The Road To Verden

By International Dressage Rider


We are delighted to start reporting in the Horse Breeders Magazine. Firstly I would like to tell you something about our dressage stable.

Stal Laarakkers is situated in the northern part of the Netherlands, only 5 miles from the border of Germany. My husband (Sjak) and I run this company with 5 employees and several students.

I ride at International Grand Prix level, and I also train and have several students, including having clinics throughout the Netherlands and the UK. I was also the Dutch Pony Chef d'Équipe for several years, having great successes with the team during this time. I am currently on the Dutch A Team with my Grand Prix horse Ovation by Cabochon out of a “Ster” mare by the thoroughbred sire Apollonios.


Christa Laarakkers

My husband Sjak also trains and has several students. Besides this, he is also one of the KWPN Stallion Judges and has a great amount of knowledge of the KWPN horses, and is busy throughout the year with this job.

We currently have around 38 horses in training, from three years old up to the highest level of International Grand Prix. This includes the top KWPN stallion Uphill by Oscar, which I ride in Light Tour, and also included up to last year the black KWPN stallion Westpoint by Jazz, before his sale to Broere Studfarm.

That’s why we have several highlights every season, which we will be reporting on in Horse Breeders Magazine each month.

Sjak Laarakkers &
Pony Stallion "Wonderboy"

At this moment the most important thing on our agenda is the selection for competing at the World Championship for Young Dressage Horses in August this year at Verden.

We started with three horses in the first selection, Annebeth, Aendolyn and Aston Martin NL. Only the 25 semi-finalists of the PAVO cup, the leading competition of 4 and 5 year old horses in the Netherlands, are invited for the first selection next year.

Vai Bruntink, one of our riders, is starting two mares. Annebeth, the most famous of the two, was the best mare of the PAVO cup 2009. Her full brother was the Champion of the KWPN Stallion Show in 2010. They are both offspring by Oscar. She is also competing Aendolyn, a beautiful mare from Krack C.

I’m riding Aston Martin NL - he is a chestnut gelding by Uphill.  If you want to see some more pictures please visit our website

All three horses have superb gaits - something you really need in Verden. Another very important issue is the character of the horse. Everybody who has been to Verden knows that all the young horses are very surprised and impressed by the surroundings. To perform in such a place is very difficult, and not only for the horses. Also the riders must be a little experienced otherwise they can not stay cool under all that pressure.

Bruntink V-Aendolyn-ERME10L13647

Vai Bruntink & Aendolyn

In April we had three selections. We started then with almost 30 horses. After three rounds there are eleven 5 year old horses left for the 4th round and we are still in it with 3!! So this is excellent news for us.

It is getting very exciting now, only three selections to go. In May we have a break, and in June two further selections will take place. Then in July we have the last one and then finally we know which 6 combinations can represent our country at the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses.


Vai Bruntink & Annebeth

Laarakkers C-Aston Martin-ERME10L13812

At this moment offspring of the stallions Jazz (3 x ), Krack C, Obelisk, United, Uphill, Sandro Hit, Florencio I, UB40, and Oscar are still in the race for the coveted places.

Last year our stables had the World Champion: this was the Approved KWPN Stallion Westpoint (by Jazz). This was a once in a lifetime experience for us, and we know it isn’t easy to repeat a championship, although we also have really good horses this year again. However to compete with one or more horses in Verden this year is our goal at this moment.

Next month we will continue with our progress with the horses and training and give you more information on our agenda for this year.

Christa Laarakkers

Christa Laarakkers & Aston Martin NL

Pictures taken by Caroline of MFS Studfarm when visiting Stal Laarakkers in 2008

Past Issues

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