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Van Den Brande Dressage Stable in Wellington, Florida

Galant du Serein, the fabulous Selle Francais stallion that passed away earlier this year, had a successful international career that included competing in the Dressage World Cup, the World Equestrian Games and the Olympics. But it was with Werner van den Brande that he got his start.

Van den Brande clearly has an eye for a winner. The 31-year-old rider and trainer owns and operates Van Den Brande Dressage Stable based at Ida Farm in Wellington, Florida and he’s a recent transplant to the U.S., having settled her permanently a little over a year ago. For many years, van den Brande traveled back and forth between the U.S. and his native Belgium, teaching clinics and selling horses. Those U.S. trips frequently took him to Florida and Van Den Brande quickly discovered that the weather in Florida, particularly in winter, was far better than in Belgium. And that’s why he now calls Florida home.

"I like the U.S. And, I’ll be honest, I’m not to keen

on winter," van den Brande said.

Van den Brande has been involved in the horse sales business since the late 1990s. But his experience as a rider and trainer goes back to childhood. Like so many youngsters, he got his start in the Pony Club and participated in numerous equestrian disciplines, but dressage quickly became his passion.

"It’s what I found most interesting," he said. Hence, that's where he has focused much of his life. In addition to his skill at finding good horses and matching them with the right riders, van den Brande has had tremendous success training and competing young horses. In addition to guiding Galant du Serein through his early years, he has taken several other young horses to international success, among them Pompadour W and Uivertje Ruta.