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Young Champions Auction: Promising prospects

Tuesday, 12 September 2023
Advertisement presented by Young Champions Auction

Photo © Young Champions Auction The team behind the Young Champions Auction: Jos Verlooy and Kevin Jochems are top athletes, while Dave Vermandel and Brent Onsia are top riders who scout and train young horses.

It's crystal clear: The Young Champions Auction is becoming a cornerstone in the equestrian world. This is all thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of four friends who are passionate about the sport and the horse trade. Jos Verlooy and Kevin Jochems are top athletes, while Dave Vermandel and Brent Onsia are top riders who scout and train young horses. They came together and joined forces to build a bridge from young horses to top-level sport horses.

"To ensure continuity in the sport, you must constantly search for young talent," say Jos Verlooy and Kevin Jochems, who can rely on an extensive network for this purpose. "This led us to the idea of curating a collection for an auction."

The Young Champions Auction was born and premiered last year, proving to be a success and worthy of repetition. What was new this year was that the online auction ran simultaneously with a live event. Verlooy explains, "I just want to have contact with people; it had to be a cozy, informal live event, definitely not a VIP affair."

Dave Vermandel underscores the added value of this approach: "We wanted to give something back to our first-year customers during a reunion. Human contact is important, and we've noticed that many of last year's customers have made repeat purchases. This was confirmation that our concept works. Online, you're more distant from your customers, but in a live setting, you create better trust bonds. Hence the informal nature. We saw it as a summer bar."

Jos Verlooy agrees, "Everything took place in a relaxed and unforced atmosphere. This is how you trade in trust. We are newcomers to the auction market and need to build our reputation. After two editions, we've already earned a good name."

Brent Onsia adds, "Potential buyers can see the horses and even try them. We provide accurate information, and that is appreciated. What you see is what you get. Our new concept of a live auction was a bullseye. The vast majority of the horses were purchased live."

Jos Verlooy offers another explanation, "In addition to the trust we build with customers, we have scouted young champions throughout the year. That's what makes our collection so strong. We know the horses inside and out, and as a result, we can perfectly inform potential new owners. That makes our offering credible."

Kevin Jochems concurs with Jos, "There are many auctions, especially for foals. We want to offer our customers a high-potential young horse that has undergone strict medical screening and evaluation. We offer horses about which we know very well what they are capable of, and we communicate this to potential buyers. When you have horses in the stable for several months, you get to know their characters and personalities, their eagerness to learn and their willingness to work. This is important information we can provide. We know exactly what we are selling."

Dave Vermandel concludes, "The credibility of our auction lies in the fact that we have purchased the horses ourselves, as if they were for our own use. So, each of these horses is one we would want to ride ourselves because they are worth the time and energy investment."





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