10/05/2019 - Portraits

A young talent very promising

photo's frédéric remouchamps

Louise Ameeuw is part of the national team and continues to do very well. We chat with an already well-established champion.  

On a bright spring day in early April where we can already fully appreciate the surroundings, the Ecaussinnes stables reveal their tranquil majesty. It is an idyllic setting that exudes serenity. The smile of the young rider getting off her horse to share some time with us must certainly be influenced by this state of affairs. At 12, the daughter of Christophe Ameeuw - who is the owner of the property - is already an accomplished rider. "I ride in the Children's team at international level," she explains. Having distinguished herself many times in the 1.3 m jumps, she aims to join the Juniors team within the next two years. Her first riding memory? "It's been my passion since I was a little girl," she says. "I got my first pony at the age of three, and horses are like a second family to me.” Today, Louise has four. What she remembers most is when she started to trot and then gallop. As well as her first show jumping. "It was with my pony Flocon; we jumped 60 cm," she recalls. The fantastic sensation she felt still brings a twinkle to her eye when she talks about it. It is with this 12-year-old pony B that she discovered this magnificent confidence.

A beautiful relationship
What the young rider really appreciates is the complicity that she experiences with the horse. It is what she loves most over anything else even. "We are a team, we go to the end together, it's not each one for himself.” Basically, it’s a form of unity. But it is also important for her to have a competitive spirit: "When I get on the track, it's to win," she says. Her mother Fernanda Ameuuw readily confirms this. "Louise is very proactive, it's totally part of her personality.”

An already impressive record
Pour Louise, 2018 a été synonyme d’accélération. « J’ai beaucoup évolué », constate-t-elle avec simplicité. Alors que cette année devait essentiellement lui servir à consolider ses bases pour passer les qualifications en 2019, tout s’est passé plus vite que prévu, d’une première participation à la Coupe des Nations à Opglabbeek, au Championnat de Belgique où elle s’est qualifiée pour le Championnat d’Europe en remportant la médaille de bronze par équipe. « Cela a été ma plus belle récompense ! », s’exclame la jeune championne. Ce que cela lui a apporté ? Une forme d’assertivité, très certainement. Encouragée depuis toujours par sa maman - elle-même grande cavalière -, Louise confie que c’est ce soutien maternel qui continue de la porter au fil de son évolution. Trouver le juste équilibre entre sa scolarité - étant par ailleurs une excellente élève - et cette belle passion, y participe.

Inspirational role models
Apart from her family as a role model, Louise admires many riders. One example? Kevin Staut. “When I was little, he used to ride here at the stables a lot. He showed me what work and perseverance are”. Essential values, like determination, which seem to come so naturally to her. And speaking of this rider-horse complicity that she enjoys so much, is there a special animal in particular? Without question, her horse LoverBoy. "It was with him that I competed in most of the big competitions and learned the most.” Is there a horse she likes to follow? The mare Catch me if you can. "I love to watch her run, her way of jumping, of engaging on the track, of being competitive".  

"My horse LoverBoy showed me that he couldn’t do everything on his own and that we each had a part to play. I am very grateful to him.” 

Olympic Games
When asked what her long-term goal is, the young champion does not hesitate for a second: to participate in the Olympic Games. "In 2028, when I'm 22," she says, although she would like to be there in 2024. And if Louise already has this mind-set associated with winners, then she also has the principles. What is a typical routine? "When I go to the stables, I look at all my horses to see if they are doing well and what they’ve already done in the morning. Then I take my horse and quietly prepare it. I go for a ride to relax it, if it’s not raining, and then I start working. Either I jump, or ride on the flat". And before a competition, Louise will specifically work on each weak point. “I try to improve it every day before competing. But this does not stop us from having fun too!” she concludes. A positive - and very constructive - way of combining effort and pleasure, in the pursuit of goals and relaxation. And this applies to both Louise and her horse.

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