Zangersheide Founder Léon Melchior Passes Away


The global show jumping industry has lost a great visionary in the passing of Léon Melchior, aged 88, on November 11th, 2015.

In the 1970s, Melchior started a small stud farm in Belgium and named it Zangersheide. As Stud Farm Zangersheide grew, Melchior became known as the first to put forward new and innovative breeding methods, including embryo transfer and more recently, cloning.

But it was the prominence of the Zangersheide studbook and its subsequent FEI Young Horse World Breeding Championships, held at the Zangersheide home base in Lanaken, Belgium, that cemented Melchior’s vision as a revolutionary in the sport horse breeding world. Léon Melchior was an Officer in the Order of Leopold, a freeman in the town of Lanaken, Honorary President of MVV, and the founder of 53 different companies.

For his family, Léon Melchior was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Léon’s  daughter Judy-Ann Mechior is one of the world’s top international show jumpers.

“With him, the family loses its patriarch, the business world an example and the horse world its patron,” wrote Zangersheide on its website. “The loss is great and he will be missed by all, it is the memory of him which will strengthen us in the process.”

A memorial service will take place at Zangersheide in Lanaken on Tuesday, November 17th, with a reception from 10:30 – 11:30am prior to the funeral ceremony. At the request of Léon Melchior, everyone is welcome.