January 2020 was a dream start for the ESHA team: a super collaboration with the organisation of jumping de Damburg in Bocholt, a building that was beautifully decorated, enthusiastic employees, 75 horses, snacks, drinks and top customers. There were even also 100 horses registered for the already well-known spring auction in the Molenheide in Schijndel! "What could stop us from making 2020 a top year?" Kees and the Swennen brothers mused. Covid, lockdown, strict rules and customers who no longer dared to travel to see the horses. It looked like a very bad joke, but it was not.
Don't get stuck with it
For a few weeks we were really bored, but boredom can also be good, because then you start brainstorming and dreaming again. Seek the wisdom of age and see the world through the hopeful eyes of a child. With the open character of the ESHA auction, why couldn't we continue online and still help our loyal breeders and enthusiasts sell their horses?!
A few phone calls later it was settled. In no time at all the website was transformed and prepared for fully online auctioning. The helpers in the stable and office were immediately super enthusiastic and we would test run it a number of times. Selling a maximum of 15 horses every 10 days was the original idea.
After the first online auction, the feeling was good and it tasted like more. Every 10 days an auction remained unchanged, the 15 horses soon turned into 30, 50 and even 80... Sellers came by at agreed times, so we could always stay at a safe distance from each other with few people. Our customers also no longer had to drive around and could stay safely at home. We put all the information about the horses online and if people wanted to know more about the horses to be sold, they could always contact us by phone or e-mail. Our strong point is that we say it the way it is. There is no point in hiding something and then having to look for solutions afterwards in order to cover up previous nice talk.
Only sell elite horses?
According to the organisers of the ESHA auction, this is not what fits their vision and feeling. A camel, stable fronts, ostriches and denominations such as "All Stars" and "Cocktail Auction" are already well known among both suppliers and buyers. Also, the 2 stars behind the names of the broodmares or 1 star for the horses with a remark, are understood and welcomed by everyone. Nobody is perfect, not a human being, but also not an animal. But do we have to exclude a horse and also the seller because of a remark or stable flaw? Then you are not helping everyone, according to organiser Dennis Swennen. And pay attention, within a few years we will see one on TV while everyone is thinking: "Hey, wasn't that an ESHA All Star?
The strength of ESHA is working together and daring to be open to each other. For us, that is the most important key to bringing people together online and selling all the horses with peace of mind.
Save the best for last
To close the year, the European Sport Horse Auction team is doing the Christmas Special. An exclusive collection is already online with young top sport horses that we will hear a lot about in the future. But also fair-use horses, cuddly mascots for in the stable and promising embryo's and sperm lots. For Pleasure, Verdi, Thunder vd Zuuthoeve, Eldorado vd Zeshoek, Chacco Blue, Emerald... all ingredients are present. All with detailed photos, videos, the full story and of course the X-ray and clinical examinations accompanied by the reports of the veterinarians.
In conclusion, the organisers would like to encourage everyone. No matter how dark and boring it is now for everyone, better times are coming. Before we know it, we will be back in a cosy arena full of fantastic people and beautiful horses. We admire the stamina of the entire team, both in the stable and in the office. Many hours, even into the middle of the night, were spent answering emails, putting examinations online, braiding horses, filming them and guiding or organising transports. All to keep the business running and meet the deadlines of a new ESHA auction, which was due already 10 days later.
An eventful year comes to an end, a hopeful future awaits impatiently. For the new year 2021 we wish you good health and a lot of time for the most beautiful sport in the world and for now good luck with the bids in the last ESHA auction of the year 2020!