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Axel Verlooy: “At the moment, there is no trade”

Monday, 06 April 2020
Interview

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. Axel Verlooy. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

The coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic has been described as the defining global health crisis of our time and even the greatest challenge the world has faced since World War II. The pandemic is also hitting the world economy hard, and the equestrian industry is beginning to feel the consequences. 

WoSJ spoke with a few big names in the showjumping business to learn more about the challenges the industry is facing.

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“At the moment, there is no trade,” Axel Verlooy – founder of Belgium-based Euro Horse, a company that’s been in the business for 35 years – says. “With all the travel restrictions and without any shows, no one is buying horses.”

“The main problem is that there is not much income, but the costs are the same. The horses still need to be fed, groomed and ridden, so with our number of horses we still need our staff. We have kept everyone who is working here, and not done any layoffs. We work behind closed doors though, and I am very strict about that as I am trying to keep my team healthy and safe. Luckily for us, we still have our breeding program running and stallions such as Emerald and Nixon bringing some money in,” Verlooy tells. “We have decided to use this period to give our older and more experienced horses time off, and are focusing on producing the young ones meanwhile.”

“I think the biggest problem is that no one knows what is going to happen next, it’s all uncertain,” Verlooy continues. “A lot of people have invested big money in horses, stables, trucks and so on – and still have to pay the running costs without any kind of income. When the trade resumes, I think a lot of people will have to sell at the same time and the result will be a big drop in the prices on the horses. However, I do believe that the really good ones – young or old – will keep their value. I am hopeful that with the Olympics being postponed to 2021, the FEI will push the ownership deadline which perhaps could stimulate some business when this is all over.” 

“It’s a hard time for everyone, and I really hope things will change for the better soon.” Verlooy closes off. 

 

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