This year’s KWPN-NA meeting was held in San Diego, California—an excellent choice as winter has much of the world still under siege of wind and snow and cold. But San Diego was its usual temperate, magical self –even a cool gray morning gave way to sun each day.
This year’s meeting was a potent mix of good horses, knowledgeable speakers and the fun that comes from seeing other breeders face to face—which in a country as large as the United States, does not happen very often.
Olympic mount Ravel ridden by Steffen Peters Photo Credit: Siegi Belz-Fry
Although the lecture part was held in the Hilton hotel, the hands-on part was held each day at Steffen Peters’ farm.
First day, trainer/breeder/Deurne faculty member Cor Loeffen gave a dynamic explanation on how to evaluate a horse for conformation and movement.
That afternoon, the horses were evaluated live and scores were given.
The next day, after more lectures on veterinary updates and breeding, Steffen Peters gave a lovely talk on how he picks a prospect. He stressed that he looks for suppleness –a horse that responds easily and fluently to a rider’s light aid, pointing out that a horse that stays mentally relaxed puts less wear and tear on its body.
That afternoon, horses were shown under saddle. Steffen rode a 4 year old Rhodium gelding, and Cor Loeffen, acting as commentator, said ,”Here is a man who rides as he talks!”
At the other end of the spectrum, the next rider in was soon to be 15 years old Ashlyn de Groot on wellknown KWPN-NA approved stallion Idocus, and she rode a lovely Intermediaire II, about which Loeffen said, “This is how it should be, a young rider learning from such a wonderful teacher!”
After the other horses were evaluated under saddle, Steffen Peters returned with Olympic mount Ravel and rode his newly reworked freestyle, and if it goes as well in Las Vegas in a few weeks, then World Cup could prove another amazing victory for this top sport pair.
Idocus ridden by Ashlyn de Groot Photo Credit: Siegi Belz-Fry