Martien Verbord must know: “A horse must have the wow factor” | Waalwijk, Heusden eo

VIJMEN – Martien Verbord recently became the Dutch multi-driving champion. De Vlijmenaar has been very successful for many years. “I only want horses who want to win just like me.”

If you look at the picture, you will think that there is only one horse pulling the cart. But if you look at the photo a little longer, you will see the small details: there are two tails and two heads. So the photo says all about the condition of the man sitting on the easel, Martien Verbord.

The 69-year-old driver has the ability to get two horses to run nearly synchronously with each other. And the shot proves it, with an air that looks a bit arrogant. “Who does what, we are the best,” the waist trainers Jonkheer and El Nino seem to want to say. Not bragging, as it turned out recently during the More Dutch Extension Championships. Verbord took first place.

Six days of training

This is no accident. In this world, which is mainly limited to the Netherlands, De Vlijmenaar is covered with gold and silver. He also has the mentality for it. I do everything to win. Competition is my nature. I order the same from my horses.” So the former vehicle-building entrepreneur trains six days a week with his “golden” team, and with any successors.

Perhaps, because performance is not the sum of a talented jockey who knows how to knead his horses well. The first step is not that difficult. I buy ponies, especially stallions, from good stock. They go to breed in Friesland. There they walk in a herd that raises horses. This is where the first selection begins. During these two years in Friesland, a hierarchy is established in such a herd. The horses that assert themselves the most are the most interesting horses like those that harness. This isn’t always your horse.”


Competitions are all about performance. That a horse has an amazing factor when presented to a jury

Martin Verburg

Why should you have those horses that rule the herd? “In competitions, it is all about performance. That a horse has an amazing factor when presented to the jury. And when riding, as in a herd, he must show arrogance to control the rest of the horses – we all come to the ring at the same time.”


If the stallion had the presence that Fairboard thought, the noble animal would come to his stable. Then the real work begins: the forgery. He begins to rush, making endless rounds in the ring. To get used to each other. In the end, you should feel, with one click, that the horse really wants to work for you and enjoys it. So the horse allows you to work with it, like raising your legs up to walk gracefully.”

The band should be there

Sometimes Fairboard, the farmer’s son who, as he put it, was more likely to ride a horse than ride a bike, doesn’t feel this bond. “It comes down to character. Then it stops, you can’t force the horse. Then I will sell it to a dealer.”

Martin Verburg © Private

Getting two horses to run simultaneously is an even bigger challenge. If that works, as it does with Jonkheer and El Nino, it will yield impressive performances: for a few years now, Verbord has been on the highest step on the podium with both pairs and singles. Horses radiate powerfully, they want to appear. At the same time, it is one of the best sports. Within ten minutes they have to give everything they have. It’s tough mentally, too for me.”

Jonkheer and El Nino are literally and figuratively a golden couple. You might think: You cherish it for years. But this is not the case. Put them on top. Then I sell them. Usually they go global. Italy and the United States. I deal regularly with the Amish.” This Protestant orthodox religious community has not embraced modern life, but does all of its business with horses.

never sure

The seat of the caliphs was already located at Phlegmen. In a few years they should impress the jury. But there is a long way to cross. “If it comes to that at all,” Fairboard says. “You can never be sure. As a result, leadership remains a challenge 55 years later.”

Leave a Comment