Maikel van der Vleuten - Dana Blue CHIO Twente 2019 © DigiShots

For the first time in KWPN history, two exceptional horses have been awarded the prestigious KWPN Horse of the Year title – for dressage and jumping: Glamourdale and Dana Blue, respectively.

Owned by Gert Jan van Olst, the 10-year-old stallion Glamourdale (Lord Leatherdale - Thuja stb pref x Negro), bred by Joop Rodenburg, has already seen many career highlights. It began as a three-year-old when this black pearl won the champion's title at the KWPN stallion selection show, and four years later was crowned world champion young horse, under the saddle of British Charlotte Fry. According to his owner, "As a foal of only 10 days old, his qualities struck me, and now, incredibly, no day goes by when he doesn't meet expectations." Althouth Glamourdale and Fry have already made a promising Grand Prix debut, career plans are constantly changing due to Covid-19, although their goal is still Olympic selection.”

Dana Blue (Mr.Blue - Tulana prest x Hemmingway), bred by Jan Bocken, received the most public showjumping votes by far. Not surprisingly as the mare and her rider, Maikel van der Vleutem have been in winning form since the start of 2021. Her success can be attributed to a fruitful collaboration between her breeders, the Bocken family, and showjumpers Eric and Maikel van der Vleuten. “We co-own the mare”, farrier Paul Bocken explains. "My wife Jenny jumped her successfully as a five-year-old in several shows. When my wife became pregnant, we went to the Van der Vleuten family as we already knew Maikel was successfully showing some Mr Blue daughters: Parmala Douche and Sapphire. I recognized the special attitude of Sapphire as her farrier. Just like Dana Blue, she needs some special handling." Maikel was very enthusiastic when he tried her, so a new career partnership was born. 

(Read the full article by Claartje van Andel in the February issue of World Breeding News.)