We succeeded: the World Wide Friesian Tour has reached the distance of 40,075 kilometers! “It is special that so many people participated,” said initiator Helen Bogren. ‘From young to old, from recreational to professional riders, from individual riders to show groups, from an indoor riding school to a steppe in the wilderness, from Sweden to New Zealand and South Africa. It has created an enormous connection between lovers of Frisian horses. A connection that could well take on a challenge in the future.’
Worldwide network of Friesian horse enthusiasts
Eighteen months after the Swedish Friesian Horse Association, with Helen Bogren and Kristin as great inspiration, conceived the plan to travel around the world with Friesian horses, the goal has been achieved. ‘I am incredibly proud of everyone who contributed,’ says Helen, who kept a careful record of all the kilometers travelled. ‘As a Friesian horse community all over the world, we have achieved this goal and at the same time created a whole network of enthusiastic owners of Friesian horses.’
40,507 kilometers in 4357 rides
For the more than 40,000 kilometers, 4,357 rides from 20 different countries were completed with a Frisian horse. The kilometers were recorded under the saddle, in front of the carriage, but also in hand. The goal was actually to cover the distance in 300 days, but that turned out to be a bit too ambitious. It did not work for the 2023 Stallion Inspection, but the milestone was reached two weeks before the Central Inspection, after 533 days.
The idea for the World Wide Friesian Tour (WWFT) arose two years ago during corona times. In Sweden, all riders and drivers added up their rides and had ridden the length of Sweden, 1,572 kilometers, in 47 days. That was immediately the inspiration to take on such a challenge worldwide, with all the Frisian horse people all over the world, stimulated by the KFPS and Phryso.
Most kilometers by Amanda Krogstad
The most kilometers were made by driver Amanda Krogstad from Sweden, who registered 397 rides. The driver is training with her horses for the World Composite Driving Championships in France at the end of September 2023. The last ride that ensured that the final goal was achieved came from Verena Klein from Germany who did ground work with a few horses.
Inspiration to go out with the horse
The ‘ear counting’, as Helen describes it, is now finished. She spent almost an hour every day registering all the distances. Quite a job, she agrees. “But I’ll miss the ‘ping’ on the phone when another distance came in.” She noticed that the distances covered increased over time. ‘It was an inspiration for many people to start riding and they did so more and more and for longer.’ The entries increased from an average of 8.1 kilometers per ride to 9.3 kilometers. Others submitted their rides on almost the same day and time every week. ‘The tour was a reason to start working with the horse. In the end it was fun for everyone, for the horse, enthusiasts and also for us.’