We are the Verhagen family; together we run our equestrian business Verhagen Horse Service, located in Boekel. Our whole family is busy 24/7 with our horses and with those of our clients. The breeding season is tremendous; the business then runs at full speed. We all pull together.
The Verhagen (Horse Service) family
“We are busy with the horses 24/7”
Steffi’s History Lesson
“The horse virus has crept through our veins for generations. What once began as a hobby has now grown into a professional multi-facetted equestrian business. Grandfather Verhagen had carriage horses and KWPN horses with which he bred as hobby. My father, Jan, was more into riding-horses and each year bred six or so foals from Dutch and Holsteiner dam-lines. We used to travel far and wide visiting inspections and competitions. So, I have been involved with horses since I was really young.”
Through hard work and 100% commitment of ourselves, we made the business into what it is now.”.”
“From early on I was certain that I wanted to work with horses but my parents advised me to follow a non-horsey education first. After secondary school I successfully completed a nursing course. After having enjoyed working in that sector for several years I knew for certain that I wanted to run an equestrian business.”
“In 2010 we bit the bullet and after having made a few alterations to the pig barns we transformed the business into a stud. As for the timing, it could not have been worse, the financial crisis took hold and the market shrunk significantly. But through hard work and 100% commitment of ourselves, we made the business into what it is now.”
“Over the years we have developed our business in such a way that we can work in a practical manner and quickly. With 40 boxes, a 20 x 40m indoor arena, 2 wash areas, 2 rectal palpation boxes, tack room, a large outdoor area, communal boxes for around 30 young horses, covering room and a laboratory where the semen can be processed and shipped, the complex satisfies all our requirements. In the future we want to expand further so that we have more stables and can become an EU-certified station.”
“My parents, Jan and Wilma, really support me and do everything at home when I am away entire days during the breeding season inseminating mares and checking foals.”
Often we deliver the mare, back in foal again, back to the client after several weeks.
“As well as the stud, preparation for shows, trading and training the horses, we also offer birth supervision. This means that we supervise the pregnant mare and the birth of the foal for our clients. Often we deliver the mare, back in foal again, back to the client after several weeks. This completes the mare supervision circle and means that we can offer the mare owners an extra service.”
Photos from the past
1 One of the few photos of Grandfather Verhagen.
2 Steffi together with Grandfather Van de Akker on horseback.
3 Madelon and Steffi dry-run practicing.
4 Pony Jimmy takes Steffi everywhere.
5 Wilma together with her father Piet.
6 Jan and Wilma married in 1986.