Jan Vinck: "Also Jan Vinck chooses AES"

"Also Jan Vinck chooses AES"

Jan Vinck

Good news for every AES breeder. Jan Vink of Black Horses will be one of us and that will be a great aid for everyone. The Dutchman not only will register all of his own foals at AES. He’s also paying fifty percent of every registration of any other new foal in the studbook. Through his British pancake company Abra-Ca-Debora he’ll be a great new sponsor of AES. We talked with Jan Vink about the past, the present and the future, a future in a super modern equestrian complex. For example, in his giant new young horse stable, he uses an ingenious robot, unseen in this sector.

Lately Jan Vink is taking centre stage in show jumping world. In dressage he was famous many longer. The coming years his influence on the breeding will only raise. Recently he bought a share in the breeding stallion Canturano. His dreams are big, his plans are ambitious and then we’re using understatements. We started the interview on a provisory table in a little storeroom in the rented barn at Sliedrecht, The Netherlands. ‘The meaning was to stay here for no longer than one or two years. We’re here for twelve years now already.’ Luxury  is totally absent. It’s only at the end of our talk, that his plans arise. Jan shows us his new building outline on the Ipad and drives us to his new stable for young horses a few miles away, where everything will happen automatically. On a square domain of sixty hectares, Jan has permission to build a new training stable next to this new young horse stable. ‘After twelve years of misery with unaccepted construction permissions, now we have all the permits in our hand.’

 “A beautiful horse eats just the same as an ugly one.”

‘You have a hobby, sir?’
It’s now fifteen years ago. Jan Vink goes to the doctor and hears that he has high blood pressure. The doctor says: ‘You have a hobby, sir?’ He answers: ‘Producing pancakes and entertaining my wife and five children.’ The doctor reacts properly: ‘That was not the question. I asked if you had a hobby.’ Jan Vink came home with the good advice of the doctor and decided to buy two foals, because he already had the land. ‘I became passionate about the pedigree of the foals and I was enthusiastic to breed my own foals. Therefore I had to wait three more years until my foals had been grown up. I didn’t have the patience for that, so I decided to buy two mares. Three years later I already had quite a number of horses and I rented the place where we still have the stallions today.’ And the blood pressure? That one luckily reduced to normal standards.

Mr. Vink already had a history with horses. ‘My father was a farmer. When I was twelve, he bought a new tractor and together he got a foal as a present from the tractor dealer. That’s how it all started. Later I’ve been active in driving sport. I still have some driving horses in the barn.

Fascinated by breeding
‘I like breeding.’ It’s the understatement of the day, used by Jan Vink. He’s not a man of a lot of talking. Breeding became his passion. However he has some three hundredth horses, he know the great grandfathers of most of them. He’s not just a rich business man who has horses for his reputation. Almost every day he visits the stables, to get hold of what’s happening. His last new acquisition is a mare by Kannan x Baloubet du Rouet, a combination of the two leading show jumping sires of the moment. The full sister of this new mare jumps 1.60m. Vink bought her at the Global Stars Auction in Opglabbeek to use her pedigree for breeding. He’s going to flush embryo’s before the mare will enter the top sport. Furthermore in the barn there are descendants of Quickstar, Arko III, Carthago, Cornet Obolensky, De Niro, Darco, Mr. Blue, For Pleasure, Montender, Jazz … Also at mother’s side there is a story to tell for every horse. The line of Jazz, the mother of Tango, the sister of Charmeur, a daughter of Intradella Z, a sister to Indoctro and another one to Arko III, … ‘The motherline is even more important than the father.’ Lately Vink also uses his own stallions to breed with. ‘Not only to save money, but because I believe in them. Otherwise I don’t keep them.’

“A stallion must prove himself.”

Of his young stallions, the AES licensed stallion Mr. Pancake BH (Quickstar x Elan de la Cour) is one of the favorites today. The four-year-old French bred stallion came in his hands through Kees Van Den Oetelaar. He crosses the blood of the legendary Galoubet A twice. His first crop of foals looks promising. Therefore Jan Vink does all the breeding. ‘I like to see foals playing in the field. You can immediately see which ones are more athletic.’ Jan is specialized in the breeding and enjoys this part. He raised the standards, so despite of the quantity, the quality is guaranteed.

With a full truck to AES approvals
Remarkable at Black Horses is the X factor all the horses have. Take A Lee Springpower (Argentinus x Cornet Obolensky), the famous stallion comes from Westphalia, where he got ten points for jumping. You see suppleness and power come out of this perfectly balanced body. No stallion in this stable has a long head. The legs are well constructed. The upper body is nicely muscled. Jan Vink has a taste. ‘A good or a beautiful horse eats just the same as an ugly one.’ Jan Vink likes to go to stallion approvals, and then you need a correct and flashy horse. ‘We prepare our stallions at home for the approvals. On April 4, the truck will be loaded fully with stallions, which we will present at AES in Schijndel.’ Jan Vink trusts the AES procedure more than any other studbook, because of some negative experience elsewhere in the past. ‘Last year I presented a son of Mr. Blue out of a top damline at KWPN. A promising horse for the future, but the judges decided to not give him a chance. I also had a stallion out of the same mother as VDL Groep Tomboy (ex-Eric Van der Vleuten). This one was rejected because there was not enough sport in the motherline. This I really couldn’t believe! In my  opinion a stallion has to prove himself. It’s not a studbook that needs to decide which stallion has quality and which ones not.’ Because of that Jan Vink feels better with the AES method. He has stallions at the approvals and registers the foals. This year he expects 39.

“While busy doing, one learns everything.”

‘Initially I did believe in the policy of KWPN. I listened to anyone. I bought champions of the foal tests, but the horses never turned out to be a good sport horse. I learned a lot by making mistakes. Gradually I created an own image on a horse. I started analyzing and I remarked that a proven motherline increases your chances a lot. While busy doing, one learns. A good example of following my own idea, was the purchase of my stallion A Lee Springpower. I liked him because of his skills, and because of seeing the mother jumping. After buying him, I also acquired his mother in Germany. Two weeks ago this mare Coralee won the CSI2* GP of Roosendaal under the saddle of Siebe Kramer.

Pancake manufactory
While busy doing, one learns. That’s the spirit that made a successful business man of Jan Vink. His drive made of him one of the biggest pancake producers in Europe. His company “De Bioderij” was established beginning of the nineties. Gradually the company grew out to an internationally respected company. The products are distributed to all the big retail chains and food service companies in Europe and to other continents. The company does export to approximately thirty countries worldwide. The main company is based in Sliedrecht, the Netherlands, but there are subsidiaries in Great-Britain, Belgium …

Rentability and productivity
Rentability is the most important cause for the pancake industry. For the horses rentability is just subordinate. ‘It’s a hobby and it has to stay a hobby, like the doctor said! It costs a lot, but I hope one day it will self-regulating. First I’m going to invest more money in a new accommodation. When everything runs at the new place, I hope to get some return.’ Jan Vink takes his Ipad and shows his plans. Next to the new loose house for young horses, at the sixty hectares domain, he’ll be building a training facility with two indoors, 78 boxes, cleaning places, walker and all other requirements. For the finishing touch he’ll be using lots of cane and wood, because Mr. Vink has a tast. ‘When you do it, do it good!’ That’s his message to every entrepreneur.

‘The new stable for young horses I already built, has to be expanded with 48 meters. The total surface build on will be three hectares. I want to collect all the activities, so we can work more productive. Only the mares in foal will be separated. They will come to my house, because I suddenly also got permission to build a new stable there. I’m making 25 individual boxes and four wider stables.’

‘I have the meaning to produce horses from four to six year old at our own facility. Afterwards they will be brought to an international rider for top sport. I work with Siebe Kramer for some years, but I also want to work with some other.’

Jan is a progressive man. Only the best is good enough. Productivity is not only important in his pancake company, but also in the stable. Therefore he started to do embryotransfer at home. ‘The vet flushes the mares at home and uses my own mares as surrogate mares. Those who are not good enough, become carrying mothers. I select seriously when the horses get two years old. I only keep the best for breeding.’

“Horses are fed eight times a day.”

Inventive stable

At the end of our stay, Jan Vink takes us to his new loose house for young horses. At the arrival we immediately remark the forage mixing machine. Automatically all sorts of different hay and silage are mixed in perfect proportions. The system is ingenious and never seen before, nowhere in the world. After the preparation a robot drives alongside all the stables to feed the horses (eight times a day) and to sweep up the alley. The system detects when the time has come to feed again, so the horses always have a chance to eat. ‘I don’t know if it’s cheaper than working manually. The system was created tailor-made and was very expensive. I did it just for the horses, because they are much healthier now. The concentrate is mixed between the silage, which means absorption happens way slower and more effective.’ We can witness the yearlings look much more beautiful than anywhere else.

And that’s not all. Jan Vink has a straw blower. A pitchfork is not used in here. Also not to muck out. The huge loose stables each have a well in which two meters of manure can be stored. Mucking out is only one day work a year. Horses have to climb out the wells when they are not yet fully filled with manure. Also that is interesting for the condition and to create muscles. The water bowl raises automatically with the height level of the manure. There are outdoor paddocks of 20 x 50m for the horses to stretch their legs one time a day. Furthermore Jan Vink watches his horses continuously via camera surveillance. To keep a few hundredths of horses, Jan Vink only needs one employer. That’s productivity. That’s Jan Vink!



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