Kia Ora! Hello! I’m back with a new blog, and hope you enjoy catching up with my News from New Zealand!
Friesian Weekend Get-Together
Since lockdown restrictions have gradually faded away, our Friesian community has been able to start meeting up for in-person events again! In August, we had our first Friesian Weekend Get-Together since the pandemic began!
Lots of NZFHS members came together at the National Equestrian Centre in Taupo (central North Island) to celebrate the Friesian Horse, meet new members and, honestly, have a bit of a holiday! We hacked out, took part in dressage lessons with the amazing trainer Debbie Barke, attended a Fiber Fresh nutrition talk, had a go at some long-reining, drew our Raffle Fundraiser winners, and learned lots about Keuring preparation and presentation from the NZFHS President, Louis Weitenberg, and Vice President, Baldeep Dhillon.
- A golden morning at the Friesian Weekend Get-Together
- Baldeep, with his stallion Jelle, showing us some amazing moves
- 1st Prize for our Raffle Fundraiser was this gorgeous horseshoe ball
For someone who had made it through all the lockdowns in the UK, before moving back to New Zealand and going through a repeat on home soil, I was incredibly excited to get out and about with my horses, and finally meet some of our Friesian community in person!
It was also the perfect opportunity to familiarise my two mares, six year old Betje Ster (Uldrik 457 x Doaitsen 420) and two year old Maike v.d. Koaimoune (Tiede 501 x Folkert 353) , with an indoor arena, for future events and Keurings! I was extremely proud of my two girls, who handled themselves perfectly on the 3.5-hour drive there (and back!), and at a completely new location. I’d only just brought them in from their Winter turnout, but they were impeccably behaved, and loved meeting other members’ horses! I am constantly in awe of my brave girls, who take everything in their stride (literally)!
Betje (left) and Maike (right) in their paddock at the NEC, Taupo
Featuring Bronie Yucel, Another Friesian Lover
One of my aims in writing these blogs is to involve other members of our NZ Friesian community. This time, I’d like to introduce Bronie Yucel, who is a Friesian lover through and through, as well as the NZFHS Treasurer.
For the last 27 years, Bronie and her husband, Ali, have been involved in the hospitality industry, working in and running their own businesses. While this didn’t leave much time for R&R, they maintained their hobby of breeding and racing horses. Bronie also enjoyed helping out friends at shows of all disciplines, but dressage had always stood out.
For a period of time, Bronie rode a gentleman Thoroughbred schoolmaster. And then…she met a Friesian stallion called ‘Dirk’. Well, that was that! Bronie set out to learn more about this incredible breed. Friesians were few and far between back then, but with patience and determination Bronie found herself a purebred baroque Friesian mare.
With two magnificent stallions standing at stud in their area, the Manawatu, Bronie and Ali succeeded in breeding three Friesian foals. Their first filly received a 2nd Premium at their first Keuring – a proud moment!
As Treasurer on the NZFHS Board, Bronie feels that the creation of the Society has opened up a whole new level of communication within our community. There are breeders across the country now, and an increasing awareness of the breed. “I’m grateful to be a part of it,” says Bronie.
Alas, it’s good-bye for now! ‘Til next time!
Lots of love,
Maike (left) and Betje (right)