After five years, the European Sport Horse Auction has now become a well-known auction platform. And although physical auctions are currently not possible, the ESHA team knows how to maintain both their supply and sales online. Organizer Dennis Swennen announces a new collection every two weeks. Where his regular clientele, albeit online now, likes to jump on.
“The auction idea was actually born out of necessity,” says Swennen. When he was sidelined for a long time after an injury, he jumped into the gap between the elite auctions. “There was a market for that at the time. The ordinary breeder or rearer also wants to sell. This is not always easy at home. My first thought was why I don't offer these people a platform. "
It is now five years and a thousand references further. “An incredible number. And the numbers are still growing. There is interest from all sides. Both from the providers, who can come to us with any type of horse, and from the buyers. They rely more and more on our word and the way we work. And the references we have are starting to work in our favor. ”
This Paratheos Optimus (by Marius Claudius) can currently call himself the best five-year-old in the FEI ranking in England.
The ESHA team can also count on the help of Kees van den Oetelaar, who is now of great value. “We did get some support from him for the first three years. "Hold on," he always said. Until we sat down after a number of auctions. The way of auctioning appealed to him. Transparent and no-nonsense. We got his support. And now Kees brings not only horses, but also customers. ”
This year, the ESHA also had to focus, albeit by necessity, on the online market. “That came as a surprise at first, of course. We had planned a multi-day auction for April and May. Everything was fresh and clipped on the video and the team was ready. And suddenly nothing was allowed anymore. We didn't want to withhold the 150 horses we had ready from the people either. For example, we converted the website into an online auction platform. In this way we could continue to provide horses to both the contributors and the buyers. We have not let them down. And they didn't us.”
KWPN stallion Farmgraaf (v. Verdi TN) was sold in the ESHA auction and performs strongly in the 1.50 m show jumping in America.
The upcoming week is all about the Elite horses. The ESHA team now has a day's job at this auction. ”Together with Kees van den Oetelaar we have done our best to select 25 ridden horses. All of them are horses that we have known for a long time, most of them even from foal. They have been here for several months in our stable in training for the ESHA elite auction. So that we can also describe exactly how we think the horses are in handling, while riding and also the specific qualities that we believe they have. So that you can find the horse that suits you best. "We are proud of the selection of these young, fresh, talented horses, with quality to compete at a level."
Serve more specifically
After a number of editions, Swennen can also draw up a careful balance. “Look, the atmosphere of a physical ESHA auction, people are missing that. There it is not just about buying horses. It is also networking, with a snack and a drink. You cannot make up for that with a nice video and a good story. But because we now auction smaller groups of horses, you can serve the customer more specifically. We will be called even more in advance. And you can steer it all in a more targeted way. That is the positive effect of this situation. ”
The global reach also seems to be growing. “Whether we have many new customers? Take that there are 75 percent regular customers. The last quarter differs each time. One person wants a foal or a broodmare. The other is looking for young horses or experienced ones. In that respect, our foundation is strong. We want to be an auction for everyone. In addition, the internet seems to be working at the moment. People hear good stories and know the guarantees. It's not so much what you buy, but who you buy from. We want to uphold that name.”
"The type of horse that we sell, there is a market for them the whole year round"
Alcatraz, which found a new owner through the ESHA auction, became champion of the four-year-olds in Italy this year.
A lot of horses every two weeks seems like a lot. Although this does not apply to the ESHA initiators. “Almost 90 percent of the horses also leave effectively. Then it turns out that there is a market for it. The prices are also still good. Contributors continue to offer because it is difficult to sell at home. And buyers can shop with us to their liking or buy profit. So they also come back. You should not compare us to an elite auction, where a collection can only be put together once or twice a year to remain exclusive. The type of horse that we sell, there is a market for them the whole year round. And then it is nice as a customer to get a new chance every two weeks. ”
"We have a strong foundation and want to be an auction for everyone"
The references now prove that such horses can be found at the ESHA. AES stallion Four Seasons won the four-year-old class in Etten-Leur under the saddle of Sjoerd Kommers. Alcatraz became the champion of the four-year-olds in Italy this year. And Paratheos Optimus can currently call itself the best five-year-old in the FEI ranking in England. “Then I forget a couple of approved stallions, such as Farmgraaf, who is currently jumping 1.50 m in the USA. With us you can still buy quality at a realistic price. Whether that should be done live or online. ”
The AES stallion Four Seasons (by For Pleasure) sold in the ESHA auction won the four-year-old class in Etten-Leur at the beginning of this month under the saddle of Sjoerd Kommers.
Should it ever fall within the permissible levels again, Swennen will be the first to organize a physical auction again. “I think we are all looking forward to that, although the internet is indispensable. People have come to consider it normal. Especially with the trust and guarantees we offer. Online is a lot of work, but when it is ready it runs like a well-oiled machine. More factors are involved in a physical auction. The accommodation, the staff, the stables, the moving of the horses. That work has been taken away from us. Although I don't mind so much to roll up my sleeves again!”
Look at all the auctions at www.esha.horse