Home In previous issues Meerburg, KWPN: “Creating a future-proof organization.”

Meerburg, KWPN: “Creating a future-proof organization.”


By Steef Roest / KWPN
Photography: Anniek de Wit

The KWPN welcomed its new director Bastiaan Meerburg three months ago, so it’s high time we got to know him better through a conversation that discusses “creating a future-proof organization.”

Bastiaan Meerburg (1978) has no direct background in equestrian sport or horse breeding, and yet the new KWPN director has felt drawn to horses since his youth. Meerburg grew up in an entrepreneurial family in de Hoeksche Waard, on the outskirts of Rotterdam. His childhood offered no room for equestrian sport, but horses intrigued him to such an extent he aspired to study veterinary medicine, with a specialization in equine medicine.

Lottery system

“The lottery system was not favorable to me,” Meerburg candidly states. “That is why I went on to study Animal Sciences in Wageningen. I was a member of the horse focus study club at the time, because horses still had a hold on me. After my graduation I started working as a parliamentary assistant for a member of the European Parliament in Brussels where I focused on dossiers such as food safety and foot-and-mouth disease. I then advocated on infectious diseases. Subsequently, I worked as an advisor at the RIVM (the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, ed.), was a researcher at Plant Research International, and head of department at Wageningen Livestock Research. During the last four-and-a-half years I was a director at the Dutch Pest & Wildlife Expertise Centre. I was politically active in the city council of Wageningen and the Provincial Council of Gelderland. Furthermore, I was chairman of the De Grebberuiters riding club, known by many riders as the organisation of the Grebbeconcours. I have always been involved in equestrian activities, but I think breeding offers the most beautiful experience.”

Breeding equals emotion

For Bastiaan, all the elements of his professional career, his interest in politics and various board positions come together in his current job. “We breed on a small scale at home. I am a former board member of the Rare Breeds Foundation Netherlands; the Gelder and Groninger horse fall into their scope. I was chairman of the Breeder Council at the Welsh Studbook, and in that position I was closely involved in the process of revision of the articles of association and regulations. I know how studbooks work, and more importantly I am familiar with the emotions that emerge in breeding. Whether I ever imagined myself to become director of the KWPN? It just the way things go. The fact I am not a familiar face to many people in this sector makes me independent: I have no interests in the sector.”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber