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About us

Anne-Marie hadn't even reached the age of seven when she became passionate about pony riding. With her zeal for the sport, René soon discovered her immense talent and decided to buy her a couple of good ponies. Due to her visibly expanding talent she very soon became a permanent member of the Dutch team, delivering excellent results and winning multiple first prizes in the highest categories at the Limburg and Dutch championships. But Anne-Marie's success did not stop at a national level - she also flourished in the international equestrian scene, celebrating one success after the other in the Pony, Junior and Young Rider categories. The 1999 European Championships in Strömholm, Sweden, brought both individual and team success when Anne-Marie won a bronze medal with the Dutch team and finished 6th individually.
Nowadays Anne-Marie specialises in training and coaching young jumpers. Her intensive and personal training approach brings out the best qualities in the jumper horses, making them easy to handle for our clients. The jumpers are cared for and ridden with passion and as a result we have many returning customers.

Caroline, too, became a pony fanatic at the age of six. Starting off at a riding school she was soon given her own pony. Her success in the pony riding sport includes multiple first prizes at the Limburg and national championships. At the age of twelve she rode her first international competition and was already visiting many large-scale competitions at home and abroad together with her sister. In 2000 she achieved two bronze medals in Hagen, Germany: one with the Dutch team and one in the individual standings. In the Junior league she won First Prize both in Lummen (2004) and in Welkenraedt (2004). Then in 2006 she was allowed to participate in the Young Riders at the European Championship in the Athens Olympic stadium.
Today Caroline is a Senior rider at a national and international level. Training and selling jumper horses was her main task at the 'De Leygraaf Stables'.
For some years now, Caroline has been in a personal relationship with Pieter Devos, a well-known name in international equestrian sports. In 2011, they decided to move in together and live in Bekkevoort in Belgium (www.devos-stables.com). From October 2011 onwards Caroline will no longer work in Swolgen, but she she still will work together with Stal de Leygraaf and also in the future she will compete with horses 'De Leygraaf Stables'.

René Poels
René Poels was born in 1952 into a family steeped into horses and equestrian sports. He started competing at a young age and enjoyed the trade in young jumpers together with his father, Ger Poels. After his marriage to his wife Nelly, the couple took over the dairy cattle farm and René decided that it was time to stop his favourite hobby. But when his two daughters started riding ponies, he became enthralled once again en started a new, successful career with ponies and horses. What began as a hobby has since grown into a genuine and ambitious commercial stud farm: De Leygraaf Stables.