Olivier Philippaerts is a jetsetter. After showing in Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) of Mexico City last week and LGCT Miami Beach this week, the 25-year-old Belgian show jumper will be heading to the Big Apple to compete in the Longines Masters of New York (LMNY) from April 25th to 28th.
“I’m definitely looking forward to going to Longines Masters of New York. I was there last year as well, and it was great, so I’m glad to be a part of it again,” Olivier says.
He’s also on the short list of riders from which Chef d’Equipe Philippe Guerdat will choose the Riders Europe team to defend the Riders Masters Cup team title in a head-to-head European versus American duel at LMNY. Olivier served on the winning European team at LMNY in 2018.
His horses, H&M Cue Channa 42 and Insolente des Dix Bonniers, who both competed with Olivier at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong this past February (talk about collecting frequent flyer miles), will ship from the Philippaerts’ homebase in Oudsbergen, Belgium, to meet him stateside along with their tack trunks of equipment.
Curious what Olivier packs in those trucks waiting for him in New York? We got the inside scoop:
A full set of tack will be included for both H&M Cue Channa 42 and Insolente des Dix Bonniers. Olivier thinks “it’s very important that the horse is comfortable with their equipment, so they each have their own bridle, martingale, and saddle made to their measurements. My family has worked with CWD for a long time.”
Especially on a shorter trip, the horses will have their meals of Cavalor feed packed to accompany them.
Bags and Bags of Carrots
“We always make sure the horses have plenty of carrots and other treats at all the shows,” Olivier says. “We want the horses to keep eating while they travel and to be as happy as possible, so we make sure to bring enough carrots so that they can have some with every meal ... The horses really enjoy that.”
Olivier and Insolente des Dix Bonniers.
Toys Stay Home
Some horses may have toys or stuffed animals that join them on their travels or serve as mascots, but neither H&M Cue Channa 42 nor Insolente des Dix Bonniers have one.
“These two horses are very easy-going and calm, so they don’t have any toys or anything in their stables,” Olivier says. “I want to make sure that when the horses are at shows that they get out of their boxes and move enough, so I try to make sure that they are out of their boxes regularly, so they don’t need toys to be entertained.”
Each horse has a selection of Kentucky Horsewear blankets to keep them snug. “Normally, they always travel with two blankets — a light one and a heavy one. If it looks like it’s going to be quite cold, we’ll pack a third blanket in case. But normally they’re fine with just the two.”
All the Boots
There is a pair of front, back, and overreach boots for each horse. “We use front boots with sheepskin lining, and I use boots from CWD and Kentucky Horsewear,” Olivier says. “They’re always coming out with new and better boots, and I think that’s great because the protection is important.”
Olivier is a big believer in recovery following intense competition, so he makes sure to pack a massage blanket. “We use it at home all the time and sometimes we bring it to the shows. I want to make sure that the horses are as comfortable as possible.”
Olivier and H&M Cue Channa 42.
Groom Jacqueline Schroëder has been with Olivier at LGCT Mexico and LGCT Miami and will meet H&M Cue Channa 42 and Insolente des Dix Bonniers in New York to care for them during LMNY, too.
A Sense of Camaraderie
“These two horses go to lots of shows together in Europe and they’ve been to Hong Kong together, so I think they feel comfortable together on long trips. They travel well together,” Olivier says.
No Lucky Charms Needed
You won’t find any lucky charms or pre-show superstitions here. Olivier is “not very superstitious. I don’t believe those things, so I don’t have anything like that.”
Make sure to follow along with Olivier and all the top riders competing at the Longines Masters of New York at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum from April 25th to 28th! Highlight classes include the Longines Speed Challenge, the Riders Masters Cup, and the Longines Grand Prix of New York. Get your tickets here.
Read this next: ‘Just Enjoy It’: A Day in the Life of Nicola Philippaerts
Written by Molly Sorge for Jump Media.
All photos by Sportfot. Feature image shows Olivier Philippaerts and Goofy van T Laerhof at the 2018 Longines Masters of New York.