Home Breeder Profile Explosion W makes breeder’s Olympic dream come true

Explosion W makes breeder’s Olympic dream come true

Explosion W carries Ben Maher (GBR) during his Olympic individual victory lap in Tokyo 2020

By Jenneke Smit / KWPN
Photography: Dirk Caremans

The breeding program of Willy Wijnen has been in the picture for years. Primarily because of his dressage horses, until the extraordinary Chacco-Blue son Explosion W grabbed the spotlight a few years ago. Last year, his sport career reached its peak, thanks to winning Olympic gold and through this achievement rewarded his passionate breeder for his persevering faith in the best way possible.

Over the past few years, Willy Wijnen has given many interviews. He started the lineage with Barina (Sultan), whom he bought from his neighbour, and had already bred exceptional sport horses in both breeding directions out of this damline. The success of Explosion W has not gone unnoticed to the hippique and non-hippique media and Willy Wijnen now reaps the benefits of all the investments he made in this special damline. Thanks to the Olympic champion he once and for all established his name as a showjumper breeder.

Dominant and energetic

In 2009, Willy Wijnen bred not one, but three Explosion Ws. A colt by Apache out of the Rubinstein I daughter Narina; a Cavalier son out of the Heartbreaker daughter Zarina II, and this story’s lead; the Chacco-Blue offspring out of Uarina (sport name Untouchable, Baloubet du Rouet x Sultan). It defines Willy Wijnen that he had unshakeable confidence in Explosion W right from the beginning. Even though he displayed many characteristics that would have led many owners to say goodbye prematurely. “He had an enormous amount of energy; you could not tire him out. Free jumping was not an option, because he was uncontrollable. Explosion was incredibly dominant, and everything required a special approach,” he reflects. It caused numerous arguments between Willy and his wife Bets. “She said I would meet my end with him some day. It fell on deaf ears, but he was a special case. The tipping point came when we sought help from Tristian Tucker and Will Rogers, two experts in training special horses. They spent two-and-a-half-months saddle-breaking Explosion. At one point, Tristian could lay him flat on the ground. He would then sit on the fence and Explosion would not stand up until Tristan asked him to from a distance. Tristan and Will have applied all of their methods to him and fortunately it has taught him manners.”

Willy Wijnen with Berlicum

Easy start

Explosion W continued his training at Thijs Meulemeesters’, who showed him in the four-year-old classes. “Thijs had ridden him for about six months. There he had to obey. At that time, Mariëlle [de Veer] already produced horses for me, but I did not dare to let her get on Explosion. Thijs did a great job with him, afterwards I put Explosion back in the field for about nine months. In the early spring, we could again saddle-break him as a five-year-old, and then he went to Mariëlle, who rode him for two years. Explosion was weak, jumped a round nicely, but certainly also made a mistake every now and then. Then, his strength came back, and he slowly turned into the horse I had hoped for. In the 1m20, 1m30, and 1m35 classes he cleared 25 courses in a row. He had to grow and develop, and we showed him sparsely. I am convinced that a horse can only make a maximum number of jumps in his life, and I despise veterinary bills, so the decision to take it easy was a quick one,” quips Willy... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber