Foal Auction Borculo 40th Anniversary
It’s the late seventies, when Warmbloedvereniging Lochem e.o. decides to auction foals to conclude their annual breeding day. Unlike Germany, the Netherlands hadn’t witnessed any foal auctions to that day. Let’s look back on forty years of Foal Auction Borculo (1979-2019) with three names involved from the beginning.
One of them is Henk Nijhof sr. The renowned stallion owner joined the board rather quickly, overseeing the selection of the foals with his fellow-initiator Hendrik te Luggenhorst. “In the early years, our only selection criterion was a 1st premie. At some point our auction grew to a national scale, and as a board we travelled the country to view foals at their breeders’. It was quite a job and the numbers just kept on growing, as Borculo was still the only foal auction in the country. Hendrik and I both saw 90 foals. We decided to turn things round and have the breeders come to us. This marked the beginning of our selection days on three locations throughout the country.”
The selection became stricter, but still cannot be compared to the demands the foals have to meet nowadays. “We’re talking about a completely different state of horse breeding. Forty years ago, inspection results were much more prominent and we selected on the basis of type, movement and fine dam lines. Today, we prefer a foal with a sport horse pedigree. The context has also changed completely. Our audience used to be predominantly agrarian, as were the former breeders, who travelled the country to find good foals. Nowadays, people trust in the auction’s quality. The organization has also become much more professional over the years as more foals come under the hammer, divided over a dressage and a jumping day.”
The only foal auction in the country for many years, Borculo attracts the attention of others. Nijhof sr.: “Piet Meinen called me and asked if he could come and have a look. We didn’t mind. He was keen on organising a foal auction in the Midden-Beemster area, which later became Veulenveiling Prinsjesdag. Competition has increased significantly as we ceased to be the only foal auction a long time ago.”
From outdoor to indoor
For a period of five years, Henk Siersema was the Foal Auction Borculo chairman. One of the first things the former Nutricia director changed, was roofing in the Buitencentrum Kerkemeijer’s stands, largely owing to his own experiences: “Before I became chairman, I had bought myself a few foals in the rain. After roofing in the stands we also created a VIP area to meet modern hospitality demands.”
For over 35 years, Borculo foals were auctioned outdoors. Since 2016, the foals come under the hammer in PSC Lichtenvoorde’s attractive indoor accommodation in Vragender. Siersema: “I can imagine part of our audience preferring the outdoor setting, but I can easily relate to the choice that was made. It’s an excellent location offering the possibility of a professional two-day auction. In my opinion, the selection committee is the driving force behind Borculo. The selectors are actual horsemen who know a good dam line and an outstanding foal when they see one.”
On the road 24/7
From 1999 till 2017, Jacques Verkerk was a member of the selection committee. Nowadays, selectors travel the country 24/7 to scout the right foals, he says: “Breeders no longer hold on to their foals for a certain auction. It has become a matter of acting fast. Back in the days we had first choice. Well-known breeders such as Huub and Tiny van Helvoirt let us pick the best foals from their exquisite selection of mares, leading us to, among others, KWPN stallion Zuidenwind and National Mare Inspection champions Zhara-Obertje, D.Obertje and Andy.”
Verkerk also has warm memories of KWPN stallion to be Ampère: “Ampère was a true phenomenon, the way he showed himself on the Radstake grounds, next to Amor’s statue. Kremlin MD, the 2018 KWPN Stallion Inspection champion, treated us to a spectacular first selection round as well.
In the rounds to follow he did not quite live up to that first time, but he managed to live up to the initial expectations after all. When selecting colts, we’re always looking for future stallion inspection candidates and ster worthy mares, although we also managed to find ourselves a few National Mare Inspection champions.” Over the years, many successful horses were once auctioned at Foal Auction Borculo. Please see the overview here.
Of a more recent order are the new auction concepts of Foal Auction Borculo. Of course there is still the Borculo Elite Foal Auction, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019, but we also have the Borculo CSI Foal Auction (since 2018) and the Borculo Online Foal Auction (since 2019).