1. What attracted you to Mr.Europe at the time?
Marry Lodewijk: “We agreed to buy a foal together. We were looking for a horse from a well-performing damline. After doing the research, one colt really stood out, and that was Mr.Europe. He had charisma, good movements, a beautiful color and came from a well performing line. We agreed on the amount and decided to immediately offer a high amount. We knew for sure that we wanted him. In the end we had the highest bid and he was ours. ”
2. Do you still own Mr.Europe?
Benny Wezenberg: “We had him together until his fifth year. After that, the Lodewijk family also bought my share. Later this part was taken over by the Houtzager-Kayser stables.”
3. How did the first years of Mr.Europe went?
Wezenberg: “Mr.Europe went to the Peeters family in Diever up to and including its third year. He was also trained to be ridden over there. As a three-year-old he was approved for Zangersheide and at the age of four Gerdia Dolfsma trained him some more. She also rode his first courses with him until 1.20m level. After Gerdia was involved in a serious accident, Mr.Europe went to Marc Houtzager and Julia Kayser as a five-year-old. They trained him further and later became co-owners.”
4. Did Mr.Europe live up to your expectations?
Wezenberg: “For sure! He always played it by the book. He jumps extraordinarily. I knew he was good, but that he would be so good even exceeded my expectations.”
5. Do you have a special connection with Mr.Europe?
Lodewijk: “I immediately had a click with this horse and I always had faith in him. His way of jumping was good. When Gerdia started riding she indicated that this was a special one. Marc Houtzager had the same feeling after he had jumped two crosses with him. I go to practically all shows where Marc Houtzager competes with him. Only when I really can’t make it, I watch the courses online.
6. Why would you advise people to buy a foal at Foal Auction Prinsjesdag? Why buy a foal and not a three- or four-year-old?
Wezenberg: “I can recommend people to buy a foal at the Foal Auction Prinsjesdag because the best foals in the Netherlands are present there. It’s a well organized event. We auctioned several of our home bred foals at Prinsjesdag. Of course there is no guarantee, it’s like buying hope. But if you want to buy a horse from such well bred lines as a three- or four-year-old is nearly impossible. They are practically not for sale, and when they are, they are very expensive.”
Lodewijk: “I have a thing for foals and at the Prinsjesdag auction you will only find foals from renowned damlines. When you think about it logically, it’s better to buy a three- or four-year-old. You can see their x-rays and you can have them make a jump. But if you want to buy a horse this age from such a respectable damline like Mr.Europe, you have to drive quite a few miles, because they are practically never for sale.”