Christiaan van den Heuvel was born in December 1929 as the eldest son of a famous baker in Valkenswaard, a village in the south of the Netherlands. As a young boy, he already created a carriage for his goat and this is how he became interested in riving and carriage manufacturing.
He father gave him the opportunity to follow many courses and he finally graduated from university when he was 22 years old.
He then met his wife Elisabeth. Her parents’ had a passion for horses and carriages. He saw the around 15 black Gelder horses and the grey’s in the stables, he saw the traditional carriages in the garden and his interest for this exciting world grew even more.
He and Elisabeth enjoyed horseback riding and made many trips together, both in the saddle and behind the horses with various carriages and a pair of horses, which was unusual at that time.
As a hobby, Christiaan started to deal with Shetland ponies and he later became a professional. He sold Shetland ponies worldwide, but most of the ponies went to Italy and Germany. He also participated in several shows with his breeding mares and stallions.
In the sixties he bought his first thoroughbred stallion ‘Comet’, who had won the Derby in 1957. Christiaan was the first person in the Netherlands to start breeding a new type of horse, a crossing between Comet and a Gelder mare.
At the start, the judges did not like the foals because they were light and not heavy enough for the farm work, for which the Gelder horses were still used at that time. The Gelder horse had a double role on Sundays, when they were also used for dressage and show jumping.
After several years, the Comet foals started to be successful at events and became excellent show jumpers. Years later, this type of horse became very successful at top sport level and that was the start of the KWPN studbook.

The first driving competitions took place in the seventies. At that time, Henri, the second son of Christiaan and Elisabeth, was already working at the company. He started to restructure an old carriage and successfully made it into a marathon carriage. His first customers in the Netherlands were Velstra and Chardon.
From that moment on, it all evolved very rapidly. Henri was and is still a very good designer and professional. He introduced several new designs and technical developments.
The seventies also symbolize the business in traditional carriages, which were delivered to collectors all over the world to complete their collections. Christiaan van Heuvel was in a unique position that he could afford to keep some very exclusive carriages for his private collection.
The company nowadays owns a private collection of traditional carriages, amongst which several very rare and first class ones. Especially carriages manufactured in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
Frits, the first-born son of Christiaan and Elisabeth, joined the company in 1980. He also has a large passion for horses and his specialty is ‘horses and harness’. He provided horses to Harrod’s in London, the Cavalry and many private drivers in the United Kingdom.

Eric, the third and youngest son, joined the company in 1985. His specialty was to collect and restore antique carriage lamps. He now has over 250 pairs of lamps.
From 1980 the name 'Chr. van den Heuvel & Sons was a fact…and until today, we are still one of the leading carriage driving companies - The House For Fine Carriages!