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Day 1: AB Sport Horses Touchdown in Holland

Over the course of this week, Hayley Colwell and Astrid Bolton will be attending the KWPN Stallion Show in Holland. Each day, they’ll be providing us with an insight in to their adventure, so stay tuned! Below is the first instalment from Hayley Colwell.     

They say there is no such thing as a free lunch but in our case every February courtesy of the KWPN there is! We are lucky to be invited to the KWPN Stallion show in Den Bosch, Holland VIP style! It’s not very often Astrid and I manage to get time away that does not involve competing or work, but every February we love to go to the Braabenthallen where they host the best 4 days of Dutch sport horse breeding. Over the weekend competitions are held for dressage & jumping  stallions, awards for the Dutch horses of the year and of course the second & third rounds of stallion gradings for the 3 yr old potential stallions, plus many more breeder awards and demonstrations.

Several thousand people attend the show and if you are interested in sports horses and the breeding of the best competition stock, it really is a great opportunity to see the up and coming talent and also to see in the flesh some of the best stallions not only in Europe but in the world!

Thursday 31st of January did start out as work as we arrived in Holland at 8 am and went horse shopping! After 8 hrs of pony shopping and some very exciting purchases for AB Sport Horses, we made our way to the Braabenthallen for the jumping evening at the show.

Tonight saw Jessica Kurten win the 1.40m jumping class on the 9 yr old stallion ZAPATERO VDL (Chin Chin) WARRENT (Número Uno x Nimmerdor) won the 1.50m jumping class with Henk Van Der Pol.

We watched as the breeders & owners of VDL VERDI received an award for his success in the silver medal Dutch jumping team at London 2012, it is great to see so many people on their feet giving a standing ovation as the stallion himself & Maikel Van Der Vleuten gave a lap honour, it shows how important & proud of their bloodstock the Dutch are.

Look out for tomorrow’s blog where we will be seeing which stallions had the nicest young sons in the 2nd round dressage stallion selection and the dressage stallion competitions from novice through to Grand Prix.