VDL Stud: talented horses destined for extraordinary careers

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HSJ’s Interview with Wiebe van de Lageweg

Back in 1972, a young Wiepke van de Lageweg purchased his first breeding mare. What initially appeared to be a simple hobby, with just one broodmare for breeding, gradually transformed into a globally renowned family-run enterprise led by him and his children: VDL Stud.

VDL Stud: Four Divisions, One Singular Mission

VDL Stud boasts four facilities dedicated to horse training and breeding, sprawling over 300 hectares of land, a true equine paradise ready to cater to every equine need. The core principles of passion, dedication, and commitment remain at the heart of this remarkable family business.
Their sole mission? To provide the equestrian world with talented horses destined for extraordinary careers.

The incredible VDL Stud facilities are located in Bears, the Netherlands, and serve as an Approved Breeding Station. Here, the excellence of the produced subjects begins with the selection of stallions. VDL proudly boasts over 50 approved stallions, each with pedigrees that include the most prestigious bloodlines. These magnificent specimens are the result of a long tradition of selection and dedication to breeding show jumping and dressage horses.

The facility houses a Certified European Union Semen Collection Center, ensuring top-quality distribution of frozen semen. VDL’s influence extends far beyond national borders, with the export of frozen semen worldwide. This significantly contributes to spreading VDL’s valuable genetic heritage globally. VDL also exports fresh semen throughout Europe, ensuring that the best stallions are easily accessible across the continent, promoting genetic quality and diversity in breeding programs.

VDL Stud’s breeding program reflects an unwavering passion for horse reproduction. Their facilities house more than 80 broodmares of excellent lineage, carefully selected to allow for the production of horses with the finest bloodlines. These broodmares form the core of a breeding program geared toward producing quality young horses primed for successful competitive careers.

In addition to horse-trading, VDL Stud also operates as a training center dedicated to preparing both young equestrian prospects and experienced champions. Horses of all ages are trained to reach the highest levels in show jumping and dressage. The goal is to equip them with the skills and experience needed to compete successfully, from the grassroots level to the Grand Prix.

HSJ’s Interview with Wiebe van de Lageweg, Conducted by Mario Georges Verheyden

During the Young Horse World Championships, Mario Georges Verheyden, Belgian-born and Italian-based rider and the reference coach for Horseshowjumping.tv, had the opportunity to speak with Wiebe van de Lageweg.

Wiebe, the son of the founder of VDL Stud and co-manager of the family business with his brother and father, talked about the horses presented by VDL at Lanaken in the 2023 edition, praising the organization by saying, “Everything is very well organized, just like every year.”

He mentioned that VDL presented several young horses at the 2023 Young Horse World Championships in the five, six, and seven-year-old categories. At Lanaken, VDL showcased a variety of talented riders, including British riders Luke Hill and Alex David Gill, Swedish rider Magnus Österlund, and Dutch riders Wesley de Boer and Hessel Hoekstra.

Luke Hill rode the promising BWP stallion VDL Sambucci de Muze, who boasts an impressive pedigree featuring champions like Vigo d’Arsouilles, For Pleasure, Darco, and Skippy II. Wiebe shared that “Sambucci, who is an approved stallion, is truly incredible. He’s a hot-blooded horse, very athletic, and quick on his reflexes.”

They also presented the KWPN 5-year-old stallion VDL Night Life (by Erco van T Roosakker x Arezzo Vdl), which they bred themselves. “He’s a really good horse, powerful… he has many assets, and at Lanaken, he was ridden by Alex Gill” Wiebe said.

VDL Night Life and Alex Gill – 2023 FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Championship in Lanaken

Moving on to the six-year-olds, Wiebe mentioned VDL Mindset ES, sired by Aganix du Seigneur x Kannan. “Mindset, also ridden by Alex, is an approved stallion who finished third at last year’s 5-year-old World Championships.”

They also presented McAllister VDL, a 6-year-old stallion sired by Inaico x Gelha’s VDL Emilion, ridden by Dutch rider Wesley de Boer. Alex Gill rode the 6-year-old mare Magdalena VDL, sired by Insider x Baltic VDL.

Wiebe continued to express his pride as he talked about Stargos VDL, another approved 6-year-old stallion sired by Stakkato Gold x Conthargos, ridden by Dutch rider Hessel Hoekstra.

Stargos VDL and Hessel Hoekstra – 2023 FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Championship in Lanaken

Among the seven-year-olds at the FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Championship in Lanaken was Quizano VDL, sired by Diamant de Semilly x Kannan, ridden by Magnus. Alex Gill also rode the 7-year-old gelding Lacoste VDL, by VDL Zirocco Blue x Indoctro, who was born and raised by VDL Stud.

Wiebe’s words resonate with pride and dedication, reflecting the work that the van de Lageweg family has carried out for over 50 years with unwavering passion, commitment, and sacrifice. Horseshowjumping.tv was honored to gather insights from a representative of VDL Stud, one of the most important and esteemed entities in the world of show jumping horse breeding.

Photo Provided by VDL Stud (c)

Article by A. Ceserani | translation by V. Sozzi

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