Ludo Philippaerts talks about 2014

2014 was  a year with mixed feelings for Ludo Philippaerts. The Belgian rider was happy because his kids were performing very well. The oldest twin Nicola and Olivier had a great year: Nicola won his first World Cup and Olivier won in Aken with the Belgian team. Ludo’s youngest kids also found a place in the spotlight. Thibault won his first international competition and Anthony stepped into the world of showjumping. But it was also a year full of doubt after a heavy fall from Ludo. “It was a year full of extremes“, Ludo explains. “My kids had a wonderful year. Olivier and Nicola are only 21 years old but they’re better than I was at that age.”


Ludo and Challenge at the Grand Prix in Lummen.

Also an emotional and beautiful moment in 2014 was the comeback of Challenge van de Begijnakker, Ludo’s top horse. Challenge had an eye injury and was out from December 2013 until March 2014. “Challenge is a special horse and maybe that’s why he suits me so well. I also have a strong volition and am sometimes tough to handle. But that’s a quality in our sport. That’s what they call determination! We fought back after some difficult months but then there was that fall in Fountainebleau. It hit me, physically and mentally. There was doubt and I didn’t feel like riding anymore.” Ludo decided to give Challenge to Nicola because there were some of Nicola’s horses injured. Like a true father and sportslover Ludo decided to manage the carreer of his sons. “It’s something that excites me and that I love to do.”


Thibault Philippaerts with Esprit van de Wellington.

And now there’s Jumping Mechelen and for the second year in a row Ludo will not compete there. “I won the World Cup there two times“, he says. “It’s a wonderful competition. I have been thinking about quitting but I’m not ready with this sport yet. The past weeks we’ve bought some new horses so Challenge can return to me and next year we’ll just go on. I will not quit but I do realize that it will be difficult to come back to the highest level but I’m a fighter. The youngsters are out there and they are ready. We are blessed with a lot of young talent in Belgium, not only my sons but also other riders. I want to compete and do something with the experience that I have. I want to help and think about the future of our sport.”


source: press release Philippaerts




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