Model, Sport Elite, Preferent, Performance and AAA: Annichje van Bokkum (Ulke 338 x Gaije 295) can write all these predicates behind her name. ‘Getting a true perspective on how special Annichje actually is only dawned on me over time’, declares her breeder Bauke de Boer, who recently sent in the application for the Sport Elite predicate which completes the series. ‘She has everything and was far ahead of her time. Breeding such a horse is a once-in-your-life experience, it will never happen again’, he says with conviction.
Bauke combines his mares with stallions that have aptitude for showdriving sports. ‘That’s a sure recipe for horses with talent for dressage. Because you’re selecting on a fast and powerful hind leg which is also crucial in dressage.’ Bauke de Boer vividly remembers the moment of Annichje’s birth. ‘She was a tall foal right from birth.’ And above all a strong one, as time would tell. Bauke frequently took dam Antsje fan Bokkum Star Preferent Performance (Gaije 295) to competitions and her foal came along in the trailer too. ‘The foal developed a cough, which became quite severe’, Bauke recalls. ‘She ran a high fever and nearly died. I reckon I treated her about forty times but she pulled through. That’s how strong she was.’ From then on everything was plain sailing. A first premium as a foal, as a 2-year-old she became Reserve Breeding Day Champion. Eight times she went to inspections, eight times she received a first premium.
Annichje was truly setting new standards in many respects. The first, the best. Like in 2004 when she achieved an IBOP score of 95 points. Never ever has any other mare smashed this record, nor a stallion either. And here’s another unprecedented achievement no horse will ever emulate: she was awarded the Model predicate at the age of four. Three years later she became Sport. In 2011 she became Champion at the Central Inspection aged eleven, another unique accomplishment because most Overall Champions are 3-year-olds. That was a successful year because she was also elected Horse of the Year 2011, the first time this election was held.
Meanwhile Annichje has turned twenty and is enjoying her pension in South Africa. She’s leading a peaceful life at Pela Graca, but just the same, Annichje is the ‘boss’ of the stables, stable manager Eben Ras tells us. ‘She knows she is the best of the best.’ Her 6-year-old daughter by Dries 421 – also stationed in South Africa – Veronichje van Pela Graca is presently living in Cheré Burger’s yard, the rider who competed Anders 451 at the 2004 World Equestrian Games in Caen, which was the first time ever a Friesian horse took part. Who knows. Setting new standards runs in the family.