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Advertisement | Willi Melliger: "Cooperation across borders makes life more interesting, right?"

Monday, 25 August 2014

The 61-year-old Willi Melliger lives with his wife and three children in the Swiss Neuendorf. The legendary show jumper Calvaro is inextricably linked to this former Olympic rider. In 1996 the combination won individual silver during the Olympic Games in Atlanta. But it did not stop there; during the Games in Sydney in 2000 Switzerland won team gold. As if that is not enough, Willi and Calvaro also won four medals at the World Championships. The success even resulted in a book starring Calvaro entitled: 'White Myth'.

Willi Melliger: "I have known the Hendrix family for a very long time. We have frequently worked together over the past years. Not just because The Netherlands has acquired a good position in international equestrianism, but also due to the great amount of knowledge the Dutch horsemen and women have. The Hendrix family is a perfect example of this."

For many years Willi was one of Switzerland's most successful riders. He therefore knows as no other what a good show jumper should have. " What I know for sure is that you need a good horse to be able to become a better rider. It is definitely not easy to find that one horse, but there are ways to reach your goal more quickly. That is, for example, to buy horses from people who know what a good horse is. That is why I buy at the Dutch Sport Horse Sales. Each year I go to the auction and am always amazed at how they can find such quality horses."

Willi himself no longer competes, but still looks for good horses for his clients. Does he bring them to the Dutch Sport Horse Sales or does he come by himself? "Sometimes I bring clients with me if find a horse in the collection that I think would suit them. I also go on my own and buy horses for myself. I have to fill my own yard too, haha! I rarely buy via the telephone. I personally find it better to look at the horses with my own eyes. It gives more insight and is of course much more fun too."

In 2008 Melliger bought the grey Curacao (Carpola x Lordanos). He says about this horse: "This horse shows me every day that it will become a perfect Grand Prix horse. Last year I bought Escada (Chacco Blue x Ircolando). This mare has a great pedigree and learns very quickly, that is what I like."

As the prominent horse dealer travels all over the world visiting auctions he can make a good comparison. What are the differences between the Dutch Sport Horse Sales and other auctions that he has visited. "Each auction has its own style. The Dutch Sport Horse Sales is definitely one of the best auctions I know. It says enough that I see people from all over the world back in Weert every year. Cross-border cooperation makes life ever more interesting, right?"

Click here to read more about the DSHS auction.

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