Dutch Friesian Stallions Flying in for WEG

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The Friesian stallion train is coming to WEG, we learned on June 2nd.

Champion Friesian Stallion Tinus PM. Courtesy of Okjen Farm in Washington State

Imagine a plane full of massive Friesian stallions landing at Lexington's Bluegrass field and boldly marching onto the Horse Park grounds. You'll feel the ground shake...and more than a few pulses quicken.

The Dutch Friesian Studbook (KFPS, or Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek) has been working for 18 months to add a spectacular Dutch accent to the opening ceremony of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on September 25, and the stallion train is sure to fill the bill! And now, thanks to the generosity of Dutch and American sponsors and horse owners, they are ready to finalize their plans.

The headliners of the train will be a quartet of Dutch stallions performing Grand Prix dressage. KFPS announced yesterday that these stallions and their riders will be: Ielke 382 ridden by Christa Laarakkers (who is also directing the show), Rintje V ridden by Hans Meganck, Marten Hendrik ridden by Susan Bouwman-Wind, and Casper van de Oostwal ridden by Saskia Meinema.

The second chain of the train will be four American sport-type Friesian horses including three approved KFPS stud stallions (Fridse 423 Sport, Mintse 384 Sport and Lolke 371 Sport) and Eeltsje F (sire: Fabe 348) owned by Paula Marsch.

In addition to these horses, another three are in training as reserves: Arjen 417 Sport will be acting as a stand-in for the horses in the first group. The reserve horses for the second group are Moud Star (sire: Leffert 306 Sport) owned by Karen Waldron, and Arjen owned by Pieter Franken.

Friesian horses have been growing in popularity for dressage. They are considered one of the classic or "baroque" breeds, and are grouped with Lipizzaners, Knabstruppers and the Iberian breeds. You just might see a star dressage personality like Jane Savoie riding a Friesian and perfoming spectacular high-level movements with hoof feathers flying.

 Friesians are probably most popular for driving, and if you saw the "Lord of the Ring" movies, you know they make great movie stars! The Friesian Horse Association of North American (FHANA) headquarters are at the Kentucky Horse Park and I am sure the staff and members there can't wait to jump aboard the stallion train!