Blog Anna: what about inspections?

2018 Jeugd kampioen Eke fan Marksate (Walt 487) owned by Medea, Cape Breton NS

Inspections are in full swing in the Netherlands, but what about inspections in Atlantic Canada? Atlantic Canada consists of the provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. It is a large area (500,531 Km2) with a population of 2,441,141 (2020).

A distance to travel

In 2005 if I would have wanted to take Ylse ( Remmelt 323 x Feitse 293) and her foal Sierk ( Mintse 384) to an inspection I would have had to trailer them to Ontario. Much too far for a mare and foal!
In 2010 the first ever inspection was held in Bromont, Quebec. That’s still quite a distance to travel, but getting closer! In 2015 for the first time breeders from our region (New Brunswick) participated at an inspection in Bromont. Their colt Wylmer of Horizon Friesians came home with a first premie. This experience tasted like more!

Form a chapter

In order to host an inspection you first have to form a chapter of the Friesian Horse Association of America (FHANA) (the North American daughter organization of KFPS). Erin our current secretary, from Nova Scotia had already tried to form a chapter in 2008, but was unsuccessful. There just were not enough potential members. To form a chapter you need at least 5 full FHANA members who also own purebred Friesian horses.

From chapter to inspection

When the Atlantic Canada Friesian Horse Association (ACFHA) was formed in October 2017, the natural goal was to be able to host an inspection.
In September 2018 the first ever ACFHA inspection was held in Truro Nova Scotia!! Too late for Ylse to try and upgrade from studbook 3rd premium to star. By now she is 19 years old. (Star or not she is very special to me) For my young recently imported mare Wunder (Tsjalle 454 x Tsjerk 328) it’s a great opportunity. Much better than having to travel to Bromont, where inspections have been held since 2010. All in all 15 horses took part. For many it’s their first inspection experience ever! All participants really enjoyed the whole day! We are happy and also a bit proud, finally an inspection in our area. The atmosphere was great. There was so much to learn about your horse and everything that’s involved. The clinic after the inspection with the judges and runners (who we would have been lost without!!) was super interesting and fun as well!

11 members, 24 horses

As of 2021 the Friesian Horse Association of North America (FHANA) has 11 members in Atlantic Canada. In New Brunswick there are 6 members, 3 in Nova Scotia and 2 in PEI. These members combined have a total of 24 horses. There are about 20 more purebred Friesian horses in the Atlantic Provinces owned by non FHANA members. It is noticeable that only about half of the Friesian owners are members of FHANA. In NA there are a lot of different registries you can join, even though they are not the official registry. It is not like in the European Union where there is only one registry allowed for Friesian horses. This is a small amount of Friesian horses for a large area.
While there are owners in this area, not everyone sees the benefits of becoming a member. FHANA used to be more of a breeders association. More beneficial for breeders and less so for people who compete or just love the breed. A lot is changing with more benefits for non-breeders, different membership categories, lots of educational information and so on, but it is still hard to convince people in our area to join. The non-acceptance of BBook II horses at FHANA inspections and not being able to register your BBook II horse with FHANA (thankfully KFPS will register your BBook II horse) does not help. It is very confusing for first time Friesian horse owners to discover that their purebred horse is not welcome at an inspection, and that this rule only applies to NA, and is not a KFPS rule. This rule was accepted to discourage breeding with foalbook stallions. However there is still a lot of breeding with foalbook stallions going on. Those offsprings are for a large part registered with one of the many not affiliated with KFPS Friesian registries. Those horses are now being lost to the KFPS database.

Reneke fan Friesian Meadows (Tonjes 449 x Tsjalle 454)

Succes with frozen semen

There are a lot of challenges for breeders here. Some people have attempted breeding only to stop again. It’s just too costly, and difficult to import semen. Currently there are only 3 breeders in the Atlantic Provinces. This year only one foal is born (so far) and that is a lovely filly by Tonjes 459 out of my mare Wunder. I do want to update every one that after my last blog about (unsuccessful) breeding with frozen semen we now have a pregnancy! The quality of the frozen semen has improved drastically over the years 

Inspection planned in September

Despite Covid challenges, we do have an inspection planned for September 2nd. Before that can happen the interprovincial borders have to open up! Right now we are not allowed to travel between provinces. If you do travel you need to self-isolate for two weeks. Impractical to say the least. It’s not September yet, we are planning full steam ahead and hoping for a great experience of our second Atlantic Canada Inspection!