The 11th edition of Flanders Horse Event is starting in just 4 weeks!
Five days of top sport at Stoeterij d’Heyboght, completed with shows and the renown Belgian Warmblood Foal Auction. Last Saturday, the organisation held a press conference to provide more information and treat the press to a barbecue in the stables of Stoeterij d’Heyboght, followed by a photo session of the BWFA foals. An overview…
From a gathering for friends to a celebration for the sport
Flanders Horse Event started as a small, regional competition among friends.
“We started with 5€”, Patrick Gansbeke says. “Now, all we have is a lot of fun” (laughs).”.
When Patrick and his friends started organizing the international competition, some ten years ago, the budget was € 275.000. Today, the organisation works with a € 1.250.000 budget. What started out with no more than five stands, grew to an event counting on 50 stands and a reputation that spread far beyond the Belgian borders. And we can look forward to many editions to come: “Our team will continue organizing Flanders Horse Event for at least 5 more years”, is Patrick’s promise.
Counsel of the Wise
The team that started it all remained, but is completed with the “Counsel of the Wise”. Peter Van Miegroet, Jo Beddeleem, Hans Plessers and Hubert Hamerlinck will support the organisation as from this year.
“We are here to help make an excellent event even better”, Peter Van Miegroet says.
The behind the scenes tours for VIP-members, started last year, will be taken to the next level for this edition. “Most competitions revolve around 70% of sport and 30% of VIP-experience. In Beervelde, however, sport and VIP are one fluent mix of lifestyle, fun, sport and casual chic”, Hans Plessers continues.
Top quality for riders and visitors
The secret of Flanders Horse Event’s success lays in the compact size of the event, but also the efforts to take care of the riders, Caroline De Rooze says.
“We grew from a CSI2* to a CSI3*, and we try to excel at that. The riders can look forward to a prize total of € 206.000 and are pampered in Beervelde. However, we did not forget about our visitors: the entrance is free, allowing everyone to enjoy the sport and atmosphere of Beervelde”.
“Flanders Horse Event has only one ring, but it its quality is the best there is. We could go towards a five-star event, but we prefer to stay smaller and strive to be the best three-star competition. We want our riders to be happy and come back every year”, Danny De Mol comments.
One of the show’s highlights is the Battle of the Clubs, starting on Wednesday, August 3. This series is a huge success: 38 clubs already subscribed for this competition, unfolding in the finale on Sunday.
The 2* and 3* tests, with four of them counting for the Longines FEI ranking, are the main program during these five days, all ending with a party. On Saturday, traditionally the Kids Day, Flanders Horse Event hosts the finale of the Young Horse competition and the BWFA auction. Finally, on Sunday, we end in beauty with the Grand Prix 2* and 3* and a demonstration of the Belgian Driving Association, an organisation that promotes driving in traditional carriages and costumes.
Belgian Warmblood Foal Auction
Like every year, the Belgian Warmblood Foal Auction will hold her auction on Saturday night.
“We have been organizing for 16 years, and the success grows each year. That’s hardly surprising if you think BWFA presents the very best foals our sport has”, Hubert Hamerlinck says.
“100 foals were presented over 3 selection days”, says Lieselot Hamerlinck. “25 of them are retained for the auction. That says a lot about the quality we are presenting. BWFA is the platform for the promotion of Belgian bred foals. Each year, a number of them is sold internationally. 20% of our selection went to foreign stables last year, a big number of them going to Belgian sport stables”.
But the BWFA is more than just an auction: the foals are presented in a festive atmosphere, with music, fireworks and an extra act this year, if we believe auctioneer Dirk Zagers…
“We can count on yet another top selection this year, with sires such as Kannan, For Pleasure, Cornet Obolensky, but also young promising stallion Carlow van de Helle, and nothing but the very best damlines”.
“The fact that even more excellent damlines joined the auction this year means the best breeders join forces with us, so that the BWFA can present better products year after year”, says Tom Van De Vijver.
Facts & figures
Flanders Horse Event may be organized just before the Olympic Games, the event can count on her loyal riders like every year. More names will be announced over the next few weeks, but we can already confirm the presence of Tiffany Foster and members of the Canadian and American teams.
We end with some facts & figures:
- CSI2* – CSI3* – CSIYH
- Top 5 Belgian outdoor jumpings
- € 206.000 prize money
- /- 6000 VIP members
- 500 visitors
- 180 riders
- 440 horses
- 27 countries
- 4 continents: Europe, U.S.A., Australia and Asia.