René Van Paesschen: "Before I retire, I want to breed a champion for my grandson"

"Before I retire, I want to breed a champion for my grandson"

René Van Paesschen

‘I’m afraid of the black hole. As long as I can, I go on with the breeding, hand in hand with the AES studbook. Ten years ago I started working with this studbook, because they show respect for their breeders.’ René Van Paesschen is 84, he is still a well known breeder and dealer, but also the father of Olympic medalist Stany Van Paesschen. These days he is also approached as grandfather of the coming man in Belgian show jumping Constant Van Paesschen (19). Horses from René Van Paesschen’s breeding brought Constant in the top ten of Belgian show jumping. Now granddad doesn’t want to rest on his laurels. Together with his partner Joris Van Den Bergh, he breeds between thirty and fifty foals a year. 

Rene Van Paesschen has realized a lot in his life. He prepared his eighteen year old son Stany for the Olympic Games in Montreal 1976, where he immediately grabbed bronze team medal. For several decades, Rene Van Paesschen was next to François Mathy one of the biggest dealers of show jumping horses in Belgium. He had a lot of big clients in Italy and he delivered a lot of horses to Gerhard Etter in Switzerland. In his village Wisbecq, close to Brussels, he built the famous international equestrian infrastructure Haras de Wisbecq. Van Paesschen sold the place several years ago. Now the Saudi team, which is coached by Stany Van Paesschen, is based at Haras de Wisbecq.

Rene Van Paesschen sold the equestrian center, but at home he kept on breeding intensively. ‘Breeding is very dear to my heart. I’ve always been working with sBs, but I started to work with AES, because they show more respect to the breeders. Right now it’s too soon to see the result of this change, but I’m confident. The horses I breed now are much better than the ones I had before. I’m convinced my best foal still has to be born. That’s why I keep on breeding. I want to breed one more champion for my grandson.’

‘I went to sBs gradings with Copin vd Broy, but they didn’t want him. Afterwards AES approved him and right now he’s one of the best horses in the world.’

René is breeder, but also stallion owner. Mainly therefore he came to AES. ‘Here you work with people who are real horsemen. I used to be member of the sBs Studbook in Belgium, but I found the judges at the approvals not capable enough. Those people were fair enough, but they didn’t have the skills. They don’t think about modern horse sport. I got frustrated. Stallions they didn’t accept, were sold to foreign countries, where they approved them easily. For example: I went to sBs gradings with Copin vd Broy, but they didn’t want him. Afterwards AES approved him and right now he’s one of the best horses in the world under the saddle of Marcus Ehning, one of the best riders in the world. I used Copin  vd Broy in my breeding, which resulted in the young stallion Bonaparte VP Wisbecq. This five-year-old stallion won the championship in Canada and he’s also AES approved.’

The horses born in Wisbecq with René Van Paesschen carry this surname VP Wisbecq. However most of his young horses have the name ‘Van De Kapel’. René Van Paesschen: ‘Those ‘Van de Kapel’ horses I breed together with Joris Van Den Bergh of Kalmthout. They are born in his stable, but we work together already several years. Our family’s know each other since many decades. My grandfather already bought working horses from Joris’ grandpa. Nowadays I help Joris picking the stallions. I also found the good mares for him and I help selling foals and young horses. We do everything together. Also my own young horses go to Kalmthout, where they grow up. Once they have to be ridden, my rider trains them and if good enough, they go to Stany and Constant.

‘The stallions Understone and Bingo vd Kapel are actually the best I have.’

An example of such a horse is Understone vd Kapel (Happy Wind d’Hof ten Bos). This nine year old stallion was born in the sBs studbook, but he got approved by AES. He’s a descendant from the Femke P line. So he’s related to Moujik de Sohan, Intradella Z and Femke de Kalvarie. After some injuries, Understone is breaking through this year. He won the national Gold League Grand Prix with Constant Van Paesschen. Stany Van Paesschen mentioned in the press conference this stallion probably becomes one of the best horses in his string. Another of René Van Paesschen’s favorites is Bingo vd Kapel (Obus del Cour Wisbecq), a half brother to Understone. René: ‘In Spain this spring Bingo jumped seven clear rounds on a total of nine courses under the saddle of Constant Van Paesschen. A stallion with so much quality, had better been marketed by a professional stallion. I’m too old to take also that part on my account.’

About the charisma of AES, René wants to add the next: ‘If your horse performs, it doesn’t matter in which studbook it is registered or approved. If an American comes by to buy a horse, he doesn’t ask in which studbook it is entered. Important is to breed commercial horses and then you have to respect good young stallions. That is what AES does and that is why I feel attracted to them.’ It’s clear that René still knows the ins and outs of the market at age 84.

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