Wellington, Florida, USA – Sadly, Nicola Philippaerts‘ (BEL) H&M Chilli Willi was put down last Friday while competing at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida, USA. The duo had just crossed the line of a CSI 5* class. Unfortunately, right after the last obstacle, the son of the legendary Casall stumbled and broke his left foreleg. The horse was fully examined and results showed that he had had a very complicated fracture. Nicola and his father, legendary showjumper Ludo Philippaerts (BEL) had to make a tough decision of having the stallion euthanized.
Nicola and the 13-year-old bay Holsteiner stallion (Casall x Lord) wrote many chapters of their successful partnership competing at the highest level of the sport. Their partnership began at 2015, with the Belgian having developed the horse from the age of 7, jumping 1.30m all the way up to five-star level. Their first major achievement came in 2017 when the dynamic duo finished in third place in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Miami CSI 5*, going on to jump double clear in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Sopot CSIO 5*, Poland. Together, they continued to shine claiming the Belgian Championship under the irons of Nicola in the same year.
The breakout season happened in 2018, with Nicola and H&M Chilli Willi winning the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Chantilly CSI 5*, also contributing to the London Knights with dominant performances and clear rounds that propelled the team to win the Longines Global Champions League.
The partnership continued producing great performances at the five-star level, claiming a third-place in the Longines Grand Prix of Doha CSI 5* and another podium finish with bronze honors in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Chantilly CSI 5*.
Due to the pandemic, Nicola and H&M Chilli Willi didn’t have many opportunities to compete last year but the pair had gone to Wellington to prepare for the summer season with the hope of being selected to represent Belgium in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Nicola Philippaerts made the following statement on his Instagram account:
“Thank you for all the great memories and years together my superstar you’ll always have a special place in my heart and I will miss you a lot Chilli Willi. Sleep well my friend.”
On behalf of the Jumper News Team, we send our condolences to Nicola Phillippaerts, the Philippaerts family and all those close to H&M Chilli Willi.
Source: Philippaerts – We Live Horses
Text: Jumper News, no reproduction without permission
Photo: © Philippaerts – We Live Horses