Last month the Friesian horses ‘mienskip’ had to say goodbye to one of its ‘custodians of the Friesian horse’, Bob Hofstee. Being active in show driving and breeding as well as being a stallion keeper, the multifunctional Friesian horse was at the heart and centre of this multitalented horseman from Friesland. A breeder who had, especially for his time, a bit of an atypical breeder´s career. In the series ‘Custodians of the Friesian Horse’ Jacob Melissen very aptly described his career for Phryso nearly four years ago. Here Hofstee states that he hardly concerned himself with breeding in the early days, mostly for economic reasons. After all, a horse in the yard eats away available space for dairy cows. His love for the Friesian breed, which was part and parcel of his upbringing, found its expression in show driving sports. Partly as a result of competing stallion Mark 232 who was later declared Preferent, he sort of slipped into breeding too. In breeding he achieved his best successes with the offspring of Jakob 302 who was stationed in his yard ‘Marksate’. Not by coincidence a stallion that chiefly relied on his sport genes. With a background in the sport invariably comes a different approach to breeding. Maybe Hofstee´s breeder career is representative for the new generation of breeders. Obviously, breeding is a hobby you can never start too soon. On the other hand, the enthusiasm for the Friesian horse can also begin in the sport and over time naturally evolve towards breeding. Breeding and sport, you cannot have the one without the other and both will be prominently in the limelight during the upcoming Central Inspection. It promises to be a fine climax after a full summer´s selection of the best young sport horses and the best exterior-/broodmares. The joint initiative of the Breeding Council, Stallion Inspection Jury and stallion keepers to give more stallions a chance in the selection procedures by showing themselves under saddle and/or in harness should be seen in that same context, the balance between sport and breeding. The same group of people also investigate the option of reintroducing a competition for young Studbook stallions. Sport and breeding are also central in the reviewed text of the KFPS breeding goal which is presently under construction by the Breeding Council and which will be submitted to the members. Plenty of action therefore, on behalf of the multitalented Friesian horse and the multifunctional ways in which they can be enjoyed by their fans.
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