Sofie: “We bought Indiana’s mother, Evita, as a 7-year-old from Eric Vandervleuten when I was a junior rider. At that time, Jean-Claude Van Geenberghe was my trainer. My father, Jean-Claude, and I tested Evita together. The connection was immediate. I preferred smaller horses with a bit of spirit. As a young horse, she was quite spirited. She had a golden character. She was very agile, making her very fast in a jump-off or hunting class. She was careful enough and also very well-schooled in dressage. I had a lot of fun with Evita. She passed away in our pasture at the age of 25.”

“Evita passed on her golden character, willingness to work, and carefulness to her offspring. She had four descendants: Brustor Boy of Kannan (born 2001) jumped at the 5* 1m60 level under riders like Steve Guerdat. Donna Evita (born 2003) is probably Evita’s most famous offspring. Khaled Abdulrahman Almobty achieved great results with her, including in 5* World Cup events."

"We have little information about Donna Evita’s full brother, Gorky (born 2006). Indiana (born 2008), a full sister of Brustor Boy of Kannan, was ridden by our nephew Leon Brutsaert at the start of his career as a student (2018-2019). Later, Indiana was used in breeding by Leon and Lieven Brutsaert.”

How was Indiana under the saddle?

“Leon rode her with a simple snaffle. She was easy to ride. She was very careful, had a good canter, and a lot of balance. In short, the ideal schoolmaster for Leon.” What does she pass on? “Her carefulness and honest character. She produces beautiful and healthy horses that are also easy to handle.”

When did you start breeding?

“Our father, Louis, bred a few foals during our childhood. We started breeding actively after my sports career ended. Two mares I used to jump with, Evita and Ilone (by Capitol I), stayed with us as broodmares. Since 2005, we have named our breeding products after artists, hence names like Miro, Indiana, etc. Recently, my father and I have stopped breeding. My brother Lieven and nephew Leon now breed one or two foals a year.”

Belgium's Lieven Devos has played a significant role in Miro's successful sports career

“I have been riding horses for Louis Brutsaert for three decades. That’s how Miro came my way. I saw him jump freely a few times as a young horse. I had him broken in. When he was five years old, I started competing with him. Miro is a ‘bear of a horse’ with all the carefulness and a lot of talent. The first time I rode him in Oliva, there was a low course set up. He jumped so high out of nowhere that he unseated me, and I fell off. He didn’t do it on purpose. On the contrary, Miro was very gentle."

"His strengths? His carefulness, health, talent, and bravery. At home, even a small child could ride him. But once he heard the competition bell, he knew what to do and became very spirited.”

What qualities must a rider have for such a horse?

“Being able to anticipate what might happen. Olivier is a very good rider and Miro a very good horse. They have found each other. I rode him from the age of 5 to 8. It was a pleasure to ride Miro. We were successful, for instance, at the World Championships in Lanaken. He often went clear, which is very important today: wanting to stay off the poles. And Miro does that. He also comes from a good lineage.”

Lieven retired Miro from his riding career in 2020. “I have a good relationship with Ludo and the Brutsaert family. During the COVID period, I told both parties that Miro would miss opportunities if I continued to ride him. Ludo had been interested in Miro for some time. The sale of Miro to Team Philippaerts was completed,” concludes Lieven, who expresses great respect for the Brutsaert family and, together with Philippe Vandelanoitte, teaches Leon Brutsaert.

Source: BWP
F. ©: LGCT