When I saw Hercules for the first time nearly three years ago in the Netherlands, I never imagined it could turn out to be such a success story. The first year, when he was four, we quietly built him up. The second year we sporadically participated with him in competitions because we were already convinced the stallion had incredible quality. At this time, he only had one rail down per show season, something I had never seen in a young horse. When he turned six, we decided to enter the Stallion Competition against the best horses in Belgium. This was really throwing him to the lions, but we were confident in his abilities. We were viewed with suspicion, but Hercules did not let us down, he rather confirmed his unprecedented quality, time and time again. Hercules convinced everyone with his technique, power, and super temperament. He was also named the best six -year-old stallion of the four Belgian studbooks (BWP, SBS, Z and AES). We then received a wildcard for the World Championships, where he was also double clear 3 days in a row, jumping with spectacular style, leg technique straight out of the book, and an incredibly good attitude. There were many prospective buyers in line.
We decided to end the year with the stallion competition at CSI ***** Mechelen where Hercules was second out of a very strong field – this competition was open to all licensed stallions of all studbooks and many renowned riders had made their way to Mechelen because of the World Cup. Hercules did it in spectacular fashion, with excellent technique, and jumped high above the obstacles. After Mechelen, everyone knew the horse; since then, I am frequently referred to as the lady who owns Hercules. I find it pretty funny actually.a
I do not know what the future will bring us. What I do know is that Hercules is that “once in a lifetime horse” we all dream of, but that you rarely encounter .
A big thank you to Stal Wilten for finding such an amazing horse as Hercules Immofluisteraar. And Roy – if you ever find a second Hercules, call me, I always have an empty stall for him!