The online auction sale of Dutch show jumper Jeroen Dubbeldam’s Olympic, World Games and European Championships partner, SFN Zenith N.O.P., was unsuccessful, with the Springpaarden Fonds Nederland fund buying the horse back at the conclusion of the bidding period.
“The management of the SFN represents the interest of the shareholders and decided to place the last bid of €850,000 for SFN Zenith N.O.P. Thus, the SFN has repurchased this horse. This is because the management determined that the expected value of this horse, as was determined in advance by experts, is not in accordance with the bids. The next time the management will focus on the private sale of SFN Zenith N.O.P.,” read a press release from the SFN.
SFN Zenith’s closing bid was €850,00, which is $948,582 at current exchange rates, in five bids. Of the six horses offered for sale in the online auction, only four were sold.
SFN Zenith was and is now still owned by the SFN, a fund that was created in 2006 to help retain top horses for the Dutch show jumpers. The uniquely structured syndicate group was the brainchild of Dutch equestrian journalist Jacob Melissen.
It was Melissen’s initial vision to create a financial fund, open to Dutch equestrian fans, who wanted to invest in keeping some of the finest Dutch-bred horses on home soil and made available to Dutch riders.
Five of the Netherlands’ leading horse dealers, Emile Hendrix, Willy van der Ham, Egbert Schep, Teus van den Brink and Johan Heins, advise the SFN Board on the horses the fund should purchase and which riders should take them. Only when all five agree unanimously will an investment go ahead.
“During the auction, there appeared on the Dutch side little or no interest to preserve Dutch ownership of horses for the exceptionally high level of the sport,” the SFN release stated. “This once again underlines the importance of an institution like the SFN. We are even more grateful to our shareholders for the support they want to give in the last few years to Dutch jumping.”
SFN Zenith N.O.P., a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Rash R—Sascha, Fuego du Prelet), who with Dubbeldam won team and individual gold at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France), team and individual gold at the 2015 FEI European Championships (Germany), took seventh individually at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and team gold at the 2014 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, Spain, was the most high-profile horse in the auction.
The online auction was announced in June, with the goal of providing financial reward to the original investors in the SFN group and generating funds for the purchase of more young horses.
There were five other SFN-owned horses auctioned off. Only Chuck Blue SFN, a 9-year-old son of Mr. Blue who has competed with Dubbeldam and Niels Knape, did not receive any bids. There was a €50,000 starting bid set for Chuck Blue.
Aquila SFN, the 11-year-old gelding who competed in Nations Cups with Wout-Jan van der Schans riding, sold for €750,000, or $836,847, after five bids. Djumpsina SFN, an 8-year-old mare, sold for €90,000 ($100,431) after three bids; Eloma’s Blue SFN, a 7-year-old stallion, sold for €70,000 ($78,112) after two bids; Ferrari SFN, a 6-year-old stallion, sold for €165,000 ($184,121) after 10 bids.
“Aquila SFN goes to a reputable French rider. Ferrari SFN was sold to a famous Belgian jumping stable. Djumpsina SFN moved to Jos Lansink. Eloma’s Blue SFN was purchased by the successor of the SFN, SFN II. [And Wout-Jan van der Schans] will continue to show Eloma’s Blue SFN,” read the release.