Wellington Equestrian Festival VDL stud auction tailored for the US market

  • From the auction ring to the showground, horses sold at tomorrow’s VDL stud auction (Thursday 3 March) in the International Arena at the Winter Equestrian Festival [WEF], will likely be on show soon after. “Once they’re sold, you can see them out in the ring almost immediately,” said Melanie Peterson-Ramey, auction coordinator. “So the results from the auction horses speak for themselves.”

    This is the 10th anniversary of the auction, which features 13 horses including five, six and seven-year-olds with a range of experience, designed to appeal both to professionals and the substantial US amateur-owner market.

    The average sale, Melanie says, is $125,000, “but we have sold horses for $600,000, it depends on what they have brought over here. These are the best horses that they hold back for the US market during WEF.”

    Janko van de Lageweg, whose father laid the foundations for the VDL stud when he bought his first horse for breeding in 1972, is in Wellington to represent the family. “We believe this gives a more comfortable opportunity to buy your next equine partner rather than buying off videos,” Janko said.

    Some horses on sale tomorrow already have form.

    “I think it’s exciting when we have horses that have already competed at a top level,” said Melanie. “There’s one that’s already been to the championship at Lanaken and there’s another that was the champion for his age group in Brazil. When you have the opportunity to sell horses that have already shown so much potential on an international stage I think that’s really exciting.”

    VDL Jonathan is the horse on sale with the title of Brazil’s national champion seven-year-old. He is by Douglas VDL and out of Kimberly, mother of Robert Whitaker’s grand prix horse, Casino VDL.

    Some 350 people are expected to attend as bidders, sitting in the private auction area. Spectators can watch from other areas of the Winter Equestrian Festival International arena. Start time is 7pm.

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