Some of you might have heard about KCM Vaultinghorses since they sell vaulting horses to vaulters all around the world. You may have seen their horses during competition for instance vaulting horse Bram with Lucas Wacha and Jasmin Linder or Katharina Luschin on vaulting horse Fairytale. KCM Vaultinghorses has helped vaulters find their vaulting horses for over 10 years and with much success. So who are the people behind KCM Vaultinghorses?
To find out about this Debbie, our VW Editor, went to “manege Waarland” where the vaulting horses are trained and interviewed Maurits de Vries, the main person behind the finding, training, and selling the horses.
Who is Maurits?
Hi, I’m Maurits de Vries horse trainer, trader and the founder of KCM Vaultinghorses. I am from Callantsoog, a small town near the coast in the Netherlands where I live with my wife Cindy and my kids Esmee, Jesper and Matthijs.
How and when did you start with vaulting?
It all started in Den Helder when I was 6 years old and was riding horses. As a warm- up for horse riding we would do some vaulting exercises to get our blood running. My instructor noticed that I enjoyed the vaulting exercises way more than horse riding and she thought that it might be a good idea if I joined the next vaulting lesson. And as you can see I never stopped vaulting after that.
What was your biggest success in vaulting or your best vaulting moment?
That is a difficult question to answer since I have many moments in vaulting where I am proud of. When I used to be a vaulter myself it was going with the team to the European Championships in 1995 and individually going to the World Championships in 2000. As trainer and trader it has been countless moments: Going to Championships and getting the best horse score, CVI Qatar year 2014 with Zygo and Bram, winning the World Cup Bordeaux with Bram, going to the WEG 2018 with vaulting horse Zygo and vaulter Colton Palmer and seeing four other horses from the KCM stable doing very well was a moment that made me really proud of how far I have come with the business. Setting goals and achieving them as a vaulter, lunger or trainer is what I really enjoy about competing.
How did you come up with the idea of training and selling vaulting horses?
It all started in 2008 when we found Bram online and we bought him to become a vaulting horse. We posted a video of him on facebook saying: “Best vaulting horse of Europe”. After posting we received a lot of messages from people looking for a vaulting horse. That was the moment when we figured out that we could make a business out of this. In that same month we sold five other horses who turned out to be very successful, among them are Fairytale, Zygo and Bram.
How did the business develop over the years?
In the first few years that we had our business we mainly trained horses and brought them to competitions as well and they were sold afterwards. In the last couple of years our horses have sold faster and we don’t really often compete with unsold horses anymore.
Is it your main business?
Yes, KCM Vaultinghorses is our main business.
Which horses do you own yourself?
We own some horses ourselves, some for vaulting, some not for vaulting.
We vault ourselves with Golden Wonder K (nicknamed Guus),Get-Up and Lady Delightly. Next to that we have a Shetland pony Regenboog (Rainbow) for Esmee, Whispering Lady who we breed with. Then there is Nalyssa, our 3 year old, Rapunzel who is just 4 weeks old (at the moment of interviewing) and last but not least Pharell, a 1 year old stallion who is currently growing up at a friend’s place.
Who is the team behind KCM Vaulting Horses right now?
That is mainly Cindy and me, the vaulters who help us are Dagmar and Moriah Dekker and then we have two riders for the horses who are Sheila and Femke.
Where do your customers come from?
From all over the world where there is vaulting.
What is the typical buying process?
When we are buying a horse we want to know if they are capable of vaulting. So obviously we try them out for vaulting. After that we check if it is a nice riding horse, because vaulting is something you cannot do every day with your horse so we think that it is very important that the horses that we sell are also nice riding horses. When we want to buy the horse we do a final health check and when that is all good we bring them to us and start training.
How do people contact you?
We get contacted through various means, social media like facebook and instagram, whatsapp and of course the good old fashioned email and calling.
Can they try the horse before buying?
Customers are welcome to test the horse as often as they want, no matter how long, as long as the horse is happy with it. We actually encourage people to take their time with testing and look at the horse thoroughly to make sure that they are certain about their choice and that there is nothing wrong with the horse. We would rather have people that take their time to make a good decision than rush into a decision and don’t try out the horse as they should have.
Any tips for vaulters when trying out their new vaulting horse?
First and foremost, be kind to the horse and don’t provoke it or try to see what their pain threshold is. This may sound strange, but we have had customers who consciously provoked the horse with, for example, a hard landing to see how the horse would react. We ask these people to leave. Most horses are still in training when sold, take this into account when trying out for the first time.
What is your vision of vaulting in the future? Especially regarding the horses.
I think personally we already made big improvements over the years regarding horse quality compared to 10/15 years ago. Nowadays you see that more horses are showing a real canter instead of a mix of trot and canter and I hope that this trend will continue. Going forward I hope that when we are going to big tournaments like WEG or the World Cup, that we as a sport are taken seriously and also that our horses are seen as happy and healthy athletes and not just there to canter around. I get a lot of comments from people who are not into vaulting saying “Why do you need a horse for that?” which I can understand because of the way we train and do a lot on the mechanical horse. We have to make sure that vaulting is and stays an equestrian sport and that the horse is part of the team.
How did you get through Corona?
Thanks to our good reputation and loyal clients we were still able to sell some horses during corona, if that hadn’t been the case we would not have been able to pull through.
How did the selling of horses work during Corona?
We would send videos of the horse to the client and if it was possible the client would try to come to our stable to meet the horse (which involved often quarantine time, PCR tests and having to cross different borders). Normally only some horses are sold over video, during corona around ¾ of our horses were sold via video.
Any tips on how to look at an online advert of a horse?
When I look online I am always interested in the video and the way that it has been edited can give away a lot. Some sellers will cut the video off every time the horse does something it is not supposed to do and will put a picture instead. This doesn’t mean that pictures in a video are bad, but a picture every 10 seconds means most of the time no good. Furthermore I try to take the description not too seriously since the advertiser will always try to make the advertisement look its best because they are trying to sell their horse.
Any news or additional information you would like to tell our community?
This year we are getting started with competitions again. We are looking forward to competing at the Junior World Championship in Le Mans and the Senior World Championships in Budapest and see all the people that we missed because of Corona.