Dutch stallion keeper and breeder Gert Willem van Norel passed away on 3 June 2021. He was 76 years old.
Van Norel was the founder of De Pretendenthoeve in Wapenveld, The Netherlands, which he founded in 1969.
From the start Gert Willem focused on the breeding of dressage horses and his impact on Dutch warmblood breeding cannot be denied.
He started his stallion station by purchasing breeding stallions Levade (by Duc de Normandie), Niels (by Le Faquin xx) and Maarschalk (by Enfant de Normandie).
He made his break through with the home bred foundation stallion Pretendent (by Le Faquin xx x Duc de Normandie x Victor), who produced several dominating KWPN dressage lines: Vincent, Vanitas, Facet and Cabochon.
"It was remarkable that at that time he had his stallions compete at high level, especially by (Dutch Olympian) Annemarie Sanders-Keijzer," Horses.nl posted. Van Norel later partnered with Christa Larmoyeur and Sjaak Laarakkers for the training and competing of his stallions.
Numerous top dressage horses came from his breeding programme: Uphill, Charmingmood, Il Divo, Pays Bays NL, Anne Beth (Lisa Müller), Ovation (Christa Larmoyeur), Expression (Diederik van Silfhout). His Cover Story became the 2010 KWPN Licensing Champion.
In 2004 Van Norel was named KWPN Breeder of the Year and in 2015 he was named Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau for his life-time achievements in horse breeding.
On Monday 31 May Van Norel underwent heart surgery, but his condition deteriorated. He passed four days later.
Gert Willem leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Roelie Fikse, and his four children André, Martin, Evelien and Wichert and nine grandchildren.
Olympic Ferro and Cabochon "keur" stallions
Uphill Most Popular KWPN Breeding Stallion of 2009
Charmingmood Sold to Greek Dressage Rider Jiochanna Androniki-Kordatzaki
Expression Injured, No Dutch Team in 2019 CDIO Aachen Nations Cup
Van Silfhout's Expression Becomes NOP
KWPN Stallion Oscar Passed Away
Christa Larmoyeur's Ovation Passed Away
Femke Beljon Obtains Ride on Uphill and Winningmood
Cover Story Euthanized
Oscar Son, Champion of the 2010 KWPN Stallion Licensing