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Best Breeder: Koen De Brabander

Jun 17, 2019

In the series ‘Best Breeders’ we highlight this time Koen De Brabander, the Belgian breeder that produced amongst others Flora de Mariposa.

1) If you think of your most successful breeding product, what in your opinion was decisive for this horse to become so successful?
My father laid the fundament of our breeding, he enabled me to start with a good damline. That’s half of the job, the other half is the selection of the sires. In the past my father paid quite some attention to the conformation, I’m not very strict on that. Taking Flora de Mariposa as an example, my criteria are: a modern conformation, lots of blood and good mechanics. By aiming for these demands I’m satisfied about my breeding products.

2) What in your opinion is today the most important trait to take into consideration when you make a combination of mare and stallion?
In the past I purely concentrated on sport stallions doing great in top sport. Today I equally select for a super damline, as this also gives reliability to breeding.

3) Which are your three favourite proven sires?
For Pleasure (father of Flora de Mariposa): Flora was my first filly that I bred from my father’s damline. By using this top sire, my breeding accelerated to the next level. For Pleasure had stayed in my mind since I had seen him when I was a little boy. Even though I was young I was amazed by his successful and long career.
Diamant de Semilly: He gives quite a bit of scope and good canter to his offspring. And lots of offspring in international sport. I used him for a granddaughter to Flora de Mariposa.
Heartbreaker: A fantastic stallion which, unfortunately, I never used. This may very well have been a missed opportunity. I consider using one of his good sons, because Heartbreaker was a super jumper, extremely careful. Last summer I saw Heartbreaker at Team Nijhof and was impressed by his appearance.

4) And which are your favourite young sires?
Poker de Mariposa: Poker is from our own “de Mariposa”-breeding. Dam Ilena de Mariposa and granddam Flora de Mariposa have achieved a lot with the team of Haras de Clarbec. I think he is a very promising stallion. After a good performance in the third phase of the BWP stallion selection he ended up second. Than he was sold for the half part to Kees van Den Oetelaar and Team Nijhof in Holland. They are coaching him very well and will give him all opportunities.
Nixon van 't Meulenhof: He was one of the eyecatchers of the last stallion competition in Belgium. Nixon is from a great damline that has produced several super show jumpers, such as Emerald. He has fantastic hind quarters and I think it’s also a very good looking stallion.

Lector van den Bisschop: He is from a strong damline and his sire Bamako de Muze also has produced some great show jumpers. Lector shows a lot of scope. I think we will hear more from him in the future.
Last season I used all three young stallions, mentioned here, for my own breeding.

5) With which studbook do you normally register your foals? Would you consider registering your foals somewhere else? And if so: why?
BWP is always my choice. Primarily because my father was a member of the BWP board for many years. As kids we were raised with BWP. But also today I am satisfied with the way BWP operates and what they stand for.

6) Which general developments do you think will be important for the future?
In the past breeding was mainly focused on scope, but the sport has changed quite a bit. Speed has become more important, so we need horses with light movement and lots of blood. That is what I am striving for myself. But I think it is also important to select for nice characters and good rideability. In horse dealing those are assets too.