There are so many clubs and associations in the Netherlands and most of them are struggling. Dropping membership numbers, not enough volunteers, ageing as well as more individualism being the underlying causes. There is also a category of associations that are not so strongly affected by all this and fortunately the KFPS is one of these. It’s a society people want to be part of in order to share the passion for the Friesian horse. Involvement, a feeling of belonging, carrying out tasks, appreciation, prestige, making contributions, exemplary roles, togetherness, all these are aspects that define how we experience our society. Aspects that vary between individuals and that are experienced in different ways, both positive as well as negative.
The commitment to our society really came to the fore again during our trip to Denmark with a 30-strong group of KFPS members. Here we visited the Jubilee inspection of our daughter association DFF. From young to a bit older, from subtop to recreational rider, from enthusiast to breeder; we all shared the love for the Friesian horse. It’s during trips like this when togetherness and the commitment to the society grow by the minute and close relationships are forged in next to no time. This togetherness is something we need to preserve and cherish, it will be much needed in the future.
With around 11,000 members within and outside our country KFPS membership numbers are on the rise, especially in the Netherlands. Of course we are also faced with an ageing population, but it’s something we are proud of. They provide the knowledge and often financial means too for the younger generation. Because membership numbers of YoungKFPS are also climbing and by now have risen far above the target of 500. YoungKFPS is a pool of people from which to source future breeders, Jury members, Board members or any other function. You can breed a horse all by yourself, but in order to keep everything around the Friesian horse rolling, we depend on the commitment of the members.
In the times ahead of us there are many challenges on the programme, which we are keen to discuss with the KFPS members in the autumn. How to breed a healthy and durable horse and is the structure of the Society Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek ready to embrace the future? In a society it is the members who decide what is going to happen and that is a truly valuable asset. That’s why the members can once again make themselves heard at the new-style regional meetings of this autumn. A new style, because there will be three regional meetings in the Netherlands and three online meetings with the foreign countries. Interesting speakers have been invited and members are welcome to vent their opinions. Without the input of members the society can only fulfil half its potential. The interaction of opinions and views coming from the society members is necessary and consolidates us as a whole. Active members make for an active society!