By Jo de Roo
Photography: Jo de Roo

Jozef Bauters (1951) is chairman of BWP, vice-chairman of Paardenpunt Vlaanderen, and member of the Board of Directors of Belgische Confederatie van het Paard. According to the BWP 2020 annual report, the association has 3,891 members and registered 3,263 Warmblood foals. In the June 2021 WBFSH Studbook showjumping ranking BWP is second.

For the first time this year, BWP made history by organizing its own BWP ‘Elite Foal’ Auction, which hit the bull’s eye! I interviewed chairman Jozef Bauters, talking not only about the auction but also the major challenges facing sport horse breeding and equestrian sport.

Q Why the initiative to organize a BWP Elite Foal Auction?
Today, auctions are popping up everywhere. In our opinion, we could also organize an auction. We wanted to distinguish ourselves from other auctions by only selecting foals whose dam goes back to a BWP damline or BWP elite dam where we can find performance, which is undoubtedly an additional asset. By applying these selection criteria, we want to acquire a unique position in the densely populated auction landscape. We are proud of the fact that our auctions are realistic. If we knew the truth about some sales during certain auctions, it would be shocking. We do not participate in practices that mislead the breeders.’

Q How did the registrations go?
We had almost 70 spontaneous registrations, from which we excluded the foals that did not belong to a BWP damline or BWP elite dam. All other foals were individually reviewed and judged by Boudewijn Schepers and Kurt Asselberghs. I would like to say a special thank you to both of them as they travelled all over Belgium to see the foals. In the end they selected 23 foals. A veterinary report was available upon request for each selected foal. During the video recordings and photo shoot each foal was checked again by vet Vicky Stevens. We left nothing to chance.

Jozef Bauters

Q The BWP Elite Foal auction was an online auction. Why not a live auction?
The online auction was a conscious choice. A live auction undoubtedly has advantages. If you want to organize a live auction, you have to work together. We don’t want to be tied down to some big manifestation because we want to retain our individuality. We do not organize showjumping tournaments with 3,000 or 4,000 spectators during which we could possibly organize our elite auction. Moreover, we already had experience with online auctions, just think of the BWP Young Horses Auction and the BWP Online Foal Auction.
u How do you look back on this auction?
We are very proud and happy. Only three of the 23 foals were not sold. In other words, we have sold 87% of the foals, whereas most auctions score between 50% and 60%. The range of foals was also of high quality and realistic prices were offered. The average selling price was €10,000. We are one of the few that dared to select foals from young, promising stallions as well. That too has been a success. We are also pleased that we have several stallion keepers among the buyers, such as Egbert Schep, the Brondeel family (Studfarm De Breemeersen), the Hamerlinck family (Studfarm Van De Heffinck) and Erik De Winter, who each purchased a colt. This means that they also believe in certain damlines with the aim of rearing the purchased colt and later possibly presenting it at the stallion expertise... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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