Canada to have her own Fryske Quadrille

De Canadeze Fryske Quadrille Foto: Annie Muilwijk

The 35th Jubilee Celebrations of Fhana – the KFPS sister organisation in North America – the Fryske Quadrille couldn´t be missed, really. But flying in the entire Dutch Fryske Quadrille this summer proved to be far too costly. So the Canadians decided to start their own Quadrille, Canada-based Annie Muilwijk reports in the Leeuwarder Courant of Thursday, February 21st.

Flying in of Fryske Quadrille too expensive

This summer Fhana exists 35 years and the organisation was eager to have the Fryske Quadrille come over to perform a show during the Jubilee Celebrations. The members of the Fryske Quadrille itself were also quite keen to cross the Big Pond with a plane full of Friesian horses and sjezes to give a fantastic show. But unfortunately this isn´t possible, such a major undertaking is not feasible, spokeswoman of the Fryske Quadrille Annemarie ter Schure-Reijenga states in the Leeuwarder Courant. ‘It´s much too expensive.’ ‘It was a wild plan’, father Sijbren Reijenga – also one of the drivers in the Fryske Quadrille – adds.

Practice sjezen copied and flown over to Canada

That´s why the Canadians have come up with their own Fryske Quadrille. Eight coachmen – four gentlemen and four ladies – have been training for months to prepare a marvellous show which will go on stage on July the 16th during the Jubilee week. Exact copies of metal practice sjezen were constructed in Friesland and flown over to Canada. Quadrille chairman Frits de Jong was willing to give the Canadians a helping hand and has composed a show programme for them. A simplified show, because getting the horses to dance in front of the sjees is not that easy, Annemarie explains. Complicated figures like the clover leaf and driving in line are difficult to master. ‘There is more to it than you´d think, especially in terms of timing.’

Distance between Quadrille drivers up to 400 km

The eight combinations train in Canada but that takes some organising! The Fryske Quadrille in Friesland all live in a radius of 25 km from each other but in Canada that distance amounts to 300 to 400 km. Annie Muilwijk, who has emigrated to Canada, reports from her Canadian home that training is well under way. ‘Every two weeks everybody travels to our farm with their horses. We practise in our indoor arena because outside temperatures are as low as -20 degrees and the country is covered in snow.’ It´s going pretty well, says Annie. ‘It´s not perfect yet, but then again, we´re not professionals.’

Fifty visitors from the Netherlands

From the Netherlands about fifty, mainly Friesian horse lovers, will fly over this summer to watch the performances of the Canadian Quadrille. ‘Very nice. In case something goes wrong we can fall back on them for a stand-in. But we trust there will be no need for that.’
Source: Leeuwarder Courant

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