Nobody expected it to be light on the wallet when shopping at the Winter Equestrian Festival Sport Horse Auction featuring VDL Stud. The 13 horses presented for the 10th annual sale achieved $2,819,000 – an average of more than $200,000 per horse.
“I was happy with the sale,” said Janko van de Lageweg today. Janko’s father laid the foundations for the VDL Stud in Friesland, Holland, when he bought his first horse for breeding in 1972.
Two horses were sold online and the rest in the room. A last-minute addition to the sales line-up proved to be a popular choice. With one horse injured prior to the sale, VDL Legodermus was substituted. With the arrival of the eye-catching six-year-old chestnut gelding in the ring at the international showground, bids started coming in thick and fast, the auctioneer’s gavel falling at the sale-topping price of $400,000.
“Yes, we expected it of course,” said Janko of the highest price tag of the night. The horse, who is competing at 1.25m, had already claimed seventh place in the Netherlands five-year-old national championships. The new owners, whom Janko kept confidential are “very happy,” he said. “They know they have a great horse – it’s a good investment I think. In a couple of years, he will be a top horse.”
VDL Legodermus’ sire, Harley VDL, is one of the most prominent stallions at the stud, with offspring such as two-time World Champion Earley and grand prix showjumpers Charly Chaplin S, Doloris, Elana, Arlando, Davidson and Constable II.
The advantages of buying at auction in the US are clear, Janko explains: “The horses have already flown in, gone through quarantine and vetting. It’s very easy, and from other auctions, it’s proven that they are quality horses and that they come through also.”
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