Who's going to think of auctioning about 300 horses? From Monday 23 September to Saturday 28 September it will happen all the same, in Schijndel. The organisation of the European Sport Horse Auction now has the necessary experience to start such a venture.
"Our idea? Try what others don't do. And make us very strong for breeders and sellers. In recent years, horses are no longer sold at competitions and the horse markets disappear. And yes, we know that there are a lot of auctions, but we organize it in such a way that we: 1. Really have a very high quality of horses, 2. That people can come here for five days so they don't have to burn rubber crossing countries and 3. We have an honest story to tell and we play openly."
Speaking is Dennis Swennen, the Belgian rider/seller from Peer who, together with his brother Jurgen, Kees van den Oetelaar and a whole team, has been organizing auctions since 2016. It is busy in Schijndel, where about 25 people are working with the horses and everything around them. "The first few years we have had the satisfaction of the one-day auctions. Last year we had our first three-day auction, which was very nice to do. And now this set-up, I think unique in the Netherlands and Belgium. After all, we are very excited to be able to do it all.
"We want to set up something very strong, both for the breeders and for the sellers. We want to get people from abroad to come here. I notice more and more that people feel very comfortable buying from us: we are always ready to help afterwards if there is a problem, with us the door is always open and with us an honest story is told. The horses that we offer, always please the buyers, that is sometimes different in other places. Of course, one time it can't click with a rider but there is always a solution for us. People who have bought from us know that they have quality in the stable, or that they can re-sell very well. I can give you a list of horses that have been sold through the ESHA and that are now competing internationally. Mind you, in three years’ time, because that's how short our auction is."
Dennis Swennen effortlessly lists a number of top performers: "Gikke with Kim Emmen, Elwikke with Maikel van der Vleuten, Seks Appeal with Romain Potin in France, Verde with Giampiero Garafolo in Italy, Sperro with Sergio Alvarez Moya in Spain, Cadousch Boy with Boy-Adrian van Gelderen in Belgium, Christo with Connor Drain in Ireland, Flore de Winne became Belgian champion 5-year-old dressage horses with Flynn, talented Merel van der Sluis with Don't Worry in dressage, the American junior Charlotte Babbit who won with Highfield gold at the American Championships, or the European junior champion in Arezzo Amalie Steen Hegre from Norway with Hindy.”
Monday 23 September: 45 young ridden show jumpers, 3 to 6 years old.
Tuesday 24 September: 35 dressage horses and 10 ponies
Wednesday 25 September: presentation All Stars
Thursday 26 September: 50 2- and 3-year-old horses, free jumping
Friday 27 September: 100 foals
Saturday 28 September: All Stars (Yearlings, 2/3 year-olds to 1m40 jumpers, hunters, sport ponies, dressage horses, recreational horses, pedigree breeding mares, expecting mares).
"The horses can be tried from Wednesday to Saturday. Now they are still at different locations but then all in Schijndel. We are going to build an extra 100 stables. Saturday will also be something special. In the afternoon the horses of all shapes and sizes. Without guarantee, but they can all be seen and everything that's wrong with them, will be told. In the evening we auction the horses with more competition experience, for example a 12-year-old 1m40 jumper is included."
"You know, if a man says he has like 100,000 euros to spend, he can easily buy a number of horses from us. And then it might just happen that he makes a profit of 200.000 euro because they are all relatively inexperienced horses with a lot of talent and not all abused into end products. Our recipe is good, we know that for sure, now the people who want to taste...."