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That Special Bond – with Nicola Philippaerts

Monday, 02 April 2018
That Special Bond

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Nicola Philippaerts and Carlos V.H.P.Z. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

In our series ’That Special Bond’ we speak with some of the top names in the sport about the horses that have shaped their careers, left a lasting impression and sometimes even broken hearts. This time around we sit down with Belgian rider Nicola Philippaerts, who lost the horse that in his eyes is the best horse in the world at the moment. 

The Special One

“The special one for me must be Carlos V.H.P.Z (later named HH Carlos Z), that McLain Ward recently retired. Everything started with him. He won the Grand Prix in Falsterbo in 2012, I rode my first Super League Nations Cup in Dublin with him and we took the individual gold as well as the team gold at the Europeans for Young Riders in 2011. Carlos was the one I started my career as a senior with. I got him when he was seven years old and he had a lot of character, but in a good way. He always wanted to do very well, and he was super careful. He did a lot for me and won so many classes. He always came back with money from the show. Carlos just had a super character and always gave his best. I’m happy everything started with him."

"We bought Carlos in Belgium from Roger van Oproy. I built him up for the juniors, the young riders and then the seniors and actually that was perfect for him, because he was really careful when he was young. In this way, we could grow into the sport together over the years. I had him until he was 10-years-old, and then we sold him to Emilie Martinsen and after a while she sold him to McLain Ward and they won many, many classes together. Carlos will always stay very special to me."

The Money Maker

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Nicola Philippaerts with H&M Harley v Bisschop. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

“I think it is very difficult to say which one has been the money maker. Carlos won a lot of money, but H&M Harley vd Bisschop that I have now won quite a lot of money as well. The times changed a little and I think these two won the most money.” 

The One That Got Away

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Peder Fredricson and H&M All In. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

“The one that got away has to be All In, that we sold when he was seven years old to Team H&M. I’m very happy they bought him and I’m super happy for Peder, but this is for sure a horse that got away. For me he is far out the best horse in the world at the moment. I think it is a horse of a lifetime, and he can make the career of a rider as well."

"I got All In when he was six and rode him for some owners. After the World Championships in Lanaken, when he was seven, he was sold to H&M. All In was very hot with a lot of blood, but he jumped! And he was always clear. I think I jumped him in 38 classes and 36 times he was clear. He was just a bit difficult and a bit hot when he was young, and he still is sometimes. All In has so much power and one of his qualities is that he can always jump forward; you never have to push him. H&M All In was for sure the horse that got away." 

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