One breeder at the Elite Foal Auction in Borculo, the Netherlands, couldn’t believe what was happening when his foal, Vesuvius Van’t Zuyderbosch, fetched an eye-watering top price of €81,000 (£72,500) on Thursday, 30 August.

“I can’t believe this is happening to my foal. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Perhaps I’d better stop breeding instantly!” exclaimed Dutch breeder Elbert Pater, who also revealed that Vesuvius is the first foal he has ever auctioned.

The exceptional dressage-bred colt, who is by Valverde x Vivaldi, showed fantastic uphill movement and was bought by Marianne Jerich, owner of many top grand prix horses.

Dutch Olympic rider Adelinde Cornelissen bid for the foal on behalf of Marianne, a former owner of hers.

“Marianne was very keen on this particular foal. It was so exciting!” said Adelinde. “I’ve bought foals before over the telephone, but never for this sort of amount. The foal will now be going to Austria. And who knows, he might end up in my stables one day. I certainly wouldn’t mind.”

The second highest price of the night came for the Desperados x Westpoint son Nashville LMD, who will stay in the Netherlands after being bought by Jan Pieter Dalsem for €56,000 (£50,000).

The most expensive filly on the night was Nina Fleur van de Paulinehoeve, a daughter of For Romance x Jazz, who sold to the Netherlands’ Jan Kooi for €36,000 (£32,000).

Top showjumping foal Conner De La Vie Z

While the sales of showjumping foals the day before didn’t produce quite such high prices as on dressage day, a top price of €40,000 (£35,700) was paid for Conner De La Vie Z.

This rare son of the world champion showjumper Cumano, who has limited semen available, is out of the Heartbreaker broodmare Tuut Tuut. He was conceived through intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, a procedure whereby an egg is fertilised in a laboratory.

Conner De La Vie Z was sold to a telephone bidder from the USA.



Renowned jumping sire Cornet Obolensky proved especially popular among bidders, with Noble Cornet (Cornet Obolensky x Corland) sold to a combination of Dutch buyers for €24,000 (£21,000) and a filly, Narjolijn HRC (Cornet Obolensky x Zirocco Blue VDL) fetching €19,000 (£17,000).