Since the premiere in 2011 a lot has happened. The whole organization has become more professional, the show is by now pretty well known and is thereby more interesting - for the audience, media and sponsors."
Where is the horse sport in China at the moment?
"A lot has happened here as well in a short period of time. Slowly a base of many national shows has developed and many of them are getting assistance from European organizing agents. The awareness of the sport has grown a lot, and the sport is more well known. Now several Chinese riders are traveling to Europe to train and just look at the sport."
What are the most urgent problems?
"We will for sure have solved the quarantine problem in a near future. Today horses from Europe are only allowed to travel in to China, but they are not allowed to travel out of China. That is why my colleagues and I are competing on borrowed horses here. When we have sorted that problem out, the development of the top sport can once again accelerate."
Source: Press release from the Longines Beijing Equestrian Masters
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