Every month, Gaston Mercier Sellier presents a portrait that is close to his heart, beautiful stories, atypical adventures, encounters…
This month, discover the portrait of our new partner, Talitha Bakker, founder of Arabian Stud Europe, an Arabian horse farm.
[Introduction of Arabian Stud Europe]
Arabian Stud Europe is a modern breeding program for purebred Arabian horses. The stud was founded by Talitha Bakker and is located in the middle of the forest in Winterswijk, the Netherlands. It is managed by Talitha and her partner Louis with a lot of love and passion for the Arabian horse.
Our mares have Egyptian maternal lines that go back to old lines like Alidaar and Habdan Enzahi. We have crossed these lines with the precious blood of the great Ali Jamaal, Versace, Bey Shah and El Shaklan. We cross these products with modern stallions like Marwan al Shaqab, RFI Farid, etc.
All our horses over four years old are ridden, including our stallions! Some of them in show jumping and others in Endurance (international level).
[Presentation of Talitha Bakker]
My name is Talitha Bakker and I live with my partner Louis, our twenty Arabian horses and our two Australian shepherds on a farm on the edge of the forest in the town of Winterswijk, on the border between the Netherlands and Germany. Our breeding farm is called Arabian Stud Europe and besides managing the farm, I am also an (online) marketing specialist and event organizer. I organize endurance competitions near our farm and we plan to host an international CEI 1* and 2* endurance competition next year.
Horses (Arabians) have been my passion since I was 10 years old. By working every spare minute I had after school, I slowly earned enough money to buy my own horse at the age of 16. As soon as I finished school, I got a full-time job and started breeding Arabian horses. Now, twenty years later, I am riding the third generation of my breeding program in endurance races throughout Europe.
[Presentation of his main horses]
One of the first foals I bred was the ASE mare Bisiriya Hlayyil. I competed in many endurance competitions with her and she also won international successes in CEI 1* and 2* events. Today I am competing with her son ASE Magnificent, who just finished his novice qualification with two first places and two best condition awards! Expectations are very high and I hope to compete at the World Young Horse Championships next year.
Another homebred mare that I compete with is ASE Falaree. We have won several 40 and 50 km events and this year I hope she will finish her novice qualification and start FEI events later in the season.
In addition to Magnificent and Falaree, I am also competing with my French mare Volga du Vallois. Volga is a mix of Arabian and Norwegian Fjord and she is a great mare for competition. Last year we won 2nd place in the CEI 1* 100km and this year we are trying to successfully complete the 2* and 3* courses.
The last but not least one of the most important is my foundation mare Geraldyne el Jamaal. After having given birth to more than 12 foals, we put her in the saddle at the age of 15. Today, at the age of 20, we compete at the highest national level in endurance and enjoy many mountain rides. Last year, she successfully completed 178 km in five days at the Schwäbische Alb Distanz. It was my first competition with a Gaston Mercier saddle and my mare loved it. As a result I have sold almost all my saddles from other brands.
[Why Gaston Mercier ?]
Last month I received my brand new saddle, the Margeride, designed to saddle my young stallion. Being very satisfied with the result, I decided to place a new order for another saddle, the Compiègne. The GM saddles are very comfortable for the horse and the rider. I particularly like the lightness which makes them easy to handle during competitions and also reduces the impact of the load on my horses. I am very happy to start this collaboration with Gaston Mercier and I hope to make many podiums in Endurance with my faithful horses.