March 12, 2021
We sat down with one of Belgium’s top breeders and a stud who have bred some of our incredible horses at Stephex. Johan was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
What got you started in the breeding world, what was and still is your motivation?
Both my wife Ann and I grew up with horses around us. As we both have an agricultural background, breeding was never far away. It started with breeding for ourselves, then for the children to ride and later to support the top sport.
There is no spring without foals in the meadow! Trying to do better, more beautiful and maybe even more, was our motivation.
You have had some very well-known and successful offsprings! What do you think is the key to success in breeding?
Having a good dam line is the most important thing and also the most difficult. When you have discovered this and you combine it with the right stallion, you have a good chance of success. If you use a young stallion, you immediately have the most genetic progress. This is the art of breeding.
Anyone can breed a Chacco Blue foal, discovering the next Chacco Blue is the art.
Which horse has been particularly essential to your breeding/a favourite horse?
Our breeding is mainly built up through three mares from the previous generation, not coincidentally all three descended from Lys de Darmen. These successful mares are Kablesse I, Nikita van ‘t Spieveld and Prima Donna van ‘t Paradijs. From the Nikita line we would like to point out Jeunesse van ‘t Paradijs. She is the daughter of Elegance van ‘t Paradijs, a Heartbreaker daughter who with her sharpness and pace forms a perfect combination with Emerald van ‘t Ruytershof. This Jeunesse has already proven her reliability in breeding.
How do you connect with other breeders/exchange thoughts on upcoming stallions?
With our raising stable and foaling service, we see a lot of foals being born and growing up every year. This gives us a tremendous amount of information about how the offspring of stallions grow. We also get in touch with many breeders from all over Europe. It is with these people, who are extremely committed to breeding, that we have are a lot of conversations about stallions.
What are your key decision factors when deciding on a stallion for your mare?
First of all, you should take a critical look at your mare and look for the areas of improvement. This way you can choose the stallion based on the right power, sharpness, canter and attitude/character.
The latest addition to the Stephex Stallion collection is a stallion bred by you. Replay van’t Paradijs was born and raised at Paradijs stables and is still being presented by Astrid Rooms. Could you tell us some insights about this upcoming stallion; about his mother and father; about him as a foal; about his personality; how is he to ride; how are his first offsprings?
His sire Bamako de Muze needs no comment. He has given countless top horses. Dam Jeunesse van ‘t Paradijs, also known under Lorenzo de Luca, has a top mentality in the ring. Even more important is the full sister of Replay, Monalisa van ‘t Paradijs, this 9 year old mare has already shown great results with a recent 2nd place at the 3* jumping in Vejer de la Frontera.
Also the full brother of Replay, the 5 year old Quaresma van ‘t Paradijs, showed us last season what he is capable of.
As a foal, Replay van ‘t Paradijs was remarkable. Even in the group he radiated a lot of charisma. He now has these qualities under the saddle as well. He has a naturally balanced walk, is very intelligent and has an enormous drive.
Meanwhile, his first foal was born (Voodoo Child PA by Milanese Paollo Andreoli) and it looks very promising.
Considering his pedigree, his performance and now his offspring, Replay van ‘t Paradijs is very versatile and will improve any mare!
To find out more about Replay van ‘t Paradijs and to breed with him this year, please visit his dedicated page: https://stephexstables.com/sxstallion/replay-vant-paradijs/
To find out more about Stal ‘t Paradijs, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/StaltParadijs