Breeder Peter van Wijen: The beautiful horse is functionally built

In the early 1980s, Peter van Weijn purchased Raleigh, an Oklahoma mare with his wife, Jose. Jumping genes were present in excess in the dam line across Farn and Marco Polo. Oklahoma formed the basis of a series of toppers.

For two years, we searched for a mare in which we could breed show throwers and with which we could serve as a national rider. So we were looking for a mare that we could take in the future,” says van Wijen.

The choice fell on the Oklahoma mare. She was a 12-year-old and a mother of perhaps forever, who achieved international success under the leadership of Gore Freeling and Bernie Traorig. The Granddam Lottie was the dam of the successful Irco Polo, which was crossed by Swiss Paul Weir.

“Now we’re almost forty years in, and all five moms via Elottie W are back in Oklahoma,” says Van Wegen.

The performance stem is like threads of a chain to avoid weak links

Peter van Wijen, horse breeder at Raleti

Elottie W was a controversial breeding product at the time. Sire Ramiro came to the Netherlands after an impressive career under Frits Ligges. This was an initiative of Leon Melchior and then Minister of Agriculture van der Stee.

“However, this ‘State Stallion’ selection was so positive for us, it really put us on the map as a breeder. At least four of all of her fillies performed at the 1.6m level, and all of her fillies eventually became super-performing mares,” she says. Van Weijen.

Elottie W. © Jacob Melissen

Looking at the stallions used by Peter and José van Wegen, one thing stands out: all the same stallions perform at the top of showjumping.

Breeding a show jumper means accumulating desirable genes. Then you should use stallions who know they can do what you expect from their children. This is certainly not the law of the Medes and Persians. But a horse of 1.6m by 1.6m by 1.6m definitely gives a chance more than nothing, says van Weijen.

After Elottie W, Oklahoma II W also became a masterpiece in breeding. Bred by Libero H, this mare produced two 1.6m horses, including a Jeddam Vindicat W show jumper. Under Peter Charles, he was part of the award-winning British team during the 2012 London Olympics. After the Games, this horse went to Jessica Springsteen. Daughter of American singer Bruce Springsteen.

Vindicat W at the Olympics.
Vindicat W at the Olympics. © Jacob Melisen

In Oklahoma II W, the hopping gene pool that Van Wegen wanted also continued in selecting stallions. N.Hylottie van Wegen Z was added to the stable as a brood, whose father was the ancestor of the Nabab de Reve.

A filly from Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve from N.Hylottie was sold to Canada at this year’s Flanders Foal Auction for €17,000. The girls of Oklahoma’s second W., descent from Verde Tennessee and Grandorado Tennessee, must give shape to breed Van Wijen’s performance.

“As riders we weren’t good enough, riding was a hobby. So is raising horses. But if you want to continue to have a hobby, you have to manage the costs. This is why we often say goodbye to our breeding products as ponies. The costs of keeping these animals are Even the age of 5 or 6 years is not only too high for us, but also very risky.

Make a profit on the horse

If you let a horse compete in the sport for others, the cost of a horse at the age of six will be between 50,000 and 75,000 euros. “The horse has to be at its best, have the necessary clear rounds in the legs, and show a lot of potential for heavy work, if you want to make a profit out of this,” explains Van Wegen.

We know our limits and try to achieve a stronger link in the chain each time by choosing the right stallion. So we breed performance-oriented foals and you can describe our mission as follows: breeding foals that face obstacle-jumping as light at a later age. Because horses that don’t find their hard work will be able to jump higher and wider, says van Weijen.

‘But then the contradiction.’ Yes, the price of the dowry is more than enough to cover the costs. Whether it was also financially efficient when you look at it from the beginning, when we started with the bead chain for performance breeding, is a question that should probably be answered with a “no,” continues horse breeders from Overijssel.


On the other hand, there is pride in breeding a horse that has won a gold medal at the Olympics, van Weijen continues. “And we have bred many horses that have jumped 1.6 metres. It cannot be expressed in money.

It is clear to Van Wegen that the price is not determined solely by the pony. Especially the investments he has made during the past forty years in building the chain of beads that this tribe represents are crucial.

The goal is to raise the best sport

One thing was crucial to Peter van Weijn from the very first moment as a breeder: the horse must represent an economic value. If the animal does not have this value, education is temporary. Reproduction is Van Wiggins’ goal for the sport. This might be for the cross country rider with more limited ambitions, but he prefers breeding for the best sport. For him, a beautiful horse is functionally built. Van Wegen admits, “I am very proud of the fact that in forty years we have built a streak that performs so strongly in showjumping compared to Olympic gold for Vendikat W.”

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