Home In the latest issue WBFSH president and patron take a trip down memory lane

WBFSH president and patron take a trip down memory lane

Patron of the WBFSH – Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark

By Jean Llewellyn
Photography: © Wiegaarden; Kongehuset

WBFSH general manager Nadine Brandtner interviews Jan Pedersen and HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark, president and patron of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses for the past 25 years, as the organization celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Jan Pedersen – President of the WBFSH

u What was your fist involvement with the WBFSH?
HRH: My first involvement was with you, Jan, as you had just become its president. That I do remember, so I succeeded Princess Anne who was before me.
JP: Actually, I attended the start-up meeting of the World Breeding Federation in Berlin in 1994 at a representative of Danish Warmblood. The beginning was modest; I think there were around 25 studbooks attending that meeting, at the time, and a couple of years after this first meeting a committee was established with the purpose of establishing a more efficient structure of the World Breeding Federation. Joep Bartels was on that committee, the late Breido Graf zu Rantzau, and I was on that committee. The structure that we have today is a result of the work of that committee, and also the statutes that we have today. In 1999 I was elected president and the Princess agreed to become Patron of our organization; 25 years ago!
HRH: What a journey it’s been. It has really developed quite enormlously and I don’t think anyone could have foreseen at the time where we are today and how important the World Breeding Federation is.

Q For breeding it’s changed a lot, for breeders, for studbooks, but from the events in our history is there a particular event you recall that was poignant for you?
HRH: I’ve been to a few of the annual meetings – unfortunately not at all of them – but it’s always interesting and you learn more than you did before you came. It’s wonderful that so many breeding federations have become part of it. Starting with a small number so it’s a good and wonderful development.

Q You mention our general meetings, and we really try every year to have interesting speakers with important seminars, topics that are relevant in breeding and the development of breeding, and indeed it’s a great platform for our members to come together and exchange information and knowledge.
HRH: An inspiration I think also. With other people that you perhaps know, or are new, and that inspires.
JP: It’s difficult to say because there have been so many highlights. I would say that every single edition of our World Breeding Championship for Young Horses have been highlights. Here the development of breeding is so clear. But also I would mention our annual meetings because they are always memorable. But if I should single out one, it must be our General Assembly in Copenhagen because the Princess invited all the participants to a cocktail party at the royal castle, and that was a really great honour and well received... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber