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H&M Challenge van de Begijnakker retires from the sport

Tuesday, 05 June 2018
Sport

Photo (c) Dirk Caremans H&M Challenge van de Begijnakker with Ludo Philippaerts in the saddle. Photo (c) Dirk Caremans.

After a long and successful career with different members of the Philippaerts-family, H&M Challenge van de Begijnakker will now enjoy a quieter life. The Belgian showjumping family took their farewell with H&M Challenge van de Begijnakker last Friday, after seven years together.

The now 16-year-old gelding was the last Grand Prix horse of Ludo Philippaerts, who himself stopped competing in 2015. Together, the pair was third in the prestigious Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in 2012 – just one of their many highlights together.

The story of H&M Challenge van de Begijnakker and the Philippaerts-family is one of smiles and tears. "Eight years ago, I saw Challenge during the Nations Cup in Aachen," says Ludo Philippaerts in a press release. "Our partnership started a year later. Challenge was a hard worker, a go-getter with a very good character. It clicked incredibly between us (…) Our third place in the Calgary Grand Prix is one of our best moments together. In 2013, we were clear in the first round of the Nations Cup in Aachen. The victory was within reach until I made a mistake on the last fence and dropped a rail. Challenge had worked so hard, and had earned that victory. We saw our good performances translate into selection for the European Championships in Herning. However, Challenge suffered an eye injury that kept him out of competition for a long time. In that period, he stayed for a while at the horse clinic in Rocourt where I regularly visited him. We grew closer to each other. He did not want to know about giving up. In May 2014, he made his comeback at Jumping Lummen. After I stopped with the active sport, Nicola, Olivier and for a short time also Anthony competed Challenge. His good character made it possible for my sons to be successful with him. Because of an injury, he now retires from the sport and returns to the Keisse-family. I am very grateful to them that we have been allowed to work together for seven years with H&M Challenge van de Begijnakker. He can now trot carefree in the field, and enjoy life after top sport. Thank you for everything Challenge!"

 


Source: Press release from the Philippaerts-family // Picture © Dirk Caremans

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