The Annual General Meeting 2024

March 7, 2024

The Annual General Meeting 2024


It’s almost time for the 2024 Annual General Meeting in Ocala, Florida!

This week, the 14 & 15th of March, many Dutch Warmblood enthusiasts will come together again for the Annual General Meeting of the KWPN-NA. Breeders, members, owners and riders of Dutch warmblood horses come to learn, socialize, network and have fun at our AGM each year. Our AGM committee has tried her best to create an interesting schedule for them again this year.

We’re combining our meeting with a visit to the largest combined driving & jumping event of North America this year: Live Oak International! This exciting, top notch event, is organized by the Weber family on their beautiful Live Oak family estate, only several miles from our meeting location. We will go there as a group on Saturday to watch the marathon. Six of our members will also drive at Live Oak with their Dutch Harness horses: the first ever ‘KWPN-NA Fine Harness Trophy’ on Saturday at 1:30pm and on Sunday they will drive again with guest riders, of which Chester Weber himself.

Several interesting experts will share their knowledge with us during the presentations in the hotel. In the afternoon of Friday the 15th, we will travel to Hidden Hills Farm, where a group of riders and their horses will give us ridden presentations. We collected bios on all our key speakers and riders, so you can learn a little more about them before the meeting.

SIGN UPS are closed. We will host Zoom calls during the presentations on Thursday afternoon, Friday morning and the Awards Banquet. Check your email for the links.

Floor Dröge

KWPN Senior Inspector Dressage

Floor has been an inspector for the KWPN since March 2017. After completing her HBO Equestrian training at NHB Deurne, Floor started working in education. She has been employed by the former National Equestrian College in Deurne for eight years and has, among other things, fulfilled the position of training coordinator. She then transferred to another branch, where she worked as team leader of the Animal- and Equine management course.

Floor was no stranger to the KWPN when she started, as she was a training rider for several years in the Stallion Performance test. When the EPTM tests were still held in Deurne, she also was a test rider there. Being a rider for these tests, sparked Floor’s interest in breeding.

Floor currently runs a small breeding program at home, including her 12 year old Bretton Woods mare Hera, which she bred out of the top mare Astrid Sollenburg by OO Seven x Metall. Floor rode Astrid from EPTM all the way to Grand Prix. Floor has regularly sat in the judge’s booth at competitions as well, as she is certified to judge up to the Big Tour.

Floor’s main tasks as senior Inspector for the KWPN include assessing horses and advising breeders. She interviews interesting guests for the KWPN Podcast and judges the Pavo Cup and is involved in the Stallion Selection committee. Floor is deployed Internationally as well and since the last two years, she is part of the judging team on the North American inspection Tour and the North American Stallion Sport test.

Floor at the Iron Spring Farm Keuring in September 2023
Depicted with Masterful Dream ster IBOP (dr) (Everdale x Zsa Zsa ster D-OC by Jazz pref, Breeder: MJ Proulx Owner: Lauren Chumley
© Purple Horse Designs Photo

Ralph van Venrooij

KWPN Manager of Breeding Operations / Board member WBFSH

Ralph is well acquainted with the KWPN organization and the equestrian sector. Together with his wife, who is a dressage rider, Ralph is an active breeder for dressage and jumping breeding and has been a member of the KWPN Riding Horse Breeding Council several years. He has also held various management positions in the equestrian sector, including the chairmanship of the Equine management department at the LTO College. With his own company Van Venrooij Equine Services he fulfills various roles within the equestrian world, as well as the equestrian educational sector.

“My goal is to work together with my colleagues to ensure that the KWPN retains its strong brand position and becomes even more visible and approachable for the foreign sales market,” Ralph says. “I also see opportunities to engage and continue to fascinate both the existing and the new generation of breeders by giving the KWPN experience even more meaning.”

Ralph is also a board member of the WBFSH since 2020, as a representative for the KWPN. In 2023, he was re-assigned for another term. “International cooperation is essential to ensure the future sustainability of the international breeding and studbook world,” Ralph says. “Not only about technical breeding, but especially when it comes to topics such as sustainability and the much-discussed ‘social license’. We can also take the necessary steps within the breeding world to continue to explain what we do within society. I am happy to commit myself to this again.”

Ralph van Venrooij

Viggon van Beest

KWPN Inspector Harness horses / Managing director ‘Bouw Coördinatie

Viggon van Beest is KWPN inspector of Harness horses. After a training program within the KWPN, Viggon became a freelance inspector of Harness horse mares in 2016 and since 2020, Harness horse stallions have been added. His tasks include judging and linear scoring mares at the inspections, advising breeders and collaborating with the Harness horse stallion inspection committee. In addition, implementing the policy for Harness horse breeding and the necessary helicopter view is an important task.

Since 2016, Viggon has also been responsible for the mare and stallion selection during the North American inspection tour. “I am very much looking forward to the upcoming AGM and the inspections that will be held in America in the fall,” Viggon says.

Besides his work for the KWPN, Viggon also runs his own business ‘Bouw Coördinatie Bedrijf’ in Velddriel, the Netherlands. Viggon was born and raised in the construction world: he has been working in construction for over 30 years and took over this company from his father. His company focuses on the industrial sector and mainly consists of project development and construction management for national and international clients.

“My work is still my passion every day and it gives me great satisfaction to realize projects from the first sketch on paper to practical implementation,” Viggon explains. “My other great passion is horses and that passion started over 40 years ago when my brother started riding horses and my parents bought their first riding horse. After riding horses for a number of years, I came into contact with a local stallion owner and a Harness horse caught my eye. The unique harness horse captivated me and my parents soon bought the first Harness horse that was also used for breeding.”

Viggon attended many inspections and competitions and his passion for Harness horses increased. “I would like to emphasize that I can also really enjoy a good riding horse or Gelders horse,” Viggon adds. “Since the Harness horse breeding direction is relatively small, I quickly came into contact with breeders and trainers of Harness horses, which allowed me to gain a lot of experience. This also made it possible for me to purchase young talent together with others and that has resulted, among other things, in four approved Harness horse stallions, of which the Keur stallion Eebert was the most well-known.”

In addition to stallions, Viggon worked with several mares in both sports and breeding, the best-known mare being the multiple times National Champion Ilanda (v. Eebert x Manno), a Elite IBOP Sport mare. “Due to my busy schedule it is unfortunately not possible to keep many horses, so several horses have been sold last fall, including Ilanda and her colt,” Viggon says. “Of course I hope to see her back in the sport this year. At the moment I still have a two-year-old stallion out of Ilanda in young horse board.”

“Although the harness horse breeding direction is not very extensive, it is very interesting,” Viggon continues. “Harness horses are a passion, it’s emotion, and that is also what makes the Harness horse so unique in the world.”

Viggon van Beest

Neo Ruiz

Neo Ruiz Farrier Services

Neo shoes a variety of horses across all disciplines from Grand Prix Dressage Horses to the Beloved Family Pet. He enjoys working as part of a team with the owners and veterinarians to keep each horse happy, healthy, and performing at its best.

While he believes that good trimming and proper balance are the cornerstones of a good shoeing job and tries to keep each horse in the simplest shoeing package possible, he is experienced in many types of therapeutic shoeing including the application of bar shoes, pads, glue on shoes, and the management and healing of quarter cracks.

He has also worked closely with veterinarians in the rehabilitation of foundered horses and horses recovering from surgery or other traumatic hoof injury. Neo provides farrier services in the Boston Metro Area.

Neo Ruiz

Paul & Emile Hendrix

Stal Hendrix

Over the past 40 years, Stal Hendrix has been able to develop into a globally recognized top company. With the pillars of trade, training, sport and breeding the brothers Paul and Emile Hendrix, together with sons Michel and Timothy, focus on the highest achievable goals. Quality, a long-term vision and optimal service towards the customer are highly valued.

Grandfather Hendrix laid the foundation for the family business. He had a farm and later made the switch to sport horses. The big change came for him when he was co-owner of one of the best jumping horses in the world, Rex the Robber. That horse was sold to Alwin Schockemöhle, with whom he won several Grand Prix and a silver medal at the European Championships. It was clear from the beginning that his sons Emile (1955) and Paul (1958) wanted to continue the company in Baarlo, which they joined in 1977.

While Emile Hendrix turned out to be a top rider in the eighties and nineties, including participating in the Olympic Games, Paul began to focus more and more on trading horses. For a long time, Stal Hendrix had one location, but since 2005 the accommodation in Kessel has been added. Together with his family, Paul not only focuses on sports and trade at his place in Kessel, but also on breeding and the producing of stallions.

Emile Hendrix with one of his best horses: Finesse (by Voltaire x Gag XX). Bred by J.H.H.W. Belt.…/pedigree/1393/audi-s-finesse
Picture source:…/in-beeld-terugblik-chio-aken-1998/

Although both families have their own location and responsibilities, the cooperation and the bond within the family are very strong. The family story continues with sons Timothy (1985) and Michel (1987). As riders with experiences up to the World Cup and Nations Cup level they know exactly where the sports asks for. They also inherited the feeling for horse trading and dealing from their fathers. To bring the right horse to the right rider, or vice versa, both Timothy and Michel have specialized in this. And that is one of the strengths of the Hendrix family, for which quality is paramount. With an unprecedented network and a long list of references, Stal Hendrix has grown into a company that has acquired an unique status worldwide.

Via Stal Hendrix many top talents have already found their way to the right riders. Canada and America in particular have been important markets for many years. At Hendrix Training in Baarlo foreign riders can come to learn the tricks of the trade, and riders around the world can find Stal Hendrix for exclusive horse material in all age categories.

Stal Hendrix focuses on:

  • Trading – Stal Hendrix sells jumping horses to customers all over the world. The majority of the horses are sold to North America and to countries within the European Union.
  • Training – Emile, Timothy and Michel in particular train riders from all over the world. Riders from countries like America, Canada, Finland and Sweden come to Limburg to get a better grip on their equestrian craftsmanship.
  • Stallions – Since the end of 2012 Stal Hendrix has its own stallion station at the Kessel location. This allows the stallions to be optimally trained and competed, while they are available for breeders throughout the whole season.
  • Breeding – Paul Hendrix is a breeder at heart. Every year about 25 foals are bred at Stal Hendrix and additionally multiple high potential foals -mainly sired by Stal Hendrix stallions- are purchased.
  • Events – Every year Stal Hendrix organizes five events, all of which aim to promote the province of Limburg as an equestrian province. Events range from offering a sales platform to organizing a national competition with international reach.

Paul Hendrix – bij verhaal voor sport van Jacob Melissen.
Picture source:…/

Dr. Philipp van Harreveld, DVM, MX, DACVS-LA

Merck Animal Health

Dr. van Harreveld is Senior Equine Professional Services Veterinarian at Merck Animal Health. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University in 1996. In 1997, he completed a one-year internship in equine medicine and surgery at Kansas State University. After developing a strong interest in equine surgery, Dr. van Harreveld completed an equine surgery residency, as well as a master’s degree in clinical sciences at Kansas State University. In 2001, Dr. van Harreveld was certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in equine surgery.

Prior to joining Merck Animal Health, Dr. van Harreveld practiced as an equine veterinary surgeon for more than 22 years. He founded and operated Vermont Large Animal Clinic, an equine field service and referral hospital in the Burlington, Vermont area. In addition to handling the hospital’s field cases, he managed the in-house medical and surgical case load. He considers his favorite accomplishment to be the training of more than 18 veterinary interns with whom he still stays in contact and provides support on a regular basis.

Dr. Phillip van Harreveld

Johnny Robb & Alexandra Stark

JRPR Equine News Room

Johnny Robb is the Creative Director of JRPR Equine News Room. A lifelong equestrian, Johnny Robb combined her versatile passion for horses with more than 25 years of hands-on regional, national, and international marketing and public relations experience. Ms Robb earned her BA in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island and then worked in advertising agencies for 5 years before going in-house with several international firms for more than 15 years. In 2005, she formed her equestrian-focused marketing firm, JRPR Equine News Room. In 2023, Johnny earned her Certification in Digital Marketing from Florida Atlantic University.

As a Creative Director and Communications Director, Johnny’s responsibilities include strategic planning for marketing, public relations, and advertising, managing annual budgets, spearheading public relations and media relations, copy writing, directing all production, internal and external communications, supervising design, content and marketing of company website, developing and managing promotions, managing agency relations, managing and motivating in-house team, franchise relations and training, media negotiations and placement, branding and advertising development, business analysis, overseeing all public relations and crisis media communications, as well as overall responsibility for the brand. Johnny is also an award-winning copywriter and video director.

Johnny served on the United States Dressage Federation’s Marketing Committee for over five years. She has been a contract-speaker at three Annual USDF Conventions on the topics of Marketing, Public Relations, and Sponsorship. She served for 3 years on the Dressage at Devon Horse Show Board. She served for 4 years as a USEF Committee Member. She has been a speaker at 3 USDF National Young Graduate Seminars. She is an active member of the American Horse Publications (AHP), United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), as well as several breed associations.

Johnny Robb

Alexandra Stark is a much sought-after Social Media Specialist. She earned her BA Degree in Business Management in 2011 and went on to earn a certification in social media. Alex has over a decade of experience in business relations, organizational communications, brand management, marketing, social media, editorial writing, and event planning.

In 2012, as a young entrepreneur, Alex started the first equestrian subscription box company, A Horse Box. Alex used her outstanding social media marketing skills and equestrian contacts to grow A Horse Box into a highly successful company, which she sold in 2018.

Simultaneously in 2013, Alex started her social media company, Social Circuit, which along with equestrian clients, serves a wide range of industries including: veterinarian, financial, legal, and entertainment. Alex uses digital and traditional PR to increase both a brand’s online presence and social media engagement. Along with her base accounts Alex is a highly sought after social media consultant for several equestrian marketing firms.

Alex has been a speaker on the topic of social media branding and marketing on multiple occasions to the USDF Young Graduates and Dressage4 Kids.

Alexandra Stark

Alexandra Duncan & McKenzy JHL

Alexandra Duncan, is a highly decorated Canadian dressage rider who runs a dressage training and sales business in Wellington, Florida. She earned double team and individual gold at the 2006 and 2007 North American Young Riders Championships, and placed fourth at the 2006 Young Rider World Cup Finals. Before settling down in Florida in 2014, Alexandra traveled to Europe to train with well-known riders like Swedish Olympian Jan Brink and Dutch Olympian Anky van Grunsven.

Between 2014 and 2019, the KWPN gelding Vitall (by Ferro x Aram) was her main ride in the Under 25 and senior Grand Prix division. Last year, she imported the KWPN approved stallion McKenzy JHL as a Grand Prix prospect. McKenzy JHL is a 7-year old KWPN Gelders stallion by Alexandro P out of elite mare Happiness (by WV Saron), bred by L. Roerdink. He scored very well at his performance test, with an 8 for walk and trot, 9 for canter, 9 for self carriage and 8.5 for potential. Alexandra: “I want to develop him to Grand Prix as a hopeful for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and meanwhile stand him at stud. He carries valuable Gelders genes and has an amazing work ethic.”

McKenzy joined Alexandra’s string of top horses, of which the KWPN gelding Illusionist M (by Charmeur x Vivaldi) and the Oldenburg gelding Grand Diamond (by Governor x Don Romantic) that she will present in the Grand Prix at the 2024 Global Dressage Festival. “I will campaign McKenzy at Small Tour with the plans to get him to Grand Prix,” says Alexandra. “He is joining the line up with my two current Grand Prix horses as well as two small tour horses, King (by Lord Leatherdale x Ferro) and Kopperfield C-Two (by Toto Jr x Ferro) which I want to move up to the Grand Prix as well. All these amazing horses I want to produce with plans for Paris and LA.” Alexandra trains with Danish Olympian Lars Petersen, working towards a coveted spot on the Canadian Olympic team.

Alexandra Duncan & McKenzy JHL

Bethany Hutchins-Kristen & Geluk HVF

Bethany Hutchins- Kristen is an accomplished eventing rider. She began riding at the age of 2 and has been competing at the national level of eventing since she was a young teen. Bethany grew up in Michigan where her mother, Marian Hutchins, enjoyed breeding warmbloods for dressage and eventing at her HVF Sporthorses. After Pony Club she went to eventing, and started her own business Haven Valley Farm Sporthoses where she teaches, trains and breeds horses, often in collaboration with her mother.

The licensed KWPN-NA stallion Geluk HVF is a fourth-generation Dutch Warmblood homebred. His dam was Bethany’s former Intermediate mare Bronte HVF, a good jumping, even-tempered mare by Contango, and Bethany wanted to add some dressage blood. So, she bred her to Jazz, who brought some hotness. She knew Geluk HVF was special from the moment he was born. “He’s a super mover, super jumper, super brain, but certainly hot enough for eventing. He was kind of the wonder child,” Bethany said. He finished well as a 4- and 5-year-old in the U.S. Eventing Association Young Event Horse East Coast Championships (Elkton, Maryland) and went on to win the U.S. Equestrian Federation CCI2*-L Eventing National Championship (Lexington, Kentucky) as a 6-year-old.

After they reached Intermediate level, Bethany took a break while she and her husband Nico Kristen started a family. After their two children were born and they relocated to Ocala, she and Geluk started competing again. To date, Bethany and Geluk competed 42 times at prelim CCI3*-S and took home many wins. This month, after a stellar season, including a top-10 finish at the TerraNova CCI2*-L (Myakka City, Florida), Bethany & Geluk HVF won the USEA Stallion of the Year award for the second year in a row with an 18-point lead.

Bethany Hutchins -Kristen & Geluk HVF

We hope to see you all at the AGM! We will also record videos at the AGM that will be put on our YouTube Channel.