Former Grand Prix-rider, acclaimed trainer and chairman of the KWPN Stallion Committee Bert Rutten was accompanied by another Grand Prix-rider, long-standing national coach of France and Spain and nowadays enthusiastic trainer Jean Bemelmans. They also shared their thoughts on the performances of stallions Johnny Depp and Gallito. 

Johnny Depp (pictured below) was selected for the WC Young Dressage Horses thrice and is now active at ZZ-Zwaar level with Renate van Uytert. Jean: “On average, the KWPN-horse has a longer frame and that can be seen in the more spacious movements, but collection is therefore more difficult for them. The Iberian horse is shorter by nature and therefore more easily ridden by an amateur. Renate is a good rider and knows exactly how to get the best out of her horse, but that’s not something just anyone is capable of.”

Quiet contact
Johnny Depp was followed by the ten-year-old Lusitano Gallito (main picture), a versatile and stunning stallion. He already competed in Grand Prix dressage and was crowned Dutch Champion Working Equitation. Jean: “You immediately see a very different movement mechanism in this horse, more upward then forward.” Bert: “However, he shows a good acitivity and the hindleg is truly placed under the mass. You immediately notice his natural talent if he shows the piaffe.” Jean: “This horse has the renowned Iberian character; always eager and aiming to please. Another advantage is they are more resistant to heat by nature.” Bert: “What also stands out in this horse is the oh-so-quiet contact and that’s also something you see in most Iberian horses. A quiet contact is obviously a desired quality; to make it look as easy as possible with the least possible input.”

Nachtwacht DBD

The afternoon was concluded with a presentation of Nachtwacht DBD (pictured above). He was first presented in the information-inspection and then saddle by Marco Boavista for a demonstration. The stallion is a son of Glock’s Toto Jr out of Sorpresa XXXV. According to his rider Nachtwacht has an amazing character and fantastic attitude.

Both Bert and Jean have experienced an Iberian horse needs a little more time to mature compared to the average warmblood horse and in the beginning phase it takes them longer to develop strength. Jean: “They always offer you so much, but I have occasionally thought of these young horses: ‘they’re not that special’. To then, a few years later, see them again and be completely surprised to see a totally different horse.” Bert adds: “Especially developing suspension in the trot demands the attention. It is difficult to change the walk and canter, but the suspension in trot is something that can be worked on. It is important to ride them low and deep, to maintain that length in the body and length in the strides. In that respect, I believe there is very little difference in training an Iberian horse or a warmblood. Under saddle, this Nachtwacht is a more elegant horse than in hand. He possesses a correct walk and good canter, in which he needs no velocity.” Jean: “Plus, he acts as if he’s here every day. That’s a quality trait, too!”

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About the KWPN

The KWPN (Studbook of the Royal Dutch Sport Horse) is a Netherlands-based organization specializing in the breeding of jumpers, dressage horses, harness horses, and Gelder horses.

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