“I haven’t regretted the new outside arena for a second. Better still: I can recommend it to everyone who works with horses on a serious level.” Ludo Philippaerts
Few years ago, stud farm Dorperheide started using a new outside arena with a revolutionary sandy soil. On the occasion of this anniversary we had a double interview with Ludo Philippaerts, the most successful jumper ever in Belgium and owner of the Dorperheide Stables, and Bart Manderveld, manager of BM Service, the company that offers high quality provisions for horses and took care of laying the new outside arena.
Is a horse arena that important?
Ludo: “A good arena is essential! To me, a good arena is one with a stable base. This reduces the number of horse injuries and also gives the horse the necessary confidence, so achievements improve more rapidly.”
Bart: “Our arena soil is specifically developed to achieve this stable base and to prevent them from becoming too hard in the long run. We first find out what the arena will be used for and then choose the specific composition of sand. This way, we can guarantee an arena that can be ridden optimally all year round.
Ludo: “The arena is used intensively every day and the resilience and stability is the same after a year. Bart will not have to lay a new one anytime soon (laughs)!”
Bart: “What’s also important: in order to be able to enjoy the arena for a long time, it must be maintained on a regular basis. Here at Dorperheide they remove the horse manure twice a day. The soil is also regularly treated with the arena drag.”
Ludo, how did you end up at BM Service?
Ludo: It’s funny that two horse lovers from Limburg have to meet for the first time on the other side of the world, in America. Bart’s vision of arena soils immediately appealed to me. The quality of an arena does not become fully clear until many riders have ridden on it or after a severe rainfall. The arenas laid by BM Service turned out to be the ones with a good result, time and time again. When we at Dorperheide needed a new arena, I called him straight away. I wanted one of theirs.”
Bart, how are you finding the cooperation with Ludo?
Bart: “It’s extremely pleasant to cooperate with someone who is on the same level. Ludo and I have the same objectives, and that’s promoting equestrianism.
Just like me, he is convinced that having good horses is not enough to succeed, but that facilities such as a good arena are at least as important.”
Ludo: “Absolutely! For me it would be ideal if the soils of BM Service were ridden on everywhere. In any case, we at Dorperheide can’t afford to ride on poor soil.”
More info about Stal Philippaerts at https://philippaerts.be/