By now we know who the winners of the Horses2fly KFPS Sport Competition are: and from my part I congratulate you all. Winning that competition is not an easy feat because there are many contenders. Fine horses that are also ridden with great skill. On Sunday I was allowed to hand out the rosettes and since I was going anyway, I obviously wanted to arrive early so that I could also enjoy watching all the tests. I have said it before, but I’ll say it again: our horses have improved so much over the years. Of course that’s the aim of breeding, but it’s still a challenge. For every studbook, but especially so for a closed studbook like ours. And not only the horses have developed positively, the quality of the riders has also shown huge progress.
Let’s be fair: about forty years ago I would have been chaffed when my horse actually switched to canter in the test. I quite consciously say ‘switched to’ because effortlessly striking off into canter was not on the cards. What we had to do was extend the trot (which back then meant trotting as fast as possible) and then I would hope that the horse would fall into canter in the corner. So a compliment to our breeders and riders. Lots of thanks too for the organisation and sponsors of this wonderful event.
Meanwhile, the studbooks of the Umbrella Organisation for Breeding concentrate on, among others, the topic of welfare. This is an important topic that will receive attention from various angles in the near future. Must receive, because obviously we horse lovers attach great value to the welfare of our animals. But just as important in this respect is the communication regarding this topic. In the Netherlands more and more people voice their opinions on equine welfare. Which is fine, but for us studbooks it’s key to make sure that those people are aware of what is actually relevant in relation to equine welfare. Because too often it’s a matter of: the intention is good but unfortunately it misses the mark because people do not know what in fact improves equine welfare. My Icelandic Pony for instance was considered to be miserable because he was out in the field during periods of frost. There were angry comments and threats to call the police. We then had a lengthy discussion on the subject and this proved to be very useful. But it’s just not possible to explain the situation to all those individual people who, without the relevant know-how (but usually genuinely concerned,) express their criticism. Therefore the members of the Umbrella Organisation have agreed to make this a combined effort. That enables us to exchange good ideas and act fast. This is essential for us lovers of the Friesian breed. Because we want to go on enjoying our Black Gold. And every owner, breeder and rider of Friesian horses knows that that Black Gold well and truly exists.