By Jo de Roo
Photography: André Stellmacher
In Belgium there are a number of foal championships, but one of the largest is organized in Moorsele where, this year, they saw 160 entries – a new record! One of the reasons for this great number of foals is that four auction selection committees selected the foals.
D’Accord SHN (Feinrich - De Niroletta x De Niro) won the ‘fillies option dressage’ series, the SHN suffix referring to ‘Sporthorses Neirynck’, owned by 27-year-old breeder Nicolas Neirynck. He only started breeding three years ago: “I always try to do my best. I believe in the horses I own, even in difficult periods. Yearly, I breed two or three foals. I prefer to have two or three outstanding foals instead of 15 foals of modest quality. Breeding is my passion. In the past, I was riding horses and saw that there was a lack of good dressage horses in Belgium, especially in comparison with the Netherlands and Germany. That’s why I started to breed. Today, I was lucky to win. I am not a great breeder. Afterwards, it is always easy to say ‘I made it’. The foal made it, not me. I would also be happy if a breeder with a better foal had won.” A while ago, Cityhorse sold D’Accord SHN’s dam to Neirynck. “I bought her because I had a good feeling. At that time I was a new breeder. I used to buy horses based on feelings. It’s difficult to explain.” Her dam, De Niroletta is once again in foal to Feinrich.
Special Romance triumphed in the dressage colts series. Geert and Cindy Van Loo-Soenens bred this champion by crossing For Romance with Cassy (Sandro Hit). Cindy said: “Cassy didn’t perform in sport. Her full brother, Sandro King, is an approved stallion. We are using Cassy as a broodmare. We have so far bred five products with her, including a son of Johnson whom we presented three years ago at the Oldenburg stallion approval. He was sold there and nowadays is ridden by Sönke Rothenberger. We also have two descendants of Millennium out of Cassy.”
Talking about their breeding aim Cindy said: “It’s our dream and goal to once breed an approved stallions. We almost realized this with the Johnson son. We were disappointed then, but still continue.”
Geert and Cindy are breeding showjumping horses as well as dressage horses. According to Geert: “Yearly, we breed two #dressage foals and six showjumping foals. We also buy some foals, so that we have 10 or 12 each year. We are keeping them until the age of two-and-a-half or three. Then we evaluate them, the showjumpers in free jumping, the dressage horses on conformation and movements. Some of them we keep, the others are sold.”
In the past, Geert has ridden many youngsters. “For 10 years now I haven’t participated in showjumping competitions. I only ride some horses at our stable. My business is trading.” Cindy: “Most of our horses are young horses. I am riding a six-year-old horse in dressage competitions. Once I had a horse that I rode at Intermediaire level. I don’t get satisfaction by riding at a higher level. I prefer to ride young horses.”
Senorita Casall van de Slypshoek won the series ‘fillies option showjumping’. Lieven Lammers bred her by combining Joni van d’Abdijhoeve with Casall. Via her dam, Senorita Casall belongs to BWP performance dam line 13. “Three years ago, Hubert Hamerlinck sold Joni to me. Joni produced an approved stallion, Nathan van de Heffinck. Until now, I have been seven foals out of her. Five were born by embryo transfer. The two other foals were born naturally; namely Senorita Casall and her For Pleasure daughter, Queen Pleasure. Joni is also the dam of two descendants by Casallo Z, one by Ogano Sitte, one by Doré, and one of Tornesch. The Tornesch son is a full brother to Nathan van de Heffinck. I bought Joni because of her dam line. She belongs to a strong performance family and is a half-sister to Dax van d’Abdijhoeve. Joni’s dam is a full sister to Utrillo and Bush van de Heffinck, who both jumped internationally at the 1m60 level.”
Spartacus van de Peerdenhoeve, a son of Untouchable out of Debby van de Peerdenhoeve, became champion of the colts in the option showjumping. The 71-year-old Willy Gesquière is the breeder. “The dam of Spartacus is used as a broodmare. Happy Birthday, a son of Tenerife VDL out of Debby, performed in France. Debby also produced Jiarado, a son of Diarado. I sold Jiarado to Maurice Van Roosbroeck. At the age of seven, Jiarado jumped under the saddle of Catherine Van Roosbroeck. Debby’s best descendant to date is called Nina van de Peerdenhoeve. In partnership with Tom Verduyn, this daughter of Cooper van de Heffinck is performing in the classic cycle for five-year-old showjumpers. She has participated in eight heats with only one fault. She is currently ranked ex aequo seventh and is qualified to participate at the Belgian championship for five-year-old horses in Gesves.”