Oct 30, 2023

It’s a dream come true for Jan Saaltink and Peter Geerink. Their homebred Issem (Quality Time x Clinton) has qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games of Paris with his Polish rider Adam Grzegorzewski. Ten years ago, this chestnut gelding came under the hammer at Elite Foal Auction Borculo.

At the CSIO4* CET Prague Cup last July, the Polish showjumping team came second, thereby securing their ticket to the Paris Olympics. A significant feat since the Polish jumping squad’s last Olympic appearance was in Moscow in 1980. The 25-year-old Adam Grzegorzewski was not even born at the time and is now the Benjamin of the Polish team. Aboard the chestnut Issem he grabbed the spotlight on several occasions this year. Last month, he placed tenth in El Jadida (1.50m) and eighth in Tetouan (1.50m). At the end of July, the combination finished fifth in the Grand Prix of Prague. The two competed in multiple Nations Cups this year and were part of the Polish team at the European Championship in Milan. Breeder Jan Saaltink follows Issem from the sidelines. “I stay updated through co-breeder Peter Geerink as he also attends competitions in Poland. At the most recent nations cup competition in September, Issem performed a double clear round. Unfortunately, things did not work out at the European Championships, but the qualification for Paris is in the bag. Surely, as a breeder, that is very special!”

Foal with a solid conformation 

Since 1979 Elite Foal Auction Borculo has been one of the leading foal auctions of the Netherlands. Every year, only the finest dressage and jumper foals make it through the strict selection for the auctions of Elite Foal Auction Borculo. Ten years ago, Issem was part of the auction collection. “I have sold multiple foals at Borculo, always to satisfaction. Issem was a long-lined foal with a solid conformation and already a very good canter. He may not have been the most beautiful foal, but he was well-built. I remember I had hoped for a bit more money. Issem yielded 5.000 or 5.500 euros. Quality Time was not as well-known back then.”


Adam Grzegorzewski bought Issem at the auction. “The boy was fifteen years of age at the time. His mom was supposed to come along to the auction, but she was unable to at the last minute. So, Adam stayed in the Netherlands all alone. Adam had picked Issem prior to the auction and was seriously interested. I think it is remarkable he has produced Issem himself. Later I heard it was a horse with a bit of a character. I still think it’s impressive the kid kept believing in the horse. How often do you still encounter that? That a fifteen-year-old boy buys a foal, trains it himself to and then qualifies for the Olympic Games. It reads like a novel! Saaltink would love to attend the Olympics next year. “Paris is relatively close and if necessary, I will sleep in my car. After all, it’s incredibly special when a horse you bred competes there. A unique experience, it’s the ultimate goal of every breeder! However, I hear from everyone around me that it is nearly impossible to get tickets. So, it remains to be seen whether it can be arranged.”


Saaltink bred Issem out of the mare Elle (Clinton x Diamant de Semilly). “Elle could have a bit more blood in terms of appearance, she is true to the Clinton-type. That’s why I opted for Quality Time and, as it turns out, that was not such a bad decision after all.” Unfortunately, Elle only had one foal. “Elle was a fantastic loose jumper, she bounced off the floor. We had it all mapped out; she would breed some foals first and then commence her sport career. Sadly, things turned out differently. The birth of Issem was difficult and she never really recovered from it. We could not get her in foal the year after either. We tried everything, but she had probably suffered too much damage and passed away. Such a shame, especially since that left us without a successor from this lineage.”

Queen de Beaufour

Elle’s dam is Queen de Beaufour (Diamant de Semilly x Toulon). “I bought her in France when she was seven or eight years old. She was a smaller horse, so I paired her to Clinton to get a bit more size. It resulted in Elle, but she grew out to be a fairly heavy mare.” Saaltink also bred the grey For Quality (s.Quality Time) out of Queen de Beaufour. “He made it to the third-round viewing of the KWPN Stallion Show and left or Czechia as a young horse f.” Ridden by the German Armin Himmelreich he jumped the 1.40m classes. Queen de Beaufour produced another mare, Traviata de Boufour (s.Kannan). She is the dam of the 1.45m horse Bynintot des Carmille and the 1.40m jumper Furioso des Carmilles, both offspring of the stallion Ninto de Boufour.

Eager to work 

Saaltink frequently competed at national jumping shows. “I have never stopped riding, but my interests expanded into breeding, rearing, and producing young horses. In 2008 I started my own stable in Laren. I prepare young stallions and mares for inspections and stallion shows and I am still active in breeding. Right now, I have six mares in foal. All originating from different lineages. Risk diversification”, Jan jokes. “Two mares are in foal to Drummer TN, one to Onassis TN. I furthermore expect a foal by Chacco Blue, Cero Blue and Casallco. I prefer broodmares out of performance damlines. In terms of stallions, I like stallions that are truly a sire. What I find essential in breeding is that horses are eager to work, that they are keen on jumping clear. At the same time, that’s the most difficult aspect to find. You can see if they have a beautiful head, have a rectangular frame, etcetera. Everything else is guesswork. Fortunately, it all worked out well with Issem!”

Issem is one of the many top horses sold as a foal at Elite Foal Auction Borculo. In the more than forty years that Foal Auction Borculo has been in existence, a remarkable number of foals were sold through our auction that later rose to prominence in international sports and/or as an approved stallion. Read more about the auctions and have a look at other references in the Hall of Fame.

Pictures: Hippo Foto & Foal Auction Borculo  

Receive updates about the foals to be auctioned online!

This website uses cookies. This way we can ensure that your browsing experience is made even more pleasant. For more information, please review its Privacy Policy.