This afternoon Ludo Philippaerts had a big announcement to make at Dorperheide stables. Ludo will no longer be active as a top rider. He has been riding since he was 6 years old but after 46 years it’s time to quit. ‘My sons Nicola and Olivier still have a long way to go but they are doing great‘, Ludo says. ‘Thibault and Anthony are building their way and together with my wife Veronique I want to support our sons. It was a difficult decision but I started thinking about it some time ago.’ Last year Ludo made a comeback withChallenge van de Begijnakker who had an eye injury. He won the Nations Cup in Rome together with his son Nicola and won the qualification class in Sankt Gallen. But then Ludo fell off his horse at Fountainebleau. That fall changed everything. ‘I competed at Bergen ten days later but I couldn’t do it anymore. I went home and told my wife I would not ride anymore. I have been thinking about it for some time and today I can announce this decision.’
Ludo says goodbye to the sport at the highest level but will still be active coaching his kids. Darco is the horse everyone will remember with Ludo. Ludo won two world cups and went to the Olympics in 1992 with the stallion. But that’s not everything. He also had quite some success with Fidelgo, Winningmood van de Arenberg, Otterongo and of course the wonderful white stallion Parco. His last successes were with Challenge van de Begijnakker who is now one of Nicola’s horses. Ludo competed 4 times at the Olympics and went to the European Championships 7 times. In 2001 he won the silver medal at Arnhem. He also won 6 national titles with 6 different horses and competed at 130 Nation Cups. So yes, you can say this man surely put his mark on top jumping. ‘I think I can look back at a successful carreer‘, Ludo explains. ‘I always worked hard and I am happy that I can do this for a living. Being able to ride and compete together with my kids is just an amazing thing.’
I’m quite sure Ludo will be a great coach and he will enjoy watching his sons compete. Click HERE if you want to watch a wonderful video of his best moments and click HERE if you want to hear what Ludo had to say against Sporza.