By Claartje van Andel and Sabine Timman
Photography: Private collections
Like so much in life, the stories of lady breeders in the Netherlands is not based on happiness alone. Sometimes circumstantial life choices and decisions have to be made. In this, the first of a series of profiles and interviews with lady breeders in 2022, the spotlight falls on Emmy de Jeu (70), a dressage breeder and former national showjumper, and jumping instructor Vera Klumper.
Ask someone in the industry to name a few sport horse breeders, and it’s likely that the first 10 or more will be male. We will be running a new series throughout 2022 that explores the world and philosophies of female breeders. Although they may not yet be household names, many of the ladies are quietly building their own dynasties, becoming recognized as successful breeders – albeit typically on a much smaller scale than many of their male counterparts.
Recently, 12 of our regular correspondents (one for each month in 2022) were asked to identify three lady breeders, representing jumping, dressage and eventing – although this task highlighted the fact that eventing breeding is not funda-mental to many of the major breeding nations – including the Netherlands, where our series starts. However, known for it’s Anglo Arab population, Poland will provide our February focus. Thereafter, in no particular order, our series will travel to France, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy.
Dressage: According to Emmy de Jeu’s website, “De Jeu Dressage is a private breeding farm [...] started in the 90s by Ton and Emmy de Jeu, with thanks also to their daughter Fleur. In 1999 Ton and Emmy moved to Oosterstreek in Friesland, and from there the breeding farm was started with mares bought from the best breeders in Holland and Germany.” In 2001, sadly, Ton passed away, so Emmy introduced the ‘de Jeu’ suffix for all own-bred horses, paying hommage to Ton’s vision of quality.
Showjumping: Vera Klumper is based centrally in the Nether-lands, in Almelo, with a multi-functional facility that includes boarding and riding instruction alongside breeding.
u Which mare seduced you to breed with her? Why? What did this bring to you?
EdJ: My husband and I used to sell flowers all around the world. We started breeding horses more than 25 years ago in 1996 when we bought Jonkara elite sport (Rubinstein x Weltmeister, breeder Herbert de Baey)and she gave us her first foal, the filly Okara keur sport (Jetset D). Jonkara at that time was purchased at the Oldenburger Elite Auction in 1995. Ton and I were crazy about Rubinstein descendants. We saw them shine in sport and loved their performances, being elegant and as light as it looked. And we were proved not to be mistaken”.
VK: Vera Klumper: I used to be a jumping rider, and still lived with my parents till my mum died in 1999. Before this I did a lot of shows, also internationally, but after this I had other tasks so there was less time left for all the riding stuff. Me and my dad did have a breeding mare together and after my mother’s death we started breeding on a bigger scale. It all began with Egala (Notaris x Agala of Palfrenier).
Back then, when I was riding, most sport horses were geldings, but we saw Egala for sale as a sport mare. She was stunning and a really good jumper, but because she was just recovering from strangles, she was a little skinny so we decided to breed with her first. After this we bought Kalinka (Libero H x Bianca of Nimmerdor) as a foal. A lot of horses we bred go back to those two mares. Currently, I have four broodmares due to some circumstances, but I want to let this grow again in the future... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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