Friesian Horse Show celebrates FHANA’s 35th anniversary in style

FHANA’s 35th anniversary “a milestone”

The Friesian Horse Show, celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Friesian Horse Association of North America (FHANA) was two years in the making and the results were not disappointing.

“It is a big milestone,” said Japp Dominicus, Ponoka-area local and member of the Alberta Friesian Horse Association (AFHA), a chapter under FHANA. The AFHA was the organizing committee for the anniversary celebration.

Japp and his wife Wilma Dominicus have a dairy farm west of Ponoka on Matejka Road.

The day-long show, held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre on July 16, was very well attended, with an estimated 750 people coming for the events throughout the day.

FHANA is a chapter under KFPS, (Dutch for Royal Dutch Friesian Horse Studbook), the authority on Friesian breeding in the Netherlands, where the breed is originally from.

Officials from KFPS were in attendance at the celebration, including the chairman, who was “very pleased with it,” said Dominicus.

The organizers received a lot of positive feedback and compliments, from both FHANA members and just members of the public who came to see the show.

With a variety of events, demonstrations and shows, there was something for everyone and the ag centre was packed with standing room only for much of the day.

The crowning event of the day was the Friesian quadrille, a choreographed show with eight coachmen driving Dutch carriages called “sjezes.”

READ MORE: Friesian horse quadrille event coming to Ponoka entertaining for all

Another crowd-pleaser was the team driving derby, a timed event that had spectators on the edge of their seats as drivers expertly maneuvered their teams through obstacles.

There were also performances from the Meadow Creek Vaulting Club from Olds, Alta. and the AFHA musical ride, a prince and princess ride, and many more before a closing parade late that evening.

The performances and clinics showcased the versatility of the breed, demonstrating their grace and agility in a variety of disciplines.

Originally used for farm work, they are now bred for dressage and for riding, and Dominicus said, “They are very good for both” and are even used for driving bulls.

They have an easy-going constitution, nice character and are easy to handle, he says.

Using the Calnash Ag Event Centre “worked very well for us.”

The state-of-the-art ag facility, along with the work of 90 volunteers, both locals, AFHA members and visitors from the Netherlands who came to help out, made the event a success, he says.

Volunteers worked behind the scenes to make sure transitions were quick between events, clean up after the horses, to work the lights and sound system and more.

On July 17, Dominicus says the weather was perfect for the “Experience Rural Alberta” coach bus tour. There were three bus loads of people who signed up for the tour beforehand and enjoyed visits to a dairy farm in Lacombe that also breeds Friesians and a farm in Blackfalds where they stopped for lunch.

The tour was then treated to a bull riding demonstration at a bucking bull ranch back in Ponoka. Four bull riders gave them a behind-the-scenes look at bull riding.

The tour goers were made up of Dutch visitors, some Americans as well as local people.

The day ended with a banquet at the Stagecoach Saloon.

FHANA has come a long way in 35 years.

The Friesian horse breed, originally used for farm work, were almost extinct at a certain point.

Friesian horses began to be exported all over the world and are now found in 17 countries, says Dominicus.

Each chapter under KFPS undergoes stringent inspections.

The official studbook is in the Netherlands and officials travel all over the world to ensure breeding rules are being adhered to, assuring the future purity of the breed.

FHANA now has a few approved stallions for breeding, and that is “a very big thing,” said Dominicus.

“It’s a big accomplishment.”


Just Posted

Workout challenge more than double fundraising goal

Group takes in more than $13,000 for Kidsport Ponoka

Metal recycler gets support for rezoning application

Ponoka County council not unanimous on decision

RCMP deal with snow-related incidents

The police in Ponoka were a busy bunch as December showed how… Continue reading

Addiction leads to jail for Ponoka man

Man pleads to nine out of 21 charges that included property offences

PHOTOS: Children’s Christmas Shopping Party

Helpful elves: The Children’s Christmas Shopping Party, sponsored by the Ponoka and… Continue reading

VIDEO: Merriam-Webster declares ‘they’ its 2019 word of the year

Declared word of year based on a 313-per-cent increase in look-ups on the company’s search site

Day parole revoked for man who strangled wife, buried body in their Calgary home

Parole Board revoked Allan Shyback’s day parole after he had sex with a massage parlour worker

Alberta plans to reduce surgery wait-times by building operating rooms, using private clinics

Health minister says goal is to have 80,000 more surgeries done over the next 3 1/2 years

Sylvan Lake woman charged with fraud over $500,000

Rimbey RCMP launched an investigation in July 2019 with the suspect turning herself in on Aug. 30

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

No jail but big fine for Alberta store owner convicted of illegal gun sales

At the conclusion of Monday’s hearing, the Crown stayed the remainder of the charges against the father

Anti-money laundering agency warns casinos to watch gamers playing with bank drafts

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as Fintrac, issues operational alert

Smash and grab at Bashaw Sports

Police looking to identify suspects in brazen early morning theft

China hints at national security trials for 2 Canadians detained for one year

The two Canadians’ detention is largely seen as retaliation for the arrest of a Huawei exec

Most Read