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Friesian blog by Sheila Bianco

Sheila's blog about the wonderful world of Friesians


For those who like to come and watch Lutke, his next show is mid May in Salmon Arm, and then at the end of the month he'll be back at the NFTRA gold show at MREC.  

Odette and Othello will also be there.  This is a favourite show for us as the Theraputic Riding Association goes literally all out to make you very welcome and they put on a very organized show. 


Southlands Spring Dressage Show was held the first week of May 2008. In attendance were Lutke, our jet black Friesian Stallion, and Odette fan de Koldenhool, our Ster Friesian mare and mother of Verdi van der B, our glossy black purebred sale colt.  (Visit him on our sales page).

This show was very well attended and with Olympic qualifiers and lots of freestyles, it was fun.  The judges made it all the more interesting by teaching the crowd some of what they look for in the freestyle competition, thus increasing the enjoyment. 

This was Lutke's first freestyle, and after very little practice, he made us really proud by coming in 3rd in the Olympic qualifiers.  This horse knows when he's showing and just pulls out all the stops.

Odey was reserve champion - a surprise - since she earned the name, 'the magic carpet' during this show.  We were looking for photos that showed her feet actually touching the ground - but there were none.  Now, we don't have to worry about her interest switching from dressage to golf!  That was the problem.  The warm up ring for two arenas was backing onto golfers hitting lots of balls, and this did not please the 'Princess'.  Yes, she was a little fast during the test and her movement - definitely floating!   We are SURE she will be normal again at the next show!!!


We were thrilled to welcome Jen and Morgan this morning, during their visit to the Beautiful B.C. Coast.  It was THE best Spring morning - perfect for pictures of each glossy black Friesian, framed against still snow capped mountains.  Even young Verdi posed perfectly for a number of pictures.  I was quite impressed with him.  However, Morgan ended up with a lot of pictures which included Jen's back, as she was more into loves and hugs and the 'hands on' stuff which one can't resist with Friesians. 

Othello showed us all some tricks in hand, with his long, long mane brushed out.  In between, he basked in the warmth of the sun on his back and many strokes, pats, loves, hugs - all of which he just 'soaked up'.  When he finished his modelling session, his mane was re-braided and, after carefully watching I had put his 'slop' treat in his field, went out to enjoy the rest of the sunny afternoon. 

Sadly, the time came for Jen and Morgan to leave for their return drive to Alberta, and everyone wished them a safe and enjoyable trip.  We slightly changed their route to encorporate passing a couple of other Friesian farms along the way, including ones that had foals visible from the road.

 Thanks for the visit 'guys', it was great to meet you!


Pacific Country in Langley was a great facility for this show.  However, the cutting, icy cold, 'evil' wind in the middle of 'Spring' was something else!!!  Somehow, the horses worked extremely well.  (No, I don't personally ride in extremely windy conditions).  This show was attended by Lutke, our gorgeous Friesian Ster Stallion, who was incredible; and Semke, our latest Friesian gelding to arrive from Holland, for dressage  training.   Even though it was Semke's very first show, and he was a little tense, we were very, very pleased with him - Wow, what suspension!   Our trainer thinks he is such fun to ride.   True to 'Friesian form', he put out his best effort and no one would know it was his first public performance.  He is a sweet, sweet gelding to handle.


We just returned from a weekend dressage clinic at the lovely Pegasus Stables in Aldergrove.   Odette and Othello thoroughly enjoyed their 'field trip'.   There is always SO much to learn at these clinics - information that can be used during each ride.  This particular clinic was especially enlightening and extremely enjoyable.  Both Friesians behaved like little angels - sorry, big angels - and were a joy to handle.  Baths and cool stalls helped with this first day of glorious warmth.  Othello was proud  to perform his Spanish walk, at the request of some other participants, on both days.  Odey and Othello were welcomed home to the  calls of the other horses, and there was much happy hay munching when I left the barn for a welcome cup of tea!


Thank goodness the rain held off this year!  The Maple Ridge Equisport schooling show kicked off the show season for Odette fan de Koldenhool, and Othello.  They had a GREAT time together and put in really good performances, with very pleasing percentages.  Othello even performed his Spanish walk for a group of people in the stable area.  They were placed first and second in their classes. 


Lutke attended his first show of the year in early February 2008, at Thunderbird Show Park.  We were away  for some much needed rest and so he was the only one to attend.  He had a GREAT time because this show was a fundraiser for the Paralympic Team.  Not only did he compete as an individual, but also as a team member in the 'fun' events.  Yes, the team won, and so did Lutke win in his individual classses.  He also acquired a little Friesian fan club.  I wish we had been able to see all this, as this fabulous ster stallion LOVES the attention.  After settling in at the show, he really put forth a great effort, and we now have lots of ribbons to show for it, including a Reserve Champion.  We wish ALL members of Canada's Paralympic Team our very best wishes in all that is involved in fulfilling their dreams.   


Lutke and Odette enjoyed a fabulous fall with lessons from visiting dressage coaches from both Holland and Germany.  On each occasion they have progressed so much, and really give it their all.  They must know a very special effort is required because I am always amazed when I watch them. 


 Our long awaited new Friesian gelding has arrived.  We were careful to let him rest at home after his long trip from Holland.  He is just a LOVE, not only very sweet, but very capable as a dressage horse.  Each Friesian is so unique.  Semke has quite a sport horse build and is very agile in his movements,  and has a great motor.  Our trainers LOVE him because he is such fun to ride.   We kept putting off sending him to boarding school with our German trainer, because we enjoyed taking care of him so much.  We will keep you posted on his training and showing, prior to being offered for sale.  We will add him to our gallery soon. 


Check out our Horses for Sale page.  Othello, our wonderful trick trained dressage Friesian gelding is now listed for sale.  He was thrilled to come home after all his wonderful work with our German trainer.  Now he has quite a number of successful dressage shows under his belt, to go along with his trick training exhibition experience.  He will continue his work with our dressage trainers on both sides of the Fraser River, as well as our very experienced trick trainer.  Othello LOVES doing his tricks.  His Spanish walk has incredible extensions and his rear, in hand, or at liberty, is magnificent.  Of course, he likes to do a charming bow before he concludes his sessions, and then he is all proud of himself.  He always brings a smile to our faces. 

 We are eagerly awaiting our new Friesian ---

Our newly imported latest Friesian is due to arrive on Tuesday, October 2nd 2007.  We will keep you posted and introduce him to you as soon as we have become acquainted.  We will have to take some pictures to share with you on some of our gallery pages.  Our new gelding will be in dressage training during the winter.

 Friesian Keuring in Maple Ridge

The Keuring was a great event at the Maple Ridge Equi-sport Center, on September 22nd 2007.  The Northwest Friesian Horse Club held a Keuring in Maple Ridge, as well as Monroe, Washington, for the first time, this year.  Yes, there are that many Friesians - they are becoming so popular.  Three Dutch judges shared their expertise and gave specific comments on each horse, so that we could all learn from them.  There were times when it was especially enjoyable - rather like a visit to Holland, as quite a number of people were speaking in Dutch and that coupled with so many beautiful Friesians,  felt like an actual visit to Friesland, rather than being on our doorstep.  The Keuring was well attended by club members, as well as some welcome spectators, who just like Friesians and came to share the experience.

Verdi news

Well, this little gentleman, as of September, is 15 wonderful months old. Even brought in, in the middle of a thunder storm, he is still a perfect gentleman. We would LOVE to have taken him to the Keuring (see under) but there is no class for him until he is 3, since he is already registered and has his papers as a foal.


Our lastest news

We have been fortunate in finding a new Friesian, from Holland. He will arrive in early October - I will give all the details after his arrival.

With this good news - the sad news is - we cannot keep everyone, and sadly, we will put our GORGEOUS Othello up for sale - He will be added to our sales pages - reluctantly on my part. This gelding is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, TRICK TRAINED, HAS SPENT THE LAST YEAR WITH A GREAT DRESSAGE COACH AND is just TOO GOOD to sell!


The North West Friesian Horse Club Meeting.

Held in September, this was a wonderful afternoon spent with kind people, similar interests in a fabulous breed, lots of news, interaction, and especially, arrangements regarding the annual Keuring, when the Dutch judges travel to Canada and the U.S. This year, we are lucky enough to have them come to our area, as well as Washington, so please watch for a blog on this exciting event.


The Regional and Provincial Championships

The Reg. and Prov. Championships were held August 31st - September 2nd 2007, at Southlands.  After a successful show season, this show was full of surprises.  

We were impressed with how well our Friesians performed and each showed improvement, a great attitude, and put in a great effort.  Odey was our star this time, winning Provincial Reserve Champion in her level.  She won a really nice leather halter, which she 'shared' with Othello, since a clip broke on his, and it is in for repairs, so he looks pretty stunning in Odey's winnings!

The horses greatly enjoyed visitors at the show, as people who had contacted us through our website stopped by to enjoy a little 'Friesian Friendship'.  As you know, after all that work, the horses relish all the extra love they can get  -  especially Friesians!!!!!   

Due to a change in the schedule, we all enjoyed a little time to socialize with stall neighbours, on the last afternoon of the show -  a luxury which does not come up often enough, as there's alway lots of work at shows. 


The Canadian Cup, August 10, 11, and 12 2007.

Held at Maple Ridge Equestrian Center, the Canadian Cup was a well organized show; fabulous flower displays, well organized layout, lots of useful prizes and wonderful show officials.

We brought the only Friesians - Lutke, the stallion, Othello, our exhibition, trick trained gelding, and Odette, our ster mare and mother of Verdi.  These guys attracted their own little fan club of Friesian lovers. 

The horses all greatly enjoyed lots of loving visits from all kinds of people, involving extra loves, and softly spoken words into their gorgeous small black ears - and - one lovely lady shared specially made health food horse muffins with all our Friesians.

All of our Friesians came home with lots of ribbons, mostly first and second, and Lutke was, again, Reserve Champion in his level, even though he is only just 6 years old.  Odey came very close - again- but just missed Reserve Champion in her level.

So they all worked well, and were well behaved, but most of all they loved all the extra attention from people who kindly took the time to stop by their stalls and visit.

Saturday evening was great fun for everyone, with food and drink and a show, including the quadrille competition and of course, the musical freestyles.


Verdi update:

Verdi, our FPS Registered Friesian colt (please visit him on our sale page) is now 14 months.  He has been enjoying his summer playing, but also learning and investigating new objects.  He has been such a softie with the young ladies who have spent some of their off school time brushing and loving him.  How he adores it!

He has been in a horse trailer, checked out tarps, which flap, boats, and done lots of 'big' horse stuff.  We have been renovating our barn and he has made many adjustments because of this, but he seems to take everything in his stride, and is very consistent.  He is just such a gentlemen - that is -getting to be a large gentlemen.  We can't believe how much he has grown. Oh, he just grows more handsome every day!  He is going to become a stunning example of the Friesian breed.


Amherst Dressage Show June 29th - July 1st 2007

Amherst was a great show.  We were thrilled with our accommodations for Lutke and Odey, under trees, in a less busy area, and near a water hose, with an area right outside for loading and unloading.  It doesn't get any better.

The Amherst Show has a rather special history, as it was started in 1958 by two special ladies with a great idea.  Originally attended by the ladies of Shaughnessy and Kerrisdale, the grounds were adorned with flowers, shrubs and both the Union Jack and the Red Ensign were flown.   Prizes were awarded by ladies living in the Amherst telephone exchange area.  Hence the name.

Several competitors at Amherst have become International Dressage Competitors, and are now very well-known.

Our personal experience was remarkable and Lutke, our black stallion dream, was Reserve Champion in his level, enjoying a high score of 76.40.  We were also very pleased with Odette's performances because she too, took home a hoard of ribbons and only narrowly missed Reserve Champion.  Both horses willingly put out a great effort for us. 

We are reminded of a great show every time we enter our own dressage arena, where we have a tub of Amherst red geraniums won by Lutke.


June 2007

Our first show in June - the NFTRA Open Benefit Show -

WOW - we  were all welcomed by bags full of horse treats, kindly placed outside each stall - an apple,  carrots,  horse cookies!  Carefully made labels were on each stall!  Thanks to NFTRA's thoughtfulness everyone felt a warm welcome, and the horses, of course, were MOST appreciative!!!  Happy smiling faces were everywhere, and one felt comforted by the overall friendliness of this event.  Witnessing  the special bonds between horses and riders was heartwarming, not to mention the obvious numerous benefits both emotionally and physically.

Thanks to everyone who put in so much time and effort to make this a successful show.

Odette attended and VERY much enjoyed all the attention and loves!! (You know how Friesians love people and attention).

Odey enjoyed this show and she worked hard.  On Friday, she had been to Pegusus Stable in Aldergrove, to a clinic with our lovely German instructor, who was viisiting Canada again.   From Aldergrove, she went straight to the show - becoming Show Champion in her class, as well as winning the overall hi-point.  Congrats to her trainer - who did a marvelous job!!!! 


May 2007

Show time!  Southlands Spring Dressage Classic was a tremendous weekend - with Lutke, Othello, and Odette all attending - a row of Friesians!  Everyone did very well at this first big show, with lots going on all around.  Odette was Reserve Champion in her level.  We were very pleased with all the horses' results.

Next was Thunderbird Showpark, where Lutke and Othello did very well and Othello was Reserve Champion in his level.  This was a great show too, well run in a fabulous facility, and pleasant weather as a bonus!  Pity Odette missed it, but she had been out to clinics and shows for three weeks in a row, so had a rest. 

On to Verdi - at 11 months this lovely gentlemen stood alone in the middle of our dressage arena with the lead rope draped over his back.  Check out our updated photos of him  -  long straight legs, a straight back, beautiful head and neck, l-o-n-g tail (growing every day), fluffy feathers, AND a fabulous personality!  What more could anyone want?!!  Have you viewed his video clips?  We just LOVE watching him.

Got to get ready for our June engagements!  


April 2007

The second phase was April 1st - much better weather made ALL the difference. This was so much more enjoyable, and yet more really good scores.

The Easter weekend was another outing for Odette, who participated in a fabulous clinic at Pegasus Stable in Aldergrove. Odette REALLY enjoyed this, along with an overnight sleepover. It was a VERY well-run clinic, with lots of very valuable information, and the sessions were all taped for further reference. We are very glad our German clinician traveled all the way to Canada.


March 2007

Odette was next to be shown at the MREC Winter/Spring Dressage Schooling series, first phase, in Maple Ridge. The first show was March 11th – Yes the ‘down pour’ weekend, huge pools of water everywhere. All I can say is, we were WET!!!  Odey had GREAT scores and THAT made our weekend!


February 2007

The busy pre show season began in February 2007, with the Schooling Show at Thunderbird, in Langley. Both Lutke and Othello attended for this rather cold, wintery weekend. We were quite glad it was inside and VERY thankful for the overhead heaters.

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