Dirk van Poucke with Forever d’Arco

By Jo de Roo
Photography: Jo de Roo

Without Ofelus de Mesnil there was no Conthargos, without Nouvelle-Cerise no Amaretto d’Arco and Forever d’Arco. What do Ofelus and Nouvelle Cerise have in common? They were both bought by the Van Poucke family. Today, Dirk Van Poucke and his wife, Heidi Maes, are the driving force behind ‘Hoeve ter Linden’.

The Hoeve ter Linden stud farm is the home port of several stallions, including Forever d’Arco and Richebourg, but also of the homozygous piebald stallion Ceasar ter Linden. According to Dirk Van Poucke, breeding piebald horses originated with a hobby. “I have already seen several home-bred showjumpers perform on television. It is my dream to someday see a self-bred piebald showjumper at work on television.”

Q How did you get into the world of horses?
We were born into it. We are the third ‘Van Poucke’ generation active at this homestead. My grandfather had several cold-blood stallions. At the time, our farm was a traditional farm, with dairy cows and pigs, among other things, with the focus on the exploitation of bulls and boars. It was my dad (Hubert Van Poucke) who made the switch to riding horses. He was one of the first stallion keepers of BWP. I was told that only six stallion keepers were present at the first BWP stallion keepers meeting. Ofelus du Mesnil (Ibrahim - Fine Fleur x Mon Beguin) was the first stallion my father offered at stud.’
When I took over the farm, it wasn’t with the intention of continuing in the horse business. I did a lot of horse riding, but I had the ambition to enter the vegetables and pigs sector. However, that was not profitable so we decided to start in the world of horses.In retrospect, it was a good decision, because this industry does pay off well.

Q Which of your father’s stallions do you remember the most?
A trio. Ofelus du Mesnil, because he was Ibrahim’s first son in Belgium. Without my father realizing it, he had a crack at his stable with Ofelus, who produced the best showjumpers of my father’s stallion station. The dam of the great-great-granddam of the progenitor Conthargos is also by Ofelus.
Another stallion that I would like to mention is Childebert (1968/SF Monceaux xx - Symphonie x Rantzau xx), because he has covered a lot and is an ancestor (maternal great-grandfather) of the 2010 Kentucky world champion Vigo d’Arsouilles.
Finally, I would mention Audacieux. Both Childebert and Audacieux were sometimes also used on foreign dams. At a young age I rode a lot with the stallion Imitateur, but he died while covering a dam... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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