Ludo Philippaerts starts riding again. Later this week, he’ll participate at some shows in Oliva, where our family traditionally prepares for the new season. Ludo prefers not to use the word comeback. After his physical transformation, he decided not only to pass on his experience by theory, but also in practice to his youngest sons Thibault and Anthony. Even though the love for the sport never disappeared, Ludo just rediscovered the pleasure of riding again a few months ago, causing a drive to compete again regularly at smaller competitions.
On 28th April 2015, Ludo said goodbye to the sport. At the age of 51, he put an end to his long and successful career. During his career he took part in the Olympic Games four times, won silver at the European Championship 2001 in Arnhem and became Belgian Champion for no less than six times. By ending his career, he wanted to focus more on trading and his sons’ careers. Six years later, both Nicola and Olivier took some big steps forward and Thibault and Anthony are ready as well.
Due to a surgery and 30kgs of weight loss, Ludo is sharper than ever before. A ride in October brought back that drive. “I don’t want to call it a comeback, but I’m eager to start again.”, says Ludo. “I’ve missed that the past five years. When I got back in the saddle in October, the joy of riding game back straight away. Actually, I’m just having fun, so much that I’d like to compete again. Not for the topsport, but for the pleasure it gives me. I hope that I can enjoy it for a long time. This way, I can coach my sons not only in a theoretical way, but also in practice. We’ll see if I’m still able to show it on the higher fences, I can’t answer that yet. Going on shows with nice horses, enjoy myself and support my sons at the same time, that’s the goal I strive for.”
Ludo underwent a huge transformation last year. He now weighs 30kilos less. “For sure, the weight loss plays a role in the eagerness to ride again. By ending my career, everything stopped and I put on weight. Half a year ago, I had enough of it, searched for help and became a different person. I’m glad that I took that step. I’m lighter, I feel better and I’m riding again every day. I want to keep enjoying it, there’s no ‘must do’ no more, I only want to have fun. Enjoy myself and improve the horses for my kids, that’s it.”