Among other animals, the Croes - Horst family keeps and breeds hackneys at Hackney Stud "De Heemhoeve".
Gerard Horst was brought up with keeping ponies and horses. Born and raised at a farm, working with horses used for traction was a basic need. Apart from workhorses, even back then more fancy horses were also kept, and these were used for riding and/or driving. With the arrival during the sixties of tractors at the farm, the workhorses disappeared, but a few saddle and breeding horses can still be found there today.
Originally contaminated by the horse virus, Gerard Horst later purchased a Welsh-A pony, on which the children mastered their horsemanship. When the children switched over to larger ponies, he bred a few foals from the Welsh-A mare, with a thoroughbred Arab as their father. These descendants were then used for driving. Next, the step towards the harnessed sport was made.
By now settled in Twente, except for one riding pony for the children, all Welshes have been replaced by Hackneys, both ponies and horses. With a beautiful ride-out area consisting of many kilometres of unpaved roads ‘around the corner’, ‘De Heemhoeve’ is an outstanding location for the driving with horses (see outline map).
At ‘De Heemhoeve’ we breed Hackneys, both ponies and horses, we selected the breed Hackneys strictly on their racial characteristics, with regard to both the exterior of the horse and the harnessed sports, we participate in exterior inspections of Hackneys and our horses are brought out into the harnessed sports. Our ultimate goal is to exclusively participate in inspections and competitions (showing and driving) with Hackneys bred by ourselves.