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Top riders seeking new cash flows during Covid pandemic

Harrie Smolders riding Don VHP Z

By Jo de Roo
Photography: FEI

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on everyone’s lives. How have top riders such as Harrie Smolders and Walter Lelie interpreted their professional lives in recent months? What drawbacks have they encountered? Does the coronavirus era have any benefits?

Will they view things differently in the future? Why have Smolders, Lelie and Niels Fabrie started organizing auctions?
‘SLF Horse Auction’, for a superior horse breeding experience, where the very best of top sport and innovation meet each other! The ‘S’ is derived from Harrie Smolders, the ‘L’ from Walter Lelie and the ‘F’ from Niels Fabrie. Olympian Harrie Smolders has been number one in the world and enjoyed many highlights in his rich career. Walter Lelie played an important role in the success stories of showjumpers such as Killer Queen VDM, Irenice Horta, Gancia de Muze, Eldorado van de Zeshoek, Just The Music and Go Easy de Muze. The knowledge and craftmanship of this breeder/rider are second to none. Last but not least, Niels Fabrie has an exceptional eye for talent and finding the perfect match for every rider. These three experts are the organizers of the SLF Horse Auction that will take place on December 14. During this online auction they will sell 14 showjumpers, and will also hold a second online auction, selling exclusive embryos and promising young showjumping horses. According to Walter Lelie, “the corona pandemic was an indirect push to start organizing such an auction.”

Q How did the idea to organize an auction come about?
WL: It arose from the need that some people have to sell through an auction. Moreover, as a horse trader I want to offer this range to my customers. I not only sell horses at my home, but also over the internet. We do this mainly to attract and sell good horses. When such an auction is organized, interest is sometimes aroused and some people want to participate.
HS: Actually, Walter Lelie and Niels Fabrie came up with the idea. They asked me to be part of the team. I was present during the selection days, among other things. I think we have a very valuable range, something for everyone. In any case, there are horses in the collection that we will see in the international showjumping world later. There will also be bargains, let’s say rough diamonds that have not yet been discovered. We stand for quality and we radiate that... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber