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One community, one studbook

13 / 05 / 2013
Belgium has as many studbooks as it has Communities. A small country with the best and biggest showjumping horse breeding industry. It is a historic fact; BWP in Flanders, SbS in Walloon. Both regionally connected. And then there is Studbook Zangersheide, located on the borders with the Netherlands and Germany and particularly internationally orientated. Nowadays the Belgian studbooks are colleagues and competitors and they all have their own characteristics and accents. 

We are sometimes blind for it, but there is more that binds than separates us. Abroad we are envied and that is understandable, for the best showjumping horses are born here. Although we sometimes disagree with each other inside our borders, abroad they all agree about the quality of our showjumping horses.

”Horses, and showjumping horses in particular, are an important export product for Flanders. It is motivating to find that there are sectors such as the Flemish horse sector, that are doing well and, in the face of the crisis, even progress’, said Prime Minister Kris Peeters in connection with the trade agreement with China.

What we can do for our most delicious chocolate and the best beer, should also be possible with our horses. They, too, can become ambassadors for Flanders and Belgium. The horse sector can become the new export product par excellence, thanks to its internationally recognized quality label.

But before that happens, several obstacles have to be cleared. The fragmentation that prevails in our communal bodies also applies to the horse sector. Prime Minister Kris Peeters subtly remarked on this subject in his speech of 16 April last and wants to anticipate on it:
“At my initiative a co-operation between the two Flemish sport horse studbooks BWP and Studbook Zangersheide is in progress, not least to further improve the promotion of our Flemish sport horses and to consolidate our top position in the showjumping horse industry at world level.”

In reaction to his speech, bilateral talks have been started between Zangersheide and BWP, which should finally result in a close co-operation, for if both studbooks combine their forces, they will be the biggest, most powerful and best showjumping horse studbook in the world.

BWP has its traditions, Zangersheide has its marketing and modern business management experience. It has been the fastest growing studbook in the past decade. Promotion and commercialization are the powers of Zangersheide, BWP laid a solid foundation in past decennia from which the best showjumping horses have sprouted and which placed them now at first place in the world ranking. We can complement each other.

BWP and Zangersheide, looking from the view of Kris Peeters, see more similarities than differences. That is why it should be opportune to merge. Such a merger would imply that Flanders and Belgium are suddenly a world leader. Together we have the quality, the experience and know how to consolidate this joint project for the stimulation of sales and export. It would bring surplus value to the sport and breeding. A win-win situation. One community, one Belgian showjumping horse breeding studbook can conquer the world.

Chairmen Judy-Ann Melchior & Kris Keersmaekers



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