Apr 28, 2023

Nol Gerritsen and Wouter Plazier are at the dawn of a busy period. Together, they will once again hit the road to view hundreds of dressage foals for Elite Foal Auction Borculo. The selection committee sets the bar high and only selects the best foals for the auction in August. But what does their task exactly encompass and what do they look for in their selection?

For many years now, Foal Auction Borculo is regarded as one of the most esteemed foal auctions in the Netherlands. Borculo-foals find their way to the (top levels of) sport all over the world. The selection team dressage is comprised of Nol Gerritsen and Wouter Plaizier. These selectors have an eye for talent and have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in sport and breeding over the years.

Nol Gerritsen

Nol Gerritsen and his wife Jeanette own the Dalhoeve. Renowned stallions such as Contango, Jazz, Wynton, Jet Set, and Damiro stood at stud at their stud farm for years. Nowadays, the couple runs a dressage stable in Ommeren where they successfully breed dressage horses and campaign them in sport. “We currently have about forty horses in our stable. We own the stallion Las Vegas (s.Ferdeaux) together with Nico Witte and we additionally still have the homebred stallion New Orleans (s.Blue Hors Farell). This year we expect foals from Bonds, Frankie Lee, Vitalis, and New Orleans. We raise our foals until they are three years old. We luckily have the space and facilities at home. After that, they are trained and sold”, explains Gerritsen.

Wouter Plaizier

Together with his wife Ada, Wouter Plaizier has owned Plaizier Diervoeder since 1991. In addition, he runs his own training stables and breeding farm. He bred the stallions Dark Pleasure and It’s a Pleasure and discovered the famous Blue Hors Zack. He furthermore owns a range of well-performing dressage horses. “Each year we breed five to six foals. At three years of age, they are backed and sold. A special one may stay longer and is further produced by a rider.”

Selection committee

Prior to his role in the selection committee, Nol Gerritsen was already a frequent visitor of Elite Foal Auction Borculo and Wouter Plaizier also attended most auctions since its inaugural edition. “I have visited nearly every Elite Foal Auction Borculo from the year it came into existence. I had to miss maybe two or three editions. I also bought a foal there a few times”, recalls Plazier. He is part of the selection committee for the fourth consecutive year. “Nol and I go way back. When I was asked to join the committee, I was so excited! In the meanwhile, my sons have taken over my animal fodder business which means I have more spare time. As a selector you get to travel to many places and see numerous foals and breeders. The partnership with Nol is excellent. As of last year, I have taken a seat on the KWPN stallion selection committee dressage. Since I see so many foals, I also gain good insight in the way a stallion breeds.”
Nol Gerritsen has now worked as a selector for Elite Foal Auction Borculo for six years. “I am looking forward to the season. We also visit many old clients from the early days when I had the stud farm. That’s fun. The collaboration with Wouter is great, we are on the same page. I have already visited a few breeders and from the end of April Wouter and I will attend the appointments together.

Long days

Plaizier: “As of May, the selection visits take us two to three days a week. It’s a busy period. We see a few hundred foals for the auction. The advantage of Nol’s and my agenda is that we are not bound by fixed days, so we can meet whatever day and time suits us best. We try to create efficient routes. For example, a round in Brabant, then Texel, then North-Holland. We really crank up the mileage on our cars. On some days we drive five to six hundred kilometers. We would depart at seven in the morning and often got home when it was nearly midnight. So yes, we are talking about long days here.”

Strict selection

“Sometimes we strike out and are unsuccessful in adding something to the collection that day. Other days are luckier, and we get to select four or five foals.” Gerritsen adds: “If you encounter few good foals on a certain day, it is tempting to select one anyway. Yet we deliberately don’ts. Our selection standards are very strict. Borculo is called an elite auction for a reason. We have a reputation of selecting high-quality foals that often grow out to be international sport horses. We are determined to keep that good name intact.”


Which requirements must a good Borculo-foal and future sport horse meet? “Naturally, the pedigree offers some information, but our experience has taught us that you must always view a foal in person. The most important factor for us is that a foal can move well. That’s our number one priority. So, a powerful hind leg, a foal that lifts the wither in trot and is gifted with ample suppleness and presence”, explains Nol Gerritsen. “The foal must also possess a good conformation, be correct, have good leg positions and be built uphill. We also study the blood lines. Both the paternal side and the maternal lineage of a foal must be up to par. And finally, we deem sport performance very important”, emphasizes Wouter Plaizier.

Sign up

Nol Gerritsen: “There are breeders we have been coming to for years. Borculo has made a name for itself and built a network of breeders that are loyal to us. However, there are many rivals in the field. We must act quickly, or else it is too late. We also see new faces. That’s fantastic, everyone is welcome. Also, if you are a small breeder with a good foal, do not hesitate to sign it up.” Signing up is free of charge and only takes a few quick and easy steps on the website. Breeders will shortly receive a response from the committee if they want to view the foal at home.”

Top foals

The foals can be selected at a young age already. “Last year we viewed the two most expensive foals when they were merely three or four days old. They were so remarkable, we had to select them. We were happy we rightly recognized the talent even at such a young age. Hopefully, we can select new top foals this year”, enthuses Gerritsen.

From day one, Elite Foal Auction Borculo is a guarantee for interesting foals out of exclusive performance lines. Do you want to enter your foal in the selection? Sign your foal up now!

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