The Royal Dutch Sport Horse Studbook in North America (KWPN-NA), the continent's premier warmblood registry, once again welcomes sport horse enthusiasts to join in events and festivities during their upcoming annual meeting to be held March 25 - 28, 2015 in conjunction with the Festival of the Horse CDI 3*/Y/J/U25 and Blenheim Spring Classic I & II hunter/jumper show in San Juan Capistrano, Cal.
The KWPN-NA Annual Meeting is a highlight each year for members; but with an impressive roster of world-renowned speakers and practical demonstrations together with evaluations of real horses and FEI-level competition, this event combines a dynamic atmosphere of education with live international horse sport in the stunning setting of the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, offering something for everyone whether a breeder, competitor, owner, trainer, or just a fan of horse sport. "Our annual meeting is an important way for our organization to provide new information and connect with our members," said Willy Arts, Chairman of the KWPN-NA Board of Directors. "But it's also open to the public and is a terrific opportunity for people to receive education, share knowledge, and network with other horsemen and women, obtaining ideas and information to take back and use in their own breeding and sport programs."
This year's theme of the KWPN-NA Annual Meeting is “Evaluating the Dutch Horse for Continued Breeding Success”, and perhaps no one is better qualified to speak on the subject than the meeting's featured presenter, Marian Dorresteijn. Famous in the Netherlands for her work with her sister Coby (van Baalen-Dorresteijn) from breaking and training young ponies and horses for the IBOP testing to training and competing at the Grand Prix level, Dorresteijnis also well known as a judge for both the KWPN mare inspections and the young horse competitions. She is the first and only female jury member for the KWPN Stallion Keurings, and most notably Dorresteijn has been a member of the KWPN Stallion Selection Committee for dressage horses since 2012.
As keynote speaker for this year's KWPN-NA Annual Meeting, Dorresteijn will provide attendees with a chance to learn from the best of the best with an in-depth look and training in the Linear Scoring method of evaluating Dutch stallions and breeding horses. Dorresteijn will also be joined by renowned KWPN inspector Bart Henstra, who explained why he is looking forward to returning to the KWPN-NA Annual Meeting as a featured presenter. "During every meeting we have special clinics focusing on a specific educational theme which always include a line-up of very knowledgeable horsemen and women who are leaders in the industry, all of this combined with a great facility and in conjunction with a great competition, makes this meeting a unique, wonderful equestrian event," Henstra said.
"What I hope attendees will take away from the meeting this year is that there are very strong correlations between breeding, keurings, and sport," he continued. "Equestrians need to understand what a functional conformation looks like and how it affects the sport ability of a horse, and how through breeding you can change those abilities in future generations of sport horses. Breeders need to understand what riders and drivers are looking for in equine athletes at about 7 to 10 years of age and try to breed for that with support of the breeding tools that the KWPN-NA offers and the knowledge breeders have themselves. This is what makes the circle complete: breeders need the equestrians, and equestrians need the breeders."
Following daily presentations by Dorresteijn and Henstra, attendees will have the special opportunity to move from the classroom to the competition arena where they will be given a chance to put what they've learned into action by completing their own evaluations of elite jumping and dressage horses at the show grounds. As an added bonus, participants will then see firsthand how it translates to live performance in the FEI dressage ring, Grand Prix jumper classes, and elegant hunter rounds.
"We are so excited to be able to organize our annual meeting in conjunction with these two horse shows, all in the same place," explained Arts. "This lovely venue and the quality of horses and riders which will be on-site during this event will give us the best opportunity to educate our members, and will also be a great opportunity for riders, trainers, and owners to learn about identifying horses' ability and the talent needed for the FEI level at a younger age. Learning how to evaluate conformation and movement on prospective top performers and then see how it directly translates to live performance, all in the same day, is an incredible opportunity for all attendees (whether a KWPN-NA member or not) to learn valuable criteria for selecting a super show horse prospect or breeding their own."
As part of three full days of education and excitement, the KWPN-NA Annual Meeting will also feature forums ranging from breeding and veterinary topics to breeder profiles and marketing strategies. Attendees are guaranteed to go home enlightened and inspired, and in recognition of this incredible educational opportunity the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) has approved this event as being eligible for participants to earn valuable USDF University credits. Wrapping up each busy day, social events including the popular KWPN-NA dinner and awards banquet fill the evenings with fun, entertainment, and a chance to celebrate some of the world's best equine athletes.
"For this year's meeting, we are so excited to once again offer an incredible line-up of international experts who will share their knowledge about the KWPN's methodology for success in sport, which has made it the number one breed association in Dressage and Jumpers," explained Annual Meeting Chairwoman Sandy Harper. "We are thrilled to invite anyone with interest in sport horses to come take a break from the winter weather and join us in sunny Southern California. Stay in our host hotel which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, meet other equestrian enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada who have similar goals and aspirations, take advantage of the many educational opportunities, and enjoy exciting High Performance dressage and jumping competition."