The story of Top mare Centa de Muze

Johan Veldeman 03/03/2024 10:03 7 min

The Veldeman family and their broodmare Centa de Muze have something to do with the final of the free jumping for two-year-olds at the Mechelen Nekkerhal. In 2012 Kerly de Regor (Darco x Centa de Muze) won, in 2014 Melia de Regor (Elvis ter Putte x Centa de Muze) triumphed, in 2016 Ohaj de Regor (Kannan x Centa de Muze) took second place and in 2021, when jumping Mechelen was cancelled and the semi-final in Lier immediately became the final, Tell Me de Regor (Chacco-Blue x Centa de Muze) won the female two-year-olds series and her full brother Toyboy de Regor won the male two-year-olds series. In December 2023, it was bingo again, this time thanks to Vitchi de Regor, a full brother of Tell Me and Toyboy.

A total of 41 two-year-olds were selected for the free-jumping final. Their jumping qualities were judged by Niels Bruynseels and Carlos Pinto. The BWP-bred Vitchi de Regor achieved a monster score of 87.50/100. The SBS-registered Pipette Du Vert Pignon came close to this score.

After the award ceremony, we had a conversation with the brothers Johan (°1965) and Luc Veldeman (°1967), who together with their brother-in-law Bert Verbist (°1973) and Dagmar Veldeman (Johan's daughter), are the driving forces behind De Regor Stables and are known under 'Familie Veldeman' as the breeders of the champion Vitchi de Regor. Johan: 'Vitchi is a big-framed horse. We assumed that this would not be an advantage for a young horse. We started quietly with Vitchi. We lunged him a few times and let him jump at liberty. In the beginning, he was somewhat skinny. We adjusted his diet, without exaggerating in it. We saw that it was moving in the right direction. I know he has a lot in him. In day-to-day handling, he is super well behaved. Some people ask the question "why still breed with Chacco-Blue?". I assume these people fear that Chacco-Blue does not pass on enough blood. Vitchi has the appropriate blood. He has a drive for the hurdle. This morning he was lying down in his stall. While he was lying down, my wife braided his mane. That's how well behaved he is.'

How did you prepare Vitchi for the final? 'We made him jump a few times. Absolutely not a lot. The duration in itself is not important. More important is to be working on it regularly and that's what we did with Vitchi. Apart from that, the horse must have certain qualities. One can improve an inferior horse by working on it, but one cannot turn it into a crack. Quality is paramount. With a quality horse, it is fun to continue.'

The more Vitchi jumped in the final, the more he showed his jumping qualities. 'True,' said Johan, 'He started very quietly. Especially from the moment of building on the highest, he showed his qualities extra. Vitchi did a great job today. I feared Etoile du PG would win. We once experienced that during the final of the free jumping in Mechelen with Ohaj de Regor who then came second after Orak d'Hamwyck. When I saw Etoile free-jumping, I thought to myself that he might well be the winner. Etoile and Vitchi are both very good, but have a different way of jumping.' Luc adds: 'Vitchi has his canter and charisma as additional assets. He is very athletic.' Johan: 'He is big and handy at the same time. There are big horses who at the age of two don't know how to use their body. Vitchi, on the other hand, has quite a good use of his body. He has a lot of size and at the same time suppleness in his body. Towards the future, that is a plus. That type of horse will later be able to jump a triple jump in an easy way.'

What are the future plans with Vitchi? 'We will give him a rest now. I am considering not letting him compete in free jumping competitions next year. We have eight young upcoming talents, so plenty of choice.' Is he still in your ownership? 'Yes, even though he is in high demand.' Vitchi has been castrated. 'He still has some full brothers, including Toemme de Regor who was approved as a breeding stallion at Zangersheide. We cannot leave the male products all stallion.' His age-mate Veini de Regor, a son of the late Conthargos out of the Hunters' Scendro daughter Omani de Regor, is still a stallion, though. 'Veini was also selected for the final of the free jumping in Mechelen, but since we are presenting him at the BWP stallion approval in January 2024, we decided not to let him participate in the final.' Meanwhile, the stallion successfully passed the second phase and has been sold to Woodlands International, according to Stal de Regor's Facebook page.

Centa de Muze, the dam of Vitchi de Regor, is a daughter of Cento and has in her dam's line successively three mares that have jumped at 1m60 level, namely Walloon de Muze, Qerly Chin and Kerly (BWP lineage 34). Centa produced several jumpers from the 1m60 circuit (such as Freestyle de Muze and Horizon de Regor) and the 1m50 circuit (among them Inri de Regor, Kerly de Regor, Melia de Regor and Ohaj de Regor). Ohaj (°2014) is a Kannan daughter who performs at 1m50 level under the saddle of Pieter Kenis and is listed as the dam of the approved stallions Mr Cornet de Regor and the late Simply de Regor, two sons of Cornet Obolensky (ex Windows van het Costersveld). Centa herself also produced several approved stallions, including the BWP-approved Don Julio de Regor T40 Z (by Diamant de Semilly) and the Zangersheide-approved Toemme de Regor.

Centa de Muze came into the Veldeman family's path rather by accident: 'A few years after our father died in January 2001, we started looking for a horse from a good stud and that's how we ended up with Centa de Muze. We bought her at the age of three from Joris De Brabander. She was injured and could no longer make a career in the sport. She comes from a litter from which many good show jumpers have come.'

How many foals are you expecting in 2024? 'If everything goes to plan, nine. We have never had such a large number. Seven of them are from the Centa branch, two from the Nueva Epoca de Regor strain. From Centa, we are expecting one foal by For Pleasure and one by Balou du Reventon. It is only from 2019 that we have used Centa more widely in our breeding through ICSI. Previously, Centa had one to a maximum of two offspring per yearling. That was a conscious choice. After all, we wanted to know how Centa breeds. It takes time to find out.' What does Centa pass on to her offspring? 'She usually produces beautiful, athletic horses with length in their bodies, while you still recognise many of the sire's traits in her foals. Centa's offspring are also usually intelligent, willing to work and very affectionate horses. Centa was born in 2002 and is still coming along well.'

'We find that Centa's offspring who jump well at a young age also jump well later in life under saddle. I am thinking, for example, of Kerly de Regor (by Darco), Melia de Regor (by Elvis ter Putte) and Ohaj de Regor (by Kannan). In the final of the free jumping for two-year-olds in Mechelen, Kerly won in 2012, Melia in 2014 and Ohaj came second in 2016. Kerly and Melia jumped afterwards at 1m50 level, Ohaj is currently already jumping at the same level.'

Not only the first, but also the second generation of Centa is doing well. Johan mentions a few names: 'Que Passa and Qadira de Regor, both born in 2016, ridden by Andres Vereecke and owned by Patrick d'Eer. Que Passa de Regor, a daughter of Hunters' Scendro out of Kerly de Regor, jumps at 1m45 level. At that same level, Qadira de Regor, a daughter of Bamako de Muze out of Melia de Regor, is also performing,' Johan concluded.