Once again the KWPN-NA Annual Meeting pulls out all of the stops to give breeders, trainers,
owners and riders information to help them advance their horses up the ranks to Grand Prix, for
both jumping and dressage. The Royal Dutch Warmblood Studbook of North America (KWPN-NA) has put
together an unprecedented number of experts that includes Olympic medalist Steffen Peters, breeder
and trainer of Olympic horses Cor Loeffen, renowned KWPN inspector Bart Henstra, Olympian Lendon
Gray, USET-member Courtney King-Dye and DVM Deborah P. Harrison. The three-day program, March
24-26, will be held at DG Bar Ranch in Hanford, CA.
If you can only get away from work for one day, this is the evening to attend. This festive
program is loaded with entertainment and education and will feel like a true VIP experience. Food,
drinks and video accompaniment on the big-screen will make this an evening to remember.
The Welcome Reception kicks off at 5:00 p.m. showcasing the athletic abilities of four-in-hand
driving, vaulting and a pas de deux. From there the team behind the Olympic and World-Cup Finals
stallion Idocus will share not only his story as he progressed to Grand Prix, but the program that
has maintained the 21-year-old living legend who is still going strong.
“Idocus is a wonderful ambassador of the Dutch horse with his character, ability, temperament and
soundness,” says KWPN-NA Chair Willy Arts. “To make it through the levels requires progressive
training and excellent care. Our audience will get to hear how it was done.” Speaking on behalf of
the impressive stallion are his breeder and owner Christine McCarthy, Scott Hassler, via video,
who started the stallion, Lendon Gray who competed him through Intermediaire and trained him to
Grand Prix, Courtney King-Dye who rode the stallion internationally and Steffen Peters, who
coached the pair.
The evening will include a live auction to benefit Courtney King-Dye. Highlighting the items on
offer are a breeding to Idocus, a fine art painting and more. Capping the festivities will be a
freestyle ridden by Rolex FEI World Cup Finals winner Steffen Peters.
Sharpen Your Evaluating Skills with Numerous Horses at Every Level
The education and fun continues with both lecture and hands-on demonstrations on Friday and
Saturday that begin at the hotel with information about evaluating and selecting young horses for
dressage and jumping. This will be followed with a daily trip to DG Bar Ranch to see horses in
motion, both loose and under saddle.
Arts explains, “It’s informative to watch dressage prospects moving free to evaluate their
movement. This is also true of watching horses through the jumping chute to evaluate their scope
and technique. One can draw preliminary conclusions for a horse’s potential, but then to see that
same horse under saddle can confirm or change your evaluation.”
Horses from a variety of bloodlines and in each breeding direction (jumping, dressage, hunters,
etc.) will be included, while attendees will be learning from the best of the best. Cor Loeffen is
an instructor at the Dutch Equestrian Center in Deurne, a KWPN inspector and is on the selection
committee for several foal auctions. He is also recognized worldwide as a breeder and trainer of
international and Olympic horses. Bart Henstra is also a KWPN inspector and has operated Stal
Henstra, a successful breeding and training facility with 60 horses, for more than 15 years.
Deborah P. Harrison, DVM, an equine reproductive specialist, will report on the latest research in
the breeding field. Her popular lectures are always informative and useful.
“This is a particularly exciting program because we are preparing to take the membership to the
Netherlands in 2012 for the KWPN Stallion Show. Our goal is to help everyone sharpen their horse
evaluation skills,” Arts says. He believes that in order to correctly assess horses, you must
begin with the overall picture before you start critiquing the little details. It’s more than
seeing that a horse has a good trot or a lot of scope, but what is their future as a riding horse?
“You must learn a system so you look at every horse the same way. You learn to make notes so that
when you see 50-60 horses of good quality you can truly evaluate their potential, as well as
understand your notes!”
Another fun and educational experience will be observing horses that are in training for specific
careers. These dressage and jumping horses will be evaluated loose and then under saddle.
Combining one’s newly gained evaluation skills with the study of working horses is an unmatched
In conjunction with the 2011 KWPN-NA Annual Meeting, the organization is actively inviting young
riders, from all disciplines, to attend the event. A special young rider committee will ensure
that young riders not only benefit from the educational aspect of the meeting, but that they get
to interact with the experts and meet other young riders who share their passion for horses. Find
“Young KWPN-NA” on Facebook to meet other young riders who will be attending the meeting.
Complete details, including hotel information, directions and schedules can be found at
This will be one of those “wish you were here” meetings and event.
I wish I could be there!