Anna Zhigareva from New Zealand: ‘Never seen so many Friesian horses in one place’

She already owns Friesian horses, and yes, she’s totally devoted to the black pearls, but so far Anna Zhigareva from New Zealand had never been to Friesland. That is, until the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of July when she visited the Hynstedagen and the breeding day in Garijp. ‘I’ve never seen so many Friesian horses in one place.’

Another dream of hers: visiting the SI

Anna is momentarily in Great-Britain for a working holiday and that meant she had the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands for a weekend. ‘I was very keen to discover the origin, the roots of the Friesian horse.’ And so, right in the first week of her working holiday she found herself in Friesland, in Garijp. It was a feast for her eyes. ‘Fantastic to see so many Friesian horses together in one spot. Now that I’ve been to the Netherlands I also want to realise that other dream I have: coming back for the Stallion Inspection. I do watch it online though, but that’s absolutely not the same as being there in person.’

Two Star mares

By now, Anna has four Friesian horses at her home in New Zealand, who she took to the inspection in New Zealand in April. Her 7-year-old mare Betje (Uldrik 457 x Doaitsen 420) received a Star with a first premium and was chosen as the Breeding Day Champion. Her 3-year-old Maike v.d. Koaimoune Star (Tiede 501 x Folkert 353) also became Star. She imported these horses from the Netherlands. ‘Because of Corona I wasn’t able to go to the Netherlands myself to select horses, so I had to depend on others and Nicole Adriaansen became my go-between. I have to thank her for finding these wonderful horses for me.’ Anna had written down a whole list of wishes and criteria for that purpose. ‘I had never before bought a horse without actually seeing it myself, that was really very unusual, but it has all worked out beautifully.’

Thirty members, seventy horses

Her horses – with stable name Lone Pine Friesians – are having a quiet time in New Zealand right now, because it is winter over there. New Zealand has thirty members who have joined the Friesian Horse Studbook, the NZFHS, and they own some seventy horses between them. ‘Not all horses have been registered, which is a point of attention’, says Anna – also a Board member of their association. ‘We explain to our members how important it is to register and that helps, numbers of horses as well as members are going up.’

Looking for fresh blood

Another focal point is working towards a wider base in breeding. ‘That’s why I purchased horses from the Netherlands, we need fresh blood.’ For that reason she prefers to use frozen semen for her breeding programme, but it’s quite a challenge to get the mares in foal that way, she explains. ‘I wanted to inseminate my oldest mare with semen from Omer 493, precisely because of that variation in bloodlines and the aim to get the kinship to below the 18% mark. But that didn’t work out so now she’s in foal again by my own foalbook stallion.’ There are two Foalbook stallions with breeding permit in New Zealand. ‘I have a Tymen 503 son and I do hope he will be eligible for Foalbook stallion with breeding permit too.’

Importing is expensive

Importing horses is however, a very costly investment, she says. ‘Arranging for air travel will cost you around € 25,000 per horse. Import procedures will cost you more than the horse itself, especially when buying young stock.’ The smaller the horse, the lower the costs. ‘By our standards a Friesian horse is really, very much a luxury horse.’

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