Portrait: European Champion Pieter Devos

3 min.

Pieter Devos, a Belgian show jumper, is a prominent figure in the equestrian community known for his dedication, hard work, and natural talent for riding. Born in Diest, Belgium, Devos comes from a family of equestrian enthusiasts and runs the Devos Stables BVBA fruit farm with his brother. His passion for riding started at a young age and was nurtured by his parents, who were amateur show jumpers.

Early Years and Rise to Fame

Devos started riding at the age of five, and was trained by Belgian show jumping Olympian Dirk Demeersman. He won the national championship in the ponies division in 2002 and the young riders division in 2007, launching his professional career. Throughout his career, Devos has received many accolades, including the Talent of the Year award from the Flemish Horse Riding League in 2008. He has ridden several successful horses, including Dream of India Greenfield, Couscous van Orti, Dylano, and his most famous horse Candy, which helped him win the International of Spruce Meadows Masters.

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Representing Belgium

Devos has represented Belgium at several international events, including the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy and the 2014 FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, both on Dylano. He was part of the Belgian team at the Nations Cup Final and European Championships, where the team won bronze in 2017 and gold in 2018. In 2019, Devos was a standout performer, leading the overall ranking of the Global Champions Tour and winning gold at the European Championships.

Strong Comeback

In 2020, Devos suffered a setback when he broke his hand at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha, but he quickly regained his form. By May 2020, he achieved his highest world ranking of 4th. He was part of the Belgian show jumping team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and brought home a bronze medal. He delivered an impressive performance along with Jérôme Guery and Gregory Wathelet. Devos, earning only 4 penalty points, played a major role in securing the Belgian team the bronze medals.

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Foto: Malgré Tout Media Archive, Global Champions Tour Prague 2022

Devos Stables

Aside from his athletic achievements, Devos is also a successful entrepreneur who has transformed his family’s fruit business into one of Belgium’s largest exporters of apples and pears. Despite his busy schedule, he manages to balance his athletic career, thriving business, and family life. Devos Stables is home to a well-respected breeding program that has been built up over years of knowledge, hard work, dedication, and passion. Each year, around 20-25 foals are born with the prefix of DV in their names, and they are all part of the Devos Stables family.

Martine and Stefaan, Devos’ parents, are in charge of the DV breeding program. With years of experience in understanding what it takes to produce a healthy, happy, and potential Grand Prix winning foal, they pour their passion, knowledge, and love into the program. They know everything about every foal and young horse born into the program.

Mares of Macha

In 2018, Devos and breeder Klaas de Coster started the “Mares of Macha” breeding project, which aims to breed top-performing showjumpers. After extensive research, three markers were identified as common among the best performers: pure performance, talent transmission to offspring, and family depth of performance. Devos purchased young mares with strong bloodlines, and the collection grew with mares from his family’s sports mares and other sources. The project now includes 36 mares, each of which meets the three markers, with some even scoring the maximum on all three. The project was named after Macha, an ancient Irish goddess associated with fertility who is often depicted with a foal, symbolizing the critical role of mares in breeding.

Devos has a compassionate approach to riding, believing that “the horse must have the feeling that it’s very happy to do it for you.” His achievements in show jumping demonstrate his dedication, talent, and passion for the sport, making him a true champion and inspiration to riders all over the world.

Devos is a multi-faceted rider who showcases the power of hard work and determination. He has left his mark in the show jumping world with his exceptional talent and passion for the sport, and has also made a successful transition into the world of business. He is committed to producing top-performing showjumpers for years to come and works towards a brighter future for both horses and riders. His commitment to excellence, both on and off the field, has earned him a reputation as a champion and a source of inspiration for riders worldwide.

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