Shock for Showjumping World: Ludo Philippaerts' Stallion Darco dies in Belgium
By Tess Crebbin
A great loss was suffered by the showjumping world last month when the legendary Belgian jumping stallion Darco, ridden by Ludo Philippaerts to Olympic Level and one of the top 10 showjumping breeding sires in the world, died in Belgium. Darco was one of the most successful showjumping horses ever and was also one of the top breeding sires worldwide for jumping horses.
Photo with kind permission of Australian Horse Magazine
"His loss is a major blow to us," said Bart Hendrix by telephone from the home stables of Darco, the Stall Doperheide in Belgium. "It was a freak accident, really, that claimed his life. In his box, while getting up in the morning, he broke his leg. It was a very complicated break, right at the knee, and there was absolutely nothing we could do for him."
Darco's list of achievements as a jumping stallion is testimony to his dream-like career and that of his rider who credits the stallion with getting him into the international show-jumping circuit: the pair came 7th at the Barcelona Olympics, 2nd at Spruce Meadows/Calgary, 6th in the World Equestrian Games and Stockholm, and won and placed highly at countless World-Cups and other important international events. As a sire, Darco, who was described by his rider as an extremely honest and intelligent horse never known to produce offspring that fell short of excellence, was always on top of the list for breeders from all over the world. Mares produced by him are highly coveted as brood mares and often sell for astronomical prices, while many of his male offspring have gone on to become highly successful themselves: Parco (by Darco x Attack Z) was 9th on the World Ranking List in 2001, while King Darco competed at the Atlanta Olympics with Philippaerts.
Born in 1980, Darco (by Lugano, out of Ocoucha by Codex x Faust) came to Ludo Philippaerts at the age of 5 and the pair embarked on what became a great international career. After his retirement from the sport, Darco became one of the World's best breeding stallions for show-jumpers and has remained so until his death in mid-June 2006. The guest book of the website of Philippaerts overflows with condolence messages from all over the world for the loss of what certainly was one of the most exceptional jumping horses of our time.
| || ||Der Löwe xx|
| || ||Lugano ||Altwunder |
| ||Lugano van la Roche|| || Ableger|
| || ||Alderfluet ||Dichterspiel|
|Darco|| || || |
| || || ||Cottage Son xx|
| || ||Codex ||Ettal|
| ||Ocoucha|| ||Faust|
| || ||Latoucha ||Atoucha|
Further information on Darco, his full pedigree and his achievements can be found at the following website (in Flemish only): http://www.ludophilippaerts.be/ludoendarco.php