In 2029 it will be 60 years ago that I was sitting on the grandstand in Leeuwarden watching the jubilee show of the 90th anniversary of the KFPS; a photo in my study reminds me of that. Already from this time dates my love for the Friesian horse, which I inherited from my grandfather. He often took me with him when he visited famous owners of Friesian horses; we often visited the stallion owner Anne Bouma in Oldeholtwolde, where Ritske 202, Wessel 237 and Jarich 226 – famous stallions at that time – were standing at the stud station and in the accompanying café of Bouma (with many champion ribbons on the wall) we talked about the Friesian horse.
Since that time a lot has changed: the Friesian horse has spread worldwide and partly because of that the KFPS has grown enormously. A very impressive example of this was the WFHO meeting during the Stallion Selection 2023, where no less than 34 representatives from 20 countries were present; that gave a sense of wonder about how the Friesian horse has managed to touch and connect so many people worldwide. This global connection makes the Friesian horse unique and will be an important theme for the upcoming anniversary show and theater productions that will be produced from 2024 through 2029 in cooperation with the Fader Horse Foundation. Preparations are already underway.
In parallel with these preparations, the Strategic Plan 2024-2029 is scheduled for the second half of 2023.
During the extra members’ council meeting on July 3 last, a start was made by asking the members’ council members for five points of interest that would require priority over the next five years. This was a first, very brief exploration, which will be followed up this year; by taking stock of and consulting with all bodies, the board, together with the members, would like to arrive at a broadly supported plan, with the route of the KFPS towards 2029.
The KFPS will exist 150 years in 2029. A century and a half of organized breeding. In this long and often difficult period, the Friesian horse with its unique characteristics has not only managed to hold its own, but has even spread and proven itself worldwide. The challenge for the next five years is to preserve and maintain this unique breed beyond 2029. In doing so, issues such as health, character and animal welfare will undoubtedly be important. But not only that: also strengthening the mutual relationships in the KFPS, both nationally and internationally, will be able to ensure a lasting connection between all lovers of the Friesian horse.
Secretary at KFPS