Blog Anna: first Friesian mare in PEI, Canada

Finally, in 2005 it’s happening! We import Ylse (Remmelt 323 x Feitse 293). Ylse is a 6 year old mare, bought by my parents as a yearling. She is in that time a modern long lined mare. She is good natured and trust worthy. That’s in her genes as her sire Remmelt got a 9 for his character and a 10 for barn manners in his stallion report. Her super character will prove very important as you can read later on.

18 hour drive

Friends of us look after the dairy farm and our kids, so Erik and I can drive to Toronto with our truck and trailer. Toronto is 1,674 kilometer or about an 18 hour drive. We leave a day early so we can have an overnight stay half way. Ylse arrives safely and stays a night at the Airport Hotel which was mandatory at the time. We are allowed to take her home the next morning. I am sooooo happy!! This sweet mare is coming with us!
After 13 years waiting my dream finally becomes a reality! Ylse is in foal to Mintse 384. Mintse was the champion of the Stallion Show earlier that same year. He is born out of the mare Jieldou Ster Preferent Prestatie. Jieldou( Lammert 260 x Freark 218) is bred by my parents. With Jieldou’s mother, Wieskje Ster (Freark 218 x Mark 232) I competed at the” boerebrulloft “ (Authentic Farmers Wedding) in trotting races. She was a peppy mare with hardy, clean legs and lots of stamina.


Wieskje Ster ( Freark 218 x Mark 232) at the Boerebrulloft in Joure

En route everything goes well until we get to Montreal, Quebec. Depaneur!! (Diesel) yells a trucker in French out of the window of his 18 wheeler while we crawl through Montreal during rush-hour. He gives us space so we can exit the freeway and drive to a gas station. There we find that our truck is indeed leaking diesel. We call road side assistance (CAA) and wait. And wait.. It is Friday evening. Our first call was at 5 pm. At 8 pm there is still nobody. Then we decide to call 911 and tell them we have a fuel leak. The police, fire truck with sirens and all show up within 5 min!! And then they contact CAA who gets there now in no time as well!!

To the garage

Ylse is “in bond” and therefore not allowed out of the trailer. Our trailer gets hooked up to a CAA truck and taken to a parking lot behind a hotel. I stay with Ylse. Erik goes with someone who is helping to find a garage with a mechanic who is willing to help us. It’s March and cold so I go from the hotel room to Ylse and from Ylse back to the hotel room. Needless to say I don’t sleep much that night. Erik gets back late that night and leaves early the next morning. Thankfully they found someone who is willing to work on our truck for some cash. The o-ring of the fuel pump gets fixed and the next day at 1 pm we are on the road again. Even though Ylse had no clue what was happening she stayed calm. Imagine the whole time, from 5pm till 1pm the next day in a trailer that doesn’t move!! What a mare! Luckily we had plenty of hay. But the water we had to buy was not that great. It smelled like chlorine and Ylse didn’t like it very much. When we were traveling again, we didn’t stop. We kept driving in one stretch (about 12 hours) back to PEI. We were sure glad to be back home!!
In June Ylse delivers a beautiful , healthy colt, Sierk (Minste 384). I am beyond happy. Now after 13 years, when I look through the kitchen window I see a Friesian mare with her foal again. What once was such a normal sight has now become a familiar sight once again.


Ylse and Sierk, June 2005

The first Friesians in Canada

Slowly more Friesians are arriving in Atlantic Canada, which is made up out of the provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI , Newfoundland and Labrador. The first five Friesians in Nova Scotia arrive around the year 2000 from Ontario and the US. A successful businessman owns them and keeps them mostly for private use. In 2003 Tineke imports a star mare that is in foal and bred by her parents from Fryslan to New Brunswick. Tineke currently is the Vice President of our local chapter the Atlantic Canada Friesian Horse Association. She grew up with Friesian horses just like me. In 2010 the first Friesian mare and her filly are brought to Newfoundland by Davina. This mare and her foal (bred by Klaas Wiersma) travel all the way from Alberta to Newfoundland! This is the beginning!

Other blogs:

From living to working in Canada

Memories of my youth with Friesian horses