Did you know that two of Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts' top horses – the lovely mare Legend of Love and the feisty stallion Chilli Willi – have a love child together? That love child is now a promising 5-year-old and her name is – well, you guessed it – Child of Love.
Child of Love came to be by accident, an accident that at the time did not amuse her German breeder Gerald Nothdurft. But, as the years have gone by Nothdurft can now laugh about it and is looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Child of Love.
“I bought Legend of Love when she was a 4-year-old, and Chilli Willi when he was a 3-year-old,” Gerald tells World of Showjumping. “I went for a holiday, and my mother was looking after the horses. One day, Chilli Willi jumped out of his paddock and ran into Legend of Love’s paddock. My mother did not tell me about this until three months later when she asked me to maybe let a vet have a look at Legend of Love, so I did that. The vet came, and said that she was doing very well – and that she was expecting a foal!”
“At this time, I wanted to go with her for a show in Spain – so I had to change the plans a little bit… I was not too amused about the situation. But now, five years later, I am very happy with her! Last year, she herself had a stallion foal by Gemini. Now, we have just done the first jumps with her under the saddle – and she looks great! During the next two years I want to do the first shows with her myself.”
Olivier Philippaerts, the rider of Child of Love’s mother, is equally happy about the offspring. “It was an accident, but I think it is nice to have an offspring from these two horses that Nicola and I am riding. I have seen one jump from Child of Love, and I think she looks really nice!”
If Child of Love is going to be anything like her famous parents, her future will be bright: “Legend of Love was not so experienced when I got her, but I felt that the quality was there so I took my time with her. I think she might be one of the best horses I have ever ridden,” Olivier says.
Text © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen // Pictures © Jenny Abrahamsson and private collection (No reproduction without permission)
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