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Inspired by his bigger brothers

August 2015: Thibault and Okehurst Little Bow Wow picked up the bronze at the European Chamionships for Jumping (Ponies) in Malmö. The jumping world was ecstatic: young Philippaerts was following in the footsteps of his father and brothers and was destined for excellence

Thibault was not in Sweden as a trial. In fact, he had already joined the Landelijke Rijvereniging (the national association of equestrian riders in Belgium) at the age of six, and looking up to his older brothers, Nicola and Olivier, fuelled by a desire to learn. It was especially his mother, Veronique, who took Thibault and his little brother, Anthony, under her wing with supervision from father Ludo when he wasn’t away at top-level competitions or committed to his older children’s careers.

Spruce Meadows

Thibault dug his teeth into his career, dedicatedly pursuing his ambitions. In 2014, his team won a silver medal at the European Championships. In 2015, with Cristallina, he won gold at the Belgian Championship for Children. A year later, he finished second at the Belgian Championship for Ponies, this time with Okehurst. Ludo and Veronique were bursting with pride.

Halfway through 2016, Thibault advanced from ponies to horses. And in September 2017, he made his first journey across the Atlantic Ocean to shine at the famous Spruce Meadows complex. ‘An unforgettable experience from which I learnt a lot,’ he says, looking back.

Keep track of Thibault’s top-level performances