By Claartje van Andel
July 2022 will see two major events for KWPN: The arrival of their new director,Dr.ir. B.G. (Bastiaan) Meerburg, MBA who will take his seat on July 11, and from July 7-9 International Young Breeders will descend on Ermelo for their own World Championship.
Dr. Bastiaan Meerburg will rely on a career in science and politics, and has already fulfilled various board positions, including the Dutch Welsh Pony & Cob studbook and the Dutch Rare Breed Foundation. Meerburg succeeds Piet Peters, who became general director in August of 2018, but announced his wish to retire last January.
Bastiaan Meerburg studied Zootechnics at the University of Wageningen, completed an MBA at Nijenrode, and obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam, after which he held various government positions. Since 2017 Meerburg has worked as director of the Dutch Pest & Wildlife Expertise Centre. He is naturally looking forward to taking up his new role at KWPN: “I have a great affinity for horse and pony breeding. Together with my girlfriend, I run the Airborne Stud with a small-scale breeding program of Welsh ponies and dressage horses. For me it’s fantastic to be able to combine my hobby and profession. From my experience as chairman of the Member Council of the Welsh studbook, I know the functioning of studbook organisations. I am eager to give all members a welcome feeling and to discuss the needs and expectations. In turn, this enables them to continue breeding the world’s best horses, since that is exactly the strength of Dutch breeders. I love to contribute to that.”
Thanks to a career in science, and with abundant political and management experience, Meerburg expects to bring a helicopter view and sensitivity to the table. “It’s paramount that the KWPN takes a leading position in sport horse breeding. We want to expand that prominent position. There is a lot of discussion going on in the horse sector. Welfare is one example of the social issues that currently draw a lot of attention. As a studbook we must respond and take a stance. To me, science is an important basis, but I am aware that in breeding a lot of considerations are based on emotions. We must find a balance in it, so we can make our decisions comprehensible.”
Andries van Daalen, chairman of the General Board, explains that there was extensive interest in this role. “We believe we have found a sympathetic and pleasant person in Bastiaan Meerburg. A director who has a broad orientation and a sharp eye for the various interests at play and the ever-changing world around us. His task is to safeguard what we have and to analyse how we can enhance our position, both nationally and internationally, within and beyond the scope of the equestrian sport and breeding.”
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Also in July, the WBFSH Young Breeders World Cham-pionship kicks off at the National Equestrian Centre in Ermelo, as Arie Hamoen, former chairman of the KWPN stallion selection committee explains; “For this edition, 138 participants will make their way to Ermelo representing 19 studbooks from around the world, including Ireland, Germany, Canada, and Sweden, divided into two age categories: Juniors (15-19 years) and Seniors (20-25). All participants compete on an individual basis with the best three results counting towards the studbook they represent... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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