She is the new chairman of YoungKFPS and is planning to continue the line of more activities. ‘We’re lowering the thresholds for breeding’, Sietske Veenje explains. ‘We’re doing so much more than just exchanging knowledge, you get a completely new circle of friends thrown in for free.’
Sietske takes care of two Friesian horses, a task she shares with her father and her boyfriend Franke: a 22-year-old Star mare Vimke R.V. (Sierk 326 x Falke 291) and her daughter, the 10-year-old Jildau H.V. (Norbert 444). ‘Those are treasured little moments, it makes me totally ‘Zen’. It also provides some much-needed leisure time for 24-year-old Sietske, who is going to graduate as a physician this year.
At the tenth anniversary in February last she took the Chairman’s gavel over from Sietske Oosterbaan Van Peski. With over 300 members YoungKFPS is flourishing, but she can explain why they are so successful. ‘Hoping not to sound too opinionated, it’s down to the people behind it. The more activities we organise the better things go, which at the same time gives people more opportunities to join. This also generates word-of-mouth advertising and that’s how people stimulate each other to come along.’ The Stallion Inspection – with the Friday clinics organised by YoungKFPS – helps too, she rates the trip to Denmark as one of the highlights and the visits to successful fellow breeders – the stable visit – is always a hit. ‘People don’t so easily approach breeders, but as a group they do. That is the strength of YoungKFPS. We lower thresholds and create togetherness.’
For young people with an interest for Friesian horses YoungKFPS is an easily accessible club if they wish to join. ‘Looking up things on the internet, in a book or in Phryso is an option but what people really prefer is learning in real-life settings. They want to hear the stories, experience the emotion and share all that.’
According to Sietske, one of the assets of their all-ladies committee is the independence. ‘Members frequently ask us which stallion they should use. But we cannot answer that question for them, we have to remain unbiased. What we do offer though, is a network to help them find a breeder-mentor. That’s how experienced breeders can help novice, young breeders.’ So she doesn’t worry too much about foal numbers in the near future. ‘Enthusiasm for breeding has not diminished. Breeders with dozens of foals used to be quite common but is a thing of the past. It’s different now, there are more small-scale breeders. They are just as enthusiastic, are just as passionate about breeding and just as hungry for knowledge. It’s our task to facilitate them.’