In October, Jan told me that next year he wanted to show Lobeke at a show – he would be 72, Lobeke 28, together makes a whopping 100 years. It should not happen anymore. Jan Calis, “The Flyng Dutchman” died this morning.
Born in 1948, Jan grew up on his parents’ farm. His first Arabian horse was the stallion Nagasaki. He did not stay alone for long, two mares followed and his small but fine stud “Zenith Arabians” was born, which he led together with his wife Eveline, who was responsible for the equestrian training. Stallions inextricably linked to Jan Calis are Dosator, Lobeke, Sagrand, Mythos, most recently Nubiec, BS Maschallah and BS Kadjar. He was always a friend of the Spanish and Russian bloodlines.
He became known as one of the best show trainer we had here in Europe. He was one of the few who could keep up with the “Russian movements”. And it was important to him that the horse could keep his personality and develop it! That’s why he “played” with them – and his performances with Lobeke are unforgotten. He had the gift of “capturing” even foreign horses within minutes, and they understood what he wanted from them – without fear, but with respect.
In 1991 he launched the Handler Cup – many names are now on the list of those who received him. Not all award winners have remained faithful to his role model as a horse-friendly handler.
Jan’s death leaves a big gap, not only in the world of the Arabian horse, even as a human being he was something very special and a real horse man. My condolences are especially Eveline Calis and all relatives and friends.