POLICE freed kidnapped Swedish showjumper Ulrika Bidegard early today,

ending a five-day ordeal in which she had been kept trussed, blindfolded

and starved in a specially-built refrigerated goods container.

The pre-dawn raid on an apartment in the inner Brussels suburb of Ix

Belgiso netted the 31-year-old kidnapper, Swede Lars Nilsson.

''The police found (Bidegard) blindfolded and wearing big headphones

in a large frigobox. She was tied (to a seat) by the legs, arms and

head. She spent five nights in that position,'' Belgian Crown Prosecutor

Benoit Dejemeppe told reporters.

He said that police had tracked Nilsson down after they photographed

him using the 28-year-old Bidegard's credit card to repeatedly withdraw

cash from a bank cashpoint machine.

Nilsson, who knew the Bidegard family, has been charged with

kidnapping and theft with violence, Dejemeppe said, adding that he did

not try to resist arrest.

But police found no trace of the weapon Nilsson admitted using during

last Wednesday's kidnapping from the family's house in the exclusive

Sint-Genesius-Rode suburb of Brussels.

''Apparently the motive was money,'' Dejemeppe said. ''But Nilsson

never named an amount and gave no indication of how it should be paid.''

Nilsson made his phone calls to the Bidegard family from different phone

boxes in Ixelles.

Ulrika's brother, Bo Christian, later told reporters: ''The whole

family met at the hospital and there was real family hapiness. There

were tears and it was hugging and everything . . . to see Ulrika alive

was incredible.''

He said she had been given only one and a half bananas to eat and two

glasses of water to drink during her ordeal.

Dejemeppe said Bidegard, one of Sweden's top five showjumpers, was

suffering from shock but was otherwise unharmed and there was no sign of

sexual assault.

Dejemeppe said the frigobox, about 5ft 2in high, had a hole underneath

the seat ''for natural needs''.

He said Nilsson, believed to be an unemployed architect, had installed

flooring in the Bidegards' home.

Police believe Bidegard was kidnapped as she was getting out of her

car at the house where she lived with her parents.