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WoSJ Exclusive; Peter van der Kallen – ”Selling a horse is like selling a dream”

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Peter van der Kallen gives his views on the horse market to WoSJ. Photo by Hanne Christensen. Peter van der Kallen – or Dutch Pete as many call him – is one of Europe’s many horse dealers. We decided to let Pete tell us about how the horse market is at the moment.

Could you tell us a little bit about your job?
“I’m a horse dealer, and sell quite a few junior jumpers to the US. I also buy young horses and sell them on later, and have a few young ones placed with different good local riders – amongst them Malin Parmler. It’s important that the riders are good at training young horses, and that they can bring them on properly. I also have a nice horse – Cardoso– with Harrie Smolders, and it’s jumping international 1.50 classes now,” Pete says. “Selling a horse is like selling a dream; everybody is looking for that one big time horse.”

What kind of horses sell well at the moment?
“It depends a little, but the way I see it today’s horses definitely need intelligence and scope to sell. And in America the horses need to be pretty as well. The US market is probably more particular than the one in Europe; in addition to being pretty the horses need to be simple to ride and have more blood. The training methods in the US demands such kinds of horses, as the riders have a light way of riding – there isn’t much legs and hands going on,” Pete explains.

“In general people are looking for more and more blood in the horses. The horses today need to have scope, but still be able to go fast – that’s where the blood comes in. Just look at how fast the best horses go in the jump-offs; everybody wants to win and the horses need to match these criteria if they are going to sell,” the Dutch horse dealer says.

 

How is the market – considering the economic climate right now?
“The really good horses still sell easily, and will always be expensive. It’s the everyday horses that are harder to sell. What is obvious though is that buyers don’t have as much money as they used to have, and it’s harder to sell horses now than it used to be. I still sell around 20-25 horses each year, and they mostly go to the States. I mainly search the horses out for my clients. I have seven clients right now, and they all know what they want and need,” Pete smiles.

“That being said, there is always a frenzy before the big championships and that’s where we are at now with the Olympics next year. Sold horses need to be in their new ownerships before the 31th of December this year to compete in London. So, the Olympics keep prices up at the moment. Also, the prize money on the big shows – like the GCT – keep the price tag on good horses up; there is no need for horses for ‘Mickey Mouse’-shows anymore,” Pete laughs.

 

What is your own preference when buying?
“I like the Dutch horses. They have a good confirmation, they are simple, easy and pretty. In the US you find a lot of KWPN horses competing. The Dutch breeding system is very progressive, and gives horses with enough blood. I really like horses with Voltaire-blood; right now I have six or seven with Voltaire blood in them,” van der Kallen points out.

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