My last……

Bert Wassenaar

After eight years on the Board with the last six years as Chairman, I chaired my last meeting on Friday the 22nd of November. The statutory term of eight years dictates that a re-nomination is not possible. In itself a good rule, although I have to admit that it also brings feelings of melancholy. First of all because the past years have flown by. That´s a good sign and an indication of having had a good time. It undoubtedly has something to do with the enthusiasm that I have encountered in my work for the Studbook, in the regions within and outside the Netherlands, when meeting breeders and users but also in the inspiring interaction with the people at the office, those on committees and councils as well as the other members of the Board.

Looking back the obvious conclusion is that the KFPS is a very lively and active society choc-a-bloc activities throughout the year. A proud society with the magnificent Friesian horse at centre stage. Famous for its majestic presence and fantastic character. That is not something to be taken for granted. Cherishing these characteristics requires unabated attention in the field of breeding. In its use and particularly in the sport people want a horse with good work ethos and great movement but this may never jeopardise the reliability the breed is so well-known for. On the other hand the use, both recreational and in the sport or shows such as the Friesian Proms and The Storm Rider, generates huge publicity which triggers increasingly more attention for our black four-footed friends. For the preservation of the breed the challenge is to maintain the right balance between these two.

This is my last column. Every two months for a period of six years I was in a position to use this platform to draw attention to specific subjects, a special happening or sometimes a less pleasant incident. This ranged from attention for the dwarfism- and hydrocephaly DNA Tests that became available, which marked an enormous step forward with respect to the inbreeding issue, to subjects like: sport aptitude in relation to exterior inspections, doping checks, uniformization of inspections, definition of roles for the various bodies, promotion in foreign countries and so much more. Time and time again dealing with these subjects helped to realise that a society like the KFPS is run by humans. That´s where the strength lies, the connection and the emotion, but at the same time this can be our vulnerability when things aren´t going so well. That´s the reason why in recent years, we have spent a lot of time and energy on improving our culture, structure and further professionalisation of staff. A positive development with at its core words like ‘respect’ and ‘trust’. We must never lose sight of these facts.

This way I would like to express my thanks for all the beautiful encounters and happenings with the Studbook and so many people. There is no doubt we will meet again in the future.

I wish you all happy reading.
Bert Wassenaar
Former Chairman

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