After a relaxing holiday, our family turned back to Europe. Two of us, Nicola and Olivier, got back to work immediately. They arrived in Basel in the meantime. Just before leaving to Switzerland, they took some time to look back to 2017 and to look forward to 2018.
2017 wasn’t the best year for Olivier Philippaerts. “At the start of the season, I fell and ended up with a concussion. The outdoor season wasn’t so bad at all. The European Championship, that was my goal. I worked so long and hard to get there. Unfortunately, just the day before I fell again. A shoulder fracture… One week later, I was on the operating table. Today, I’m still recovering. Anyway, I made my comeback by winning the GP at Jumping Maastricht. I’d like to work towards the Logines Global Champions Tour with Ikker. My biggest ambition for 2018? Getting placed for the world equestrian games in Tryon. I don’t want to miss the World Championship.”.
Nicola Phillippaerts will always remember 2017 as his year winning the Belgian Championship. “I didn’t won any other big competition except for the Belgian Championship, so I finished 2017 just outside the top 30. I had some really good results, but it just wasn’t close enough, except for the Belgian Championship of course. I always try to work with long-term objectives. In that respect, Chilli Willi’s progress is quite extraordinary. But he can become even better, as he was even better during the outdoor as the indoor season. Just like Olivier, my heart is set on Tryon. We’ll be competitors, but hey, some healthy concurrence never killed anybody.
It is up to pater familias Ludo Philippaerts to conclude “ 2017 wasn’t an outstanding year at all. It wasn’t our best year, but we can’t call it bad neither. Olivier had a though year. Nicola followed my footsteps and became Belgian Champion. They are around for a while now. They are still young and have a lot of potential. The same goes for the horses. In that respect, I’m joining Nicola’s opinion about Chilli Willi’s development. Thibault and Anthony made some real progress as well this year. I hope that they can continue this progression as well. Personally, the past year was the busiest year in my whole career. For 2018, all I could wish for is a healthy year for horse and rider. That is the foundation of everything.”