Bastiaan Meerburg appointed as new KWPN director
Per 11 July 2022, the General Board appoints dr. ir. B.G. (Bastiaan) Meerburg MBA as general director of the KWPN. Meerburg can rely on a career in science and politics, he additionally fulfilled various board positions, including one at the Dutch Welsh Pony & Cob studbook and the Dutch Rare Breed Foundation.
Meerburg studied Zootechnics at the University of Wageningen, completed an MBA at Nyenrode and obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam, after which he held various government functions. Since 2017, the in Heteren residing Meerburg is director of the Dutch Pest & Wildlife Expertise Centre.
Bastiaan is looking forward to starting at the KWPN: “I have a great affinity for horse and pony breeding. Together with my girlfriend, I run the Airborne Stud that has a small-scale breeding program of Welsh ponies and dressage horses. For me it is fantastic to be able to combine my hobby and profession. From my experience as chairman of the Member Council of the Welsh studbook, I know how studbook organisations function. It will be challenging to ensure all members feel included in the studbook. I am therefore eager to engage in conversation, to offer all members what they need and expect from the studbook. In turn, this enables them to continue breeding the world’s best horses, since that is exactly the strength of Dutch breeders. I love to contribute to that.”
Thanks to a career in science and the abundant political and management experience, Meerburg expects to bring a helicopter view and sensitivity to the table. “It is paramount that the KWPN takes a leading position in sport horse breeding, we want to expand that prominent position. There is a lot of discussion going on in the horse sector. Welfare is one example of the social issues that currently draw a lot of attention. As a studbook we must respond and take a stance. To me, science is an important basis, but I am aware that in breeding a lot of considerations are based on emotions. We must find a balance in it, so we can make our decisions comprehensible.”
Andries van Daalen, chairman of the General Board, explains that there was extensive interest in this function. “The KWPN is an association where a wide variety of people and interests come together. We have therefore selected on connective leadership since that is of the essence in an association. We believe we found a sympathetic and pleasant person in Bastiaan. A director that has a broad orientation and a sharp eye for the various interests at play and the ever-changing world around us. His task is to safeguard what we have and to analyse how we can enhance our position, both nationally and internationally, within and beyond the scope of the equestrian sport and breeding.”
Successor Piet Peters
Meerburg succeeds Piet Peters, who became general director in August of 2018, but announced his wish to retire last January. “It has been wonderful combining work with my greatest passion for the last years of my working life. I felt right at home at the KWPN but is now time for the next phase in my life, with more time for my family. Horses and ponies are my passion and life, so I will always stay connected to the studbook, yet now as an enthusiast. I leave the KWPN with the confidence it is a healthy association where member influence and control are of top priority. My future plans are not concrete yet, I first start with a holiday period of three months and then choices will be made.”
At the request of Piet, a goodbye gathering will be organised with the employees and General Board. Given his experience and involvement, Peters will remain active within the sector.