Toon Holtus, born on May 3, 1961 in Genderingen Netherlands.
After his education in Deurne for instructor, Toon ended up working for the late Mario Pompen in Brussum. One of the first contests of Toon was with the Rigoletto mare Serma van Pompen. This mare was extremely successful in breeding. Most of its descendants are jumping on international level.
Toons’ talent for equestrian horse jumping became noticed and in 1984 he was employed at the IJzeren Man stables in Weert owned by the Gordijn family. Besides training of the young horses, Toon became Dutch champion in 1986 defeating the first rides of the IJzeren Man stables, Rob Ehrens.
Toon founded his own company in jumping horses in 1988. After a few years he moved to a larger accommodation in Heel, the Rieterhof. At that time Toon owned a couple of horses that enabled him to compete on national and international level.
The combination Toon Holtus and El Bandolero developed itself very successful and were placed on the long list to participate for the Olympics in Atlanta 1996. However, a severe car accident and lengthy revalidation back fired the great ambitions and successful outlook for Toon. After his long revalidation Toon returned to the Rieterhof and found a company with empty stables that had to be rebuild from scratch.
With great stamina, Toon fought back to a high level in the horse jumping sport. With the mare Indullah breed by his father in law, Toon achieved many victories. On the age of seven, this mare ridden by Toon competed in the final of the world championships of young horses in Zangersheide.
With the horse Nagano, owned in 2001 by the IJzeren Man stables, Toon proved his craftsmanship as a top rider and trainer. Since Nagano did not perform well with various other riders, Toon was asked by the IJzeren Man to train this horse. Eventually Toon and Nagano qualified themselves for the Grand Prix Jumping Indoor Maastricht.