VDL Auction at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival A Huge Success

Wellington, FL - March 6, 2012 - Friday night's VDL Auction elevated the equestrian sport horse to a new level with more than $1.5 million in sales. The inaugural Wellington VDL Auction held at the new Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center gave owners the exciting chance to bid some of the world's finest young horses. 

The four year old horses are all outstanding jumping prospects coming from the well-known VDL Stud in the Netherlands. The horses were especially selected for their superior talent, disposition and quality for the demanding horse market at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival.

A full house of guests gathered in the Pavilion to see the fine young sport horses in the ring as the first rate team from Only Jumpers conducted the live and online auction. The excitement was palpable with a flurry of fast and furious bidding leading to cheers of successful buyers.

For the first time in Wellington, interested buyers were able to see the VDL jumping prospects in action under saddle and over fences with the opportunity to test ride them to choose a favorite. The elite group of horses consisted of one KWPN approved stallion, one mare and 13 geldings. Winning bids ranged from $55,000 to $210,000 for the stallion, Dakota VDL.

Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions stated, "We're very excited by the success of this auction. It adds an important new dimension to the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival."

The VDL Stud has produced a long list of champions winning at the highest levels, including Olympic Games, World Cup and World Equestrian Games. The horses which were offered at the Wellington VDL Auction are the top selection of the breeding program where these champions come from, from the same top European bloodlines, with proven results in competition year after year.

For horse owners, having the prestigious event in their own back yard is a win/win situation. Costly and long trips to Europe to scout out new prospects and vetting and shipping the horse back to the U.S. weren't necessary. In true instant gratification, the proud new owners could walk down to the ring to greet their beautiful new steeds. For the horses, they couldn't ask for a better home than with these highly respected owners.

Juan Pablo Gnecco from Only Jumpers Auctions commented,"We are extremely happy with the results. All the horses are now in great hands, including two Olympic Riders and some of the top Hunter and Jumper riders in the country. We are excited because we are sure these fantastic horses will be able to develop to their full potential."

He added, "Once again it has been proven that WEF is the best equestrian venue in the world in every way. Any horse event that is done here is extremely successful, best in class. Only Jumpers has done several auctions and this one is by far the best one ever. Big thanks to the whole Equestrian Sport Productions team that helped us put on a fun show we will never forget. We are looking forward to next year's event!"

The thrill of the evening continues into the future. For owners, trainers and riders, the opportunity to shape these young horses today into the champions of tomorrow is priceless.

For more information, please visit www.VDLauction.com or www.onlyjumpers.com.

Photos: Janko and Wiepke van de Lageweg, with Vicky Castegren, the new owner of Dakota VDL, who was the top bid of the night, and Juan Pablo Gnecco. The four-year-old approved KWPN stallion sold for $210,000. © Blue Centaur.com;  The new owner of Doupless, Luis Garcia and his wife, with his trainer, Jorge Verswyvel, and Janko Van de Lageweg and Juan Pablo Gnecco from VDL Auction. Luis Garcia came from Mexico directly to the auction.