Home Breeder Profile Studfarm ‘De Withoeve’: Cradle of international showjumpers

Studfarm ‘De Withoeve’: Cradle of international showjumpers

Rozelien de Beck with l-r: Amigo van de Withoeve (the very first foal of Touch of Grey van de Withoeve, born out of a Chellano-daughter) and Atlantis van de Withoeve (Jazzy des Dames out of a Eras Ste Hermelle-daughter who goes back to Praline van de Withoeve)

By Jo de Roo
Photography: Jo de Roo

Anyone who enters ‘De Withoeve’ in the database of the FEI website, will discover a long list of international showjumpers, as horses from this acclaimed Belgian studfarm perform all over the world.

It is the result of hard work, passion, patience, and the knowledge of the founders and driving forces, Willy De Beck and his daughter Rozelien. Although they live in ‘Kleinestraat’ (‘Small Street’), they are certainly capable of ‘great things’. This has not only been proved by their home-bred international performers, but also by the seven approved stallions they’ve bred, so far. They have also influenced various breeding enterprises, such as studfarm ‘van het Roosakker’. After all, Willy and Rozelien bred Rosanne van de Withoeve, the dam of the famous Usha van’t Roosakker.
Who is Rozelien De Beck? “I have a relationship with Stijn Wachters, not a ‘horseman’ for the sake of clarity. He was an independent landscaper and sold his company a few years ago. He is now active in roadworks, and last year started a plantation of berries – raspberries and strawberries – as a secondary occupation. He sells these products through vending machines and shops.” Rozelien stands her ground and is definitely not inferior to Stijn. After all, she too carries out various activities, including running studfarm ‘De Withoeve’, running a stable for owners’ horses (60 owner horses in stables, plus 20 on pastureland), as well as training and selling young showjumpers. While laughing; “I am also the mother of two young children, Witse and Stan who play football in their spare time.” An additional activity at ‘De Withoeve’ is farming. “My father likes to do that. We produce hay, grain, potatoes, and beets, among other things. We farm about 100 hectares.”

Rozelien de Beck with Touch of Grey (Untouchable - Ikela vd Withoeve x Enrico vd Withoeve)

Father and daughter enterprise

Stable De Withoeve was founded by Rozelien and her father: “My parents were initially dairy farmers and also grew lettuce, cauliflower, and leek. In the mid-eighties of the last century the dairy cattle were sold and my father started to keep more horses. He used to breed as a hobby and for his broodmares he mainly used the stallion Major de La Cour.” Rozelien laughs: “I remember that during a certain year we had 10 in-foal mares, all by Major de La Cour.’
Rozelien continues: “In 1997, when I was 12 years old, we started the horse-dairy business. From then on our studfarm expanded strongly in terms of quantity. After a few years we had evolved from 40 horses and ponies to 140. So, we also kept ponies, including for the dairy. At the age of 15 or 16, I stopped riding ponies and switched to jumpers. During the early years of our dairy, we bred 40 to 50 foals per year, of which 15 to 20 were pony foals. Due to the emergence of other dairies, we have somewhat reduced our dairy activities and are focusing exclusively on showjumping horses. We currently breed 15 to 18 foals per year, and their dams are milked.”

u Rozelien, how did you get into the horse world?
My cradle was, so to speak, between the horses and ponies. I was barely two years old when I climbed on the back of a pony... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber