Rabobank Partners With KWPN-NA To Support Breeders in North America

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Equine Talent Scout Paul Hendrix Reveals the Secret of His Success at Annual Meeting
Sutherlin, OR---The KWPN of North America (Royal Dutch Warmblood Studbook) is proud to announce that Rabobank, N.A. has become a major strategic partner in the support of North American sport horse breeders. The sponsorship includes prize money for a wide variety of champions, a new breeders awards program, the Rabobank Star Breeders Awards, as well as support for important education programs. The partnership was a natural fit for the U.S. retail banking division of the Rabobank Group, the premier lender to the global food and agricultural industry with century-old roots in the Netherlands. Rabobank is a financial services leader providing commercial, retail and agricultural finance solutions in more than 40 countries around the world. 
"I'm excited that two companies that have each been in existence for over 100 years will be partnering together," says Tony DeGroot, a member of the Rabo Agricultural Advisory Board and owner of DG Bar Ranch, one of the preeminent sport horse breeding, training and sales facilities in North America. "This will be a big plus for both institutions."

The Rabobank Star Breeders Awards will recognize top North American breeders of KWPN horses as their horses earn points at keurings and for receiving Keur and Star predicates. In addition, prize money will be awarded to 20 champions each year-Champion and Reserve Champion foal, and Champion and Reserve Champion 3-7 year old horse, in each of the KWPN's breeding directions: jumper, hunter, dressage, harness and basic. "We are very excited to be able to offer breeders prize money," states Willy Arts, KWPN-NA Chairman.

Rabobank, N.A. is a California community bank and a leading provider of agricultural financing and banking products to farmers, ranchers, input suppliers and agricultural manufacturers.  With 92 retail branches and 15 commercial banking centers, the bank serves the needs of communities from Sacramento to the Imperial Valley through local decision making and active community involvement by its employees. 

KWPN-NA Annual Meeting Offers Insights into International Sport Horses


Paul Hendrix  Photo credit: Chris Heale
Paul Hendrix Photo credit: Chris Heale


The KWPN-NA Annual Meeting, held in Wellington, FL, once again provided a weekend full of fun along with many educational opportunities from some of the industry's finest experts. There were presentations on a variety of subjects, as well as many exciting field trips, in which participants were able to observe and learn from world-class horsemen and their talented horses. Visitors received insights into the breeding, training and identification of top international sport horses for both jumping and dressage.

Willy Arts explains, "Paul Hendrix and Bart Henstra are among the foremost sport horse experts in the world. They were very candid about how they select horses and what traits breeders, trainers and riders should be looking for. I don't think this information has ever been available to a group before. It was really a rare opportunity."

Paul Hendrix is known worldwide for his Stal Hendrix, which he runs with his brother Emile in the Netherlands. Paul has the special talent of identifying world-class horses. Among the international horses he has produced: Liberty (ridden by Laura Kraut), My Girl (ridden by Ian Millar), and Bonita (ridden by Jessica Kurten). Hendrix shared his insights for how he has built his business. He touched on the importance of caring for the customer, building a network of clients and the excitement of searching for the right horse for the right rider.  

Meeting attendees were in for a big treat when they attended the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival to watch the young jumper classes with Hendrix providing in-depth commentary on the country's best up and coming jumpers. So what traits does the equine guru look for in identifying stars for the future? "I look at the jump in the canter," he explained. "Is it active and moving? This will be even more important as they move up the levels." Hendrix also emphasized the importance of how the horse uses its hind end over the jump. However, it's not solely natural talent. According to Hendrix how that scope, bravery and carefulness are channeled by the trainer and rider are just as critical in order for the horse to reach his full potential.  

Hendrix is also keenly aware of the importance of bloodlines in reliably producing top horses. He encouraged breeders to thoroughly research their breeding matches. "Heritability is key when looking at a stallion to breed to a mare. There is a genetic correlation between [what traits stallions pass on] and sport performance. The KWPN has very good predictors for sport based on genetics," he says.

About the KWPN-NA
In 1983, the Dutch Warmblood Studbook in North America was established as the North American Department of the Royal Warmblood Studbook of the Netherlands (KWPN) in order to promote breeding and enjoyment of the KWPN horse in North America. To learn more about KWPN-NA membership, stallions and breeding, visit www.kwpn-na.org.