THE NETHERLANDS (by Christopher Hector) It is almost 20 years since we last visited the famous stud of the family Nijhof. There have been many changes, new houses, new stable barns, new working arenas, but the warmth of Jeannette Nijhof’s welcome remains the same. Actually she is Jeannette Benedict-Nijhof now, and she is assisted in her reception of our KWPN visitors’ group by her daughter Camilla and nephew Cameron.

The stud was established by Jeannette’s father, Henk, back in 1965. A back injury prevented Henk Senior taking over his own father’s dairy farm, and the idea of working with horses was born. Henk Nijhof is well-known for his ability to ‘spot’ a stallion, and his buying trips, often with Dutch vet and fellow stud-master, Jan Greve, are legendary. They were the pair who spotted Voltaire’s value when no one else was interested in the horse, and the stallion ‘kick started’ the Nijhof operation. Ever since then, the family has concentrated on stallions for the long haul, as Jeannette explains: “We like to stand stallions that can perform at a high level – at Grand Prix level – and stallions that pass those abilities on to their babies. We are al- ways tr ying to get our stal- lions to Grand Prix level, sometimes it is not possible because of an injury, but we are quite strict that performance is very high. We would like to have stallions that grow up here, and die here.”

Clinton

“We don’t want fashionable stallions that have 600 breedings in two years, then out of the catalogue the next one... We want our stallions to stay for many years so that we have a very nice group of foundation sires.”...

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