For Sale to the Highest Bidder: World & European Champion SFN Zenith N.O.P.

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Published on June 24, 2016

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he Springpaarden Fonds Nederland announced on Friday, June 24th, that its six international horses, including the current World and European Champion SFN Zenith N.O.P., will be offered for sale at auction on September 21st, 2016.

The sale comes as a surprise to the public, as it is two years ahead of schedule. When SFN was formed in 2006 with 98 shareholders, five selectors of horses and a board of directors, the plan was to hold an auction for its horses in 2018.

Due to a rather obscure change in Dutch law exemptions that now prohibits investment ventures from carrying on longer than 10 years, the auction was pushed forward to take place later this year. SFN is now required to dissolve its fund and liquidate its assets, which in this case is its group of horses.

SFN was initiated by Dutch journalist Jacob Melissen, who came up with the idea of a Dutch-based and run syndication group that would search for, purchase, and support the development of top international horses under Dutch riders. It was a bid to keep Holland’s best horses with Dutch riders rather than selling them to other nations, and it worked. SFN stayed true to its mission statement of preventing horses between ages 8 and 12 at the four-star or higher level from being sold to foreign riders, in order to aim them toward international championships under Dutch riders.

The SFN raised €2.6 million euros for the fund, and to date has paid its shareholders back €650,000. It hopes to generate enough money to at least pay its shareholders back and raise some financial gain.

“We are sorry of course that we have to sell, and we are supporting our owners and our riders. On the other hand, we promised our shareholders that we would invest their money well, and try and find a return,” said SFN Board President Henk Rottinghuis.

SFN shareholders will start a second fund immediately, and have already raised €2 million towards that second fund.

In the last ten years, SFN has been a runaway success; in addition to SFN Zenith N.O.P., most recently Aquila SFN was ridden by Wout Jan van der Shans to a double clear in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at La Baule, and won the CSI3* Grand Prix of Luxemburg just two weeks ago.

“I think that the success of the fund so far, we could have never written a script like we have,” commented SFN selector Emil Hendrix. “The first horse we bought was Natasha SFN, who had a beautiful career with Jeroen Dubbeldam, and then of course, the dream came true with Zenith in Caen.”

“The first horse we bought was Natasha SFN, who had a beautiful career with Jeroen Dubbeldam, and then of course, the dream came true with Zenith in Caen.”

BVA Auctions will handle the sale, which will be operated entirely online, with a closing date of September 21st. BVA also managed the Eurocommerce liquidation of top international show jumping horses in 2013.

In the meantime, SFN Zenith N.O.P. will continue aiming for a spot on the Dutch Olympic Team with Dubbeldam, who spoke candidly about the impending sale of his top horse.

“The feeling is of course not so good because I’m losing my horse, but I knew this when I started. The plan was to go to Rio, and after Rio he would be for sale,” he said. “After the last three years, when we had these successes, to now be losing such a horse, is harder than losing a horse that had not been that successful. It’s not easy.”

In addition to SFN Zenith N.O.P. and Aquila SFN, Chuck Blue SFN, Ferrari SFN, Eloma’s Blue SFN, and Djumpsina SFN will be offered for sale at auction. Visit BVA Auctions for more information. 

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