2016 is definitely a new beginning for Ludo Philippaerts. Ludo had great successes with horses like Darco, Parco and Winningmood. In april 2015 he decided it was time for him to quit showjumping after a fall. He told us that he wanted to use his experience to help his sons. If you want to read about why he made that decision, just click HERE. At Jumping Mechelen it was time to honor the great sportsman Ludo is. First the VLP gave him an award and then during the FEI World Cup it was time for an emotional tribute.
Jumping Mechelen was a successful competition for the family Philippaerts. Olivier won the Grand Prix Topsport Vlaanderen with H&M Legend of Love while Nicola made it to the jump-off of the World Cup with H&M Forever d’Arco Ter Linden. He ended 8th and qualified for the World Cup Final later this year. For Ludo it was the first time he was at Jumping Mechelen as a coach and father instead of coach, father and rider. ‘Receiving a standing ovation from the crowd was fantastic‘, Ludo says. ‘It reminded me of the two victories I had in Mechelen. At that time the crowd cheered at me in the same way. Back then I was a rider, now I’m an ex-athlete but still it feels good to receive such an ovation. It’s something I will miss. It has been eight months since I rode a horse and I must say it’s another sort of life now. I used to be in the saddle everyday but now I’m guiding the kids. I try to go to as many shows as possible. There I look for horses which might suit the boys. Seeing one of my kids win, feels even better. It’s the most beautiful thing there is. It felt fantastic seeing Olivier win the Grand Prix in Mechelen.‘
Ludo competed four times at the Olympic Games but there’s a huge possibility he won’t see his boys competing in Rio this year. Belgium doesn’t have a showjumping team for the Olympic Games. They can send an individual rider and in the best case maybe two riders. Needless to say there are a lot of riders for those places. ‘I hope Olivier qualifies himself for the Olympic Games‘, says Ludo. ‘It’s going to be very difficult but there’s always a small chance.‘ Ludo is a happy man when he looks back at 2015. ‘Thibault did a great job winning a medal at the European Championships. Olivier had a great season, certainly the last weeks. Nicola had a less good season but he qualified himself for the final of the World Cup which is great. I’m still hoping Olivier can also earn some points so he can go to the final too. That final is the first thing I’m looking forward to this year.’
source: Stoeterij Dorperheide