By Bill Rinderknecht
For the next few weeks, I’ll write about the appearance, qualities, and romance of horses, especially Friesians. I open this blog series by describing how we connected with the Friesian community in Michigan and begin to address a subject near and dear to Friesian owners – Keuring. As someone important to me said years ago, “You learn something every day, if you don’t fight it too hard.” As we learn, we hope that what we share educates you, too.
As you have seen if you have visited our Home Page, C Grace Productions provides a variety of services to small businesses, especially, the equine community. Charlotte (my wife) and I are physically located in Michigan, near one of the original Michigan Friesian import farms, The Friesian Connection. We both love horses and owned them growing up. Because of that and Char’s fascination with Friesians, I began working with Friesian owners and associated equine businesses. We treasure our relationships within the Friesian community and hope to work with them for a very long time. Noteworthy, there are approximately 45,000 registered Friesians worldwide and 8,000 in the U.S.
We attended our first Friesian Keuring (pronounced curing) last September (2016). We were completely enthralled with this majestic breed and were immediately accepted by their owners. The judging at this event included mares, foals, yearlings, geldings, and stallions. Char and I were curious about the Keuring, its rules, and procedures, and the owners we sat with were eager to educate us on all things Keuring. It was there we learned the informal 3-3-3 concept of showing Friesians. That is three weeks, three months, and three years, which are prime times for showing off the best features of the horse.
So what is a Keuring? According to FHANA Royal Friesian, Keuring is a Dutch word for judging, “an evaluation of horses here in North America, by officials from the Netherlands” (FHANA Royal Friesian, 2015). Once a year, teams of officials qualified by the Friesch Paarden Stamboek (or breed registry) are sent to North America to inspect or “judge” our horses. Most Friesians are officially judged twice in their life: once when they are foals—for entry in the Foal Book—and again when they are three years or older and eligible to enter the adult studbooks. When a foal or horse is judged, it may be awarded a premie, or “premium”. This is an award used to designate the horses with the most desirable characteristics. When a mare or gelding enters the adult studbook, the best 25 to 30% are awarded “Star” status.
Next time I’ll go into a little detail about our experience at the Keuring and what judges looked for in the classic Friesian.
FHANA Roya Friesian (2015). Frequently Asked Questions: Registration and Transfer Information. Site by Energize.info (2015).
Retrieved from: http://www.fhana.com/the-fresian-horse/faq
FHANA Royal Friesian (2016). 2016 FHANA Keuring Program – Ionia, MI. Published by Dahl Graphics & Printing (2016).