KNHS, FNRS and KWPN Directors: ‘Joining the Big Files’

Three organizations are located in the same place and play an important role within the same sector. Hence it makes sense for them to look out for each other and work together. The new directors of KNHS and KWPN are aware of this, as well as their colleague who has been in the FNRS for a long time. In a joint interview, Patrice Assendelft (KNHS), Heike Blau (FNRS) and Bastian Merburg (KWPN, photo from left to right) explain the importance of cooperation between their organizations.

KNHS and FNRS have had a formal partnership for a long time and KWPN also knows how to find both other organizations in each other’s interfaces. It’s a logical development, but at the same time not entirely self-evident, with the goal of preparing for it. However, we can draw a line under the past, according to the conversation between the three principals. Looking forward is the motto, just because the current times require more cooperation rather than less cooperation.

Hayek Bau: “You can see NHC as the icing on the cake’

First of all there is the central place that actually connects the KWPN, KNHS and FNRS: the National Riding Center (NHC). Hayek Blau, who has been the general manager of the Equestrian Entrepreneurs Trade Association for seven years now, knows where the bottlenecks and opportunities lie for his supporters when we talk about exploiting the NHC. He says: We have 450 members, the majority of whom have large accommodations, where they would like to organize the events themselves. They see the NHC in part as a competitor. What I keep telling them, though, is that you can see the NHC as the icing on the cake. This is where the finals and major events are organized, so that passengers on neutral ground can experience a great experience. Today, the KNHS-FNRS Jump and Sit Up Finals are held at the NHC, because that offers something extra. We can be more creative in this area and have other events here in the future as well. However, this should never be – and this is a task I have been assigned – at the expense of our turnover and the survival of our members. It has to be extra and I think there are quite a few things that can be done.”

Bastiaan Meerburg has been the Managing Director of KWPN since July. He elaborates on these words and says: “Anyway, the facilities here are great and in fact we are dealing with a beautiful trinity of our organizations. Existing knowledge about education, sports and entrepreneurship can be perfectly integrated here at the center. Once you choose more collaborations, you can expand NHC To that wonderful place where sport and breeding meet together at a high level. A good example of this is the World Championships for Dressage Horses. We should organize many of these events together, provided Heike pointed out. Of course, it should not undermine the accommodations on the field. But We have the opportunities here, so let’s use them to the best of our ability.”

Patrice Assendelft: “From the perspective of our organizations, there is a lot of experience and networks around the table”

to be smarter
Music sounds in the ears of new KNHS Director Patrice Assendelft: “In today’s society, you see it easier to amplify differences, the so-called polarization. This is not what we should be doing in the horse industry. The strength lies in cooperation. Together we see many challenges ahead and which have to be done. We have to join forces, also at the National Riding Center. And if you have several days on a yearly basis where you can fire a cannon, so to speak, I find that troubling. In that sense, there must be some sort of “horse disturbance” on a daily basis in the NHC, Whether it’s training courses or an event. I share Hayek’s opinion that you shouldn’t take it from people who organize something either, but on top of that, you can do great things here. We should be smarter. For example, if we build a place accommodation for an event, we need to be able to use it longer and on a larger scale. It can’t be that the NHC, created with member money, sometimes looks like a place of silence. This place should radiate horse excitement and hospitality and we can The three of us make it happen.”

Bastian Mirburg: Well-being has been mentioned, but we also see the nitrogen problem approaching us.

Horse Sector Council
Assendelft has already pointed out the current time with many challenges and explains this in more detail: “With all the concern for the welfare of horses, it is inevitable that you will find each other on topics related to this. If you are talking about welfare, public opinion and a common lobby, then from the perspective of our institutions There is a lot of experience on the table and a lot of networking, through which we can do this together perfectly for breeding, business and sport. We are leading players in the equine world and I would like to see that we are also trying to level the sector globally in the coming years.”

Mirburg adds: “Now there are three of us at the table, but I think the horses of the Sector Council have more parties that fit in well with this. There are currently too many large files on which we can only work together. The luxury has been mentioned, but we We also see the nitrogen problem approaching us. This determines where large horse companies can stay and where they face limits. Haike will probably tell you more about that, but of course it also applies to individual breeders and sports. Will people still be able to keep horses at home? Together? Only we can move towards The Hague and in this case also Brussels in this lobby.”

Equestrian Sports Ambassador
When creating Platform Entrepreneurs Sports Providers, FNRS Director Blaauw saw how collaboration between many parties leads to serious pressure, and said: “We have created POS specifically for sports entrepreneurs, not just for equestrian sports, but for eighteen different sports and with a total of 6,500 entrepreneurs We now have a voice in The Hague We are now setting up a European point of sale so that sports entrepreneurs have a voice in Brussels Fortunately Ursula von der Leyen (European Commission President, Editor) We have a great equestrian sport ambassador in Brussels, who is also very passionate We must use these kinds of communications to defend our interests. This is badly needed, not just for the nitrogen coil, but for a lot of the coils.”

There is no loose sand
“The goal we all wish is that we want more people to ride longer and with more fun,” says Blau, as he turns his attention back to his table buddies. “We need suitable horses for that, so we need a sports federation for that and we need accommodations for that. It makes a lot of sense for us to work together under this topic. More people also means we have to make sure the sport is accessible and affordable.” Especially now, because of the dark clouds that hang over us of course. The second point is more fun. Then you come to hospitality and I call it spiritual, a mixture between a horse and a human, where it is very important that they both have a good time and then you also get to take care of the horses. So we have many Challenges are on our agenda and we can only meet them through hard work and unity. The latter must. Because if we radiate outward as soft sands, we have a bigger problem.”

This was the first interview in an upcoming series with the directors of KWPN, KNHS and FNRS. Every quarter, Patrice Assendelft (KNHS), Bastian Mirburg (KWPN) and Heike Blau (FNRS) bring us the latest updates from the three organizations at, and

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