Beerbaum wins his second title

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The Independent Online

Ludger Beerbaum repeated his 1997 victory yesterday when he won the individual title for Germany at the European Show Jumping Championships after two flawless clear rounds on nine-year-old Gladdys.

The hyper-sensitive mare does not often appear at prize-giving ceremonies because they make her overwrought. Yesterday, however, was an exception. "Everybody here wanted to see the European champion, but you could see from my lap of honour that she wasn't happy," Beerbaum said. "She will now have time in the field to forget about today's prize-giving.''

Beerbaum had been just 0.07 of a fault behind the Dutchman Wout-Jan Van Der Schans as they came into the final round in the reverse order of merit.

There were gasps from the crowds when their home rider and his grey stallion, Broere Corland, made his first error at the sixth fence. Three more were to follow, dropping him down to ninth.

The Belgian Ludo Philippaerts advanced to second on Verelst Otterongo with one of four double clear rounds to win his first medal. The Swede Rolf-Goran Bengtsson took the individual bronze.

The best British rider was Di Lampard, who finished in 21st on Abbervail Dream.

When Beerbaum was asked to compare Gladdys with two other mares – Classic Touch, on whom he won the individual Olympic gold medal in 1992, and Ratina, who carried him to his 1997 European title – the German was unequivocal.

"Gladdys has the scope of Classic Touch, the speed and carefulness of Ratina. I am the luckiest person in the world to ride this horse," he said.

EUROPEAN SHOW JUMPING CHAMPIONSHIPS (Arnhem): Individual Championship: 1 Gladdys (L Beerbaum, Ger) 8.07 faults; 2 Verelst Otterongo (L Philippaerts, Bel) 14.19; 3 Isovlas Pialotta (R-G Bengtsson, Swe) 15.81; 4 Tinka's Boy (M Fuchs, Swit) 17.77; 5 AK Caridor (J Lansink, Bel) 18.82; 6 Liscalgot (D Lennon, Irl) 19.10. Best GB: 21 Abbervail Dream (D Lampard) 30.85 when withdrawing before final round.