Eventing horses and hunters
Eventing has undergone major changes in recent years, including the type of horse that dominates the sport. In the past, the breed of choice was the Thoroughbred, but nowadays, eventing does not require such hot-blooded horses. For these reasons, an increasing number of KWPN horses are excelling in eventing – a prime example of which is Oncarlos (rider Tim Lips), who finished fifteenth in the Hong Kong Olympics. Oncarlos and Jazz-daughter Vira (rider Elaine Pen) were in the Dutch team at the 2012 Olympics in London. The demand for KWPN eventers is increasing.
A good eventer demonstrates several key qualities. One is talent for dressage, which usually goes hand-in-hand with several distinct traits: a nice front end and good basic gaits, the most important of which is the canter. In addition, an eventer is careful over jumps and quick off the ground. Furthermore, an eventer is more than an outstanding jumper – it possesses courage, tenacity, durability, and health.
Because many KWPN jumpers meet the current criteria for eventing, a need has arisen for more structured talent scouting and breeder recognition. To this end, the KWPN has created a championship for young KWPN eventers, patterned after the format of the Isah Cup (formerly VION-Cup) for jumpers and the Pavo Cup for dressage horses. Initially, this championship will be open to five-year-olds only. Horses are to be judged in a day competition consisting of a dressage test, a jumping course and several exercises over a cross-country course with jumps. The championship is held during the KWPN Horse Days. In the future, the KWPN may add eventers to its specialized riding horse breeding directions.
The modern-day hunter division finds its origins in the fox hunts of 18th century England. Nowadays, the focus is on an easy ride with light rein contact. Hunter courses consist of natural-looking jumps, and horse/rider combinations are judged on style.
A hunter is a beautiful horse with a well-bred, noble presence; and its comfortable, flat movement makes it easy to ride. Furthermore, a good hunter is characterized by its steady and cooperative temperament. KWPN horses make excellent hunters, for they possess good conformation, a fine temperament, and outstanding jumping talent. In fact, KWPN stallions have produced many hunters, several of which have been exported to the U.S. where they excel in the hunter show ring.