ph. Stefano Grasso/LGCT
In a dramatic twist, the Longines Global Champions Tour Ranking Leader Ludger Beerbaum (GER) won´t compete his favoured top mount Chiara at the final, crucial event of the season at Al Shaqab, Doha. Instead the World No2, who currently leads the Championship by just 12 points, will ride his less experienced horse 10 year-old Zinedine.
Ludger Beerbaum: “The mare suffered a light colic. Although the vet gave his okay for a start, I won’t start with her.” Beerbaum went on to say that he does not wish to risk the health of his horse. “She is fine today, but still on medication and it’s not fair to compete her here.”
Beerbaum is in a three-man fight for the 2014 title with World No1 Scott Brash (GBR) and the in-form Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE). “It will be very difficult to stay ahead until the end,” said Ludger. “The chances would have been more secure with Chiara, but that’s how it is. I am looking forward to Saturday, I will try my best. It’s not over yet!”
With Brash and Bengtsson fielding their top horses, Hello Sanctos and Casall ASK, Beerbaum’s narrow lead has become even more precarious and the German star’s title hopes now rest with his young stallion. Beerbaum was widely tipped as hot-favourite for the big win on Saturday, but this last-minute switch of horses for the final showdown will make the Championship race much closer.