As the Friesian breed becomes increasingly popular in the dressage world and beyond, coupled with the fact that, until recently, very few Friesians have competed in open competition dressage, an important question is raised.

Are Friesian bloodlines a reliable predictor of the offspring’s potential for high-level competition?

      This is simply the last of three logical questions that Proud Meadows has needed to answer to increase the value of the breed beyond its traditional high status as a carriage horse.

 

Let’s revisit the historical mission of Proud Meadows.

 
Click each photo for larger view
Question 1 was: Does a Friesian belong in Open Dressage Competition?


      When Proud Meadows first brought its Friesians into USDF Open dressage competition we had to pass the laugh test. The first reaction among many was to laugh or sneer at “a carriage horse” attempting to compete with the Warmbloods that dominate the sport.

      Thus the Friesian had to prove itself equal to the traditional dressage breeds, and we at Proud Meadows made answering that challenge our first mission. Once Sabine started competing with Jorrit in the USA, it was apparent that at least one Friesian was not to be laughed at.


 



Jorrit has done more for Friesians in the minds of the equestrian community than any other horse


Question 2 was: Are there any more Friesians capable of doing well in Open Competition?


      Our next task was to prove that more than one Friesian could compete strongly… that Jorrit was not some kind of freak of nature. This became a long and very discriminating selection process that taught us that only about 20-25% of Friesians exhibit the forward movement necessary for dressage. But we did find a number of horses over the years that proved the strengths of Friesians in competition: Tjerk, Drummond, Rampart, Illiad (now at Prix St. Georges), and, most important to date, Tinus, our 4-time USDF Horse of the Year Champion, now competing at Grand Prix.

      Beyond stallions Proud Meadows’ Model mare, Xanadu, was discovered in California during USDF Open Competition. Sabine observes that the mare’s sensitivity, rhythm, balance and gaits are the equal of any great stallion she has seen. Her unbridled recommendation of Xanadu led us to purchase her as our Foundation Mare.

      We also helped Jane Savoie, world-recognized trainer and author, find a horse that could match her reputation. This was Menno (“Moshi”), a seven-year old gelding delivered in 2003. Jane has scored extremely well with Moshi in his first year of USDF competition.

      "Working with Proud Meadows it took a year to find my Friesian. Given the difficulty of finding a good horse it makes sense for Proud Meadows to breed a new generation of Friesians with potential for high-level dressage."

      "I am impressed with the quality and accomplishments of the Foundation stallions and mares in the Performance Breeding Program. I applaud them for this bold new step which will be a great service to the serious dressage community."
                                                                                    - Jane Savoie


 



Tinus’ great performances in competition and demonstrations have proven that Friesians belong at the highest levels of dressage


Our Model mare, Xanadu, is the Program’s Foundation mare, and is the equal of any stallion.

 
Question 3: The final question is: Can we reliably breed Friesians capable of going to the higher levels of dressage?


To answer this question our
Performance Breeding Program (PBP) is designed to:

1) produce offspring with a variety of bloodlines from our horses that have proven themselves in competition. We know there are other fine dressage Friesians not owned by Proud Meadows, but we will begin with ours for initial control and continuing management.

2) sell PBP offspring to owners who will commit fully to train and compete the horses, then to document the offspring’s development and performance history,

3) validate for the Forward-Moving competition Friesian the generally accepted principle that equine bloodlines do make a difference.

FOUNDATION STALLIONS FOUNDATION MARE PROGRAM BREEDING MARES PROGRAM STALLIONS

Jorrit
by Mark 232 Preferent out of Hendrina 6648 Star

Tinus PM
by Jillis 301 out of Carilien 7386 Star

Illiad PM (Ids R.)
by Bendert 281 out of Jaeitske 8224 Star

Xanadu PM (Wietske B.)
by Barteld 292 out of Lenske 8811 Star

Bacall PM, foaled 2000
by Jorrit out of Xanadu

Katrina PM, foaled 2001
by Tinus out of Xanadu

(Mare by Illiad out of Xanadu to come 2006?)

Bogart von Jorrit PM
by Jorrit out of Xanadu

 


What criteria do we use to admit a horse into the Performance Breeding Program?
 


Stallions-
      PBP Breeding stallions must have competed successfully at FEI levels in USDF Open competition. Thus our Foundation stallions are Jorrit, Tinus and Illiad.

 



In addition to his impressive athletic ability, Illiad brings the Classic conformation and an incredible mane to the Program.


 

Mares-
       Because mares cannot simultaneously compete and breed, our first criteria requires a knowledgeable and professional evaluation of the mare’s walk, trot, and canter. All gaits must be judged as excellent by dressage experts, not necessarily by registry standards. The second criteria is that the mares must have spent time in dressage training in order to show that they have the natural balance, rhythm and sensitivity for dressage, along with the temperament and intelligence expected from a Friesian.

       Xanadu, our Model mare, is the Foundation mare, and her offspring- Bacall by Jorrit and Katrina by Tinus- serve as our second generation Program mares.


Bacall, by Jorrit out of Xanadu, is our first-born Program Mare. She s almost indistinguishable from her mother.

Katrina, by Tinus out of Xanadu, brings in a different bloodline, and slightly different conformation traits

Our Initial Success
      We are very encouraged by the performance of Bogart von Jorrit, the first program stallion to reach maturity. In 2004, “Bogie,” trained and ridden by Sabine, scored regularly in the 70’s in USDF Open Competition, Region 9, Training Level. We look forward to a full year of scores from Bogie in 2005. His initial performance gives much hope to the Proud Meadows Performance Breeding Program. Beyond his scores we will critically evaluate his aptitude for rapid learning and the pace of his development toward the higher levels of dressage.

Sabine says of Bogart,
"The first thing I noticed about Bogart when I rode him as a 3-year old was his incredible uphill balance in the trot and the canter. He has that freedom in the shoulder so important for extension. His excellent canter work, so unusual in a young horse, especially reminded me of the young Jorrit."

"In addition to his three excellent gaits, Bogie combines the calm Friesian temperament with good sensitivity to my aids. In his first show he did not get distracted, but stayed focused, and scored well. His sensitivity and temperament are what make him so special. Bogart has all the qualities anyone could want in a good dressage horse, even up to the FEI levels."

FOR THE OWNER OF A PERFORMANCE BREEDING PROGRAM OFFSPRING

It is the intention of the PBP to sell all offspring starting in 2005, except for a planned filly by Illiad out of Xanadu.

Refer to the Proud Meadows Sale section for available foals.

Contact the Proud Meadows Performance Breeding Program

What can the potential owner expect of a horse
from the Performance Breeding Program?
1 Not many horses will be available each year, due to the small number of mares, so the owner can expect to have a rare horse with proven performance bloodlines 3

Owners can realistically expect the grown horse to have an excellent chance of receiving FPZV registry awards, either Star or Model for mares, and Approval for stallions. The rationale for this expectation is that FPZV favors proper dressage movement, and movement is weighted heavily in the final selection decision.

 

2 Foals will be sold only to owners who have a demonstrated commitment to dressage, and who will communicate the training development and performance scores of the horse as it progresses 4

As more Friesians succeed at the higher levels of USDF Open Competition, regardless of farm or owner, the PBP can expand to include more bloodlines from horses outside of Proud Meadows

 


CONCLUSION


Why does Proud Meadows make such an effort?

      In short, the answer is that Proud Meadows loves the Friesian breed, from our first moment of seeing one noble stallion in a fantasy movie, to every moment with our first imported horses, through the early successes of our competition and demonstration stallions, and to the highest accomplishments of all horses over the years. We express this love by creating new value for the Friesian breed beyond its well-known beauty, temperament, and carriage horse tradition.

      We believe this breed deserves a place of honor among all of the world’s great horse breeds, that the Friesian is special in its own unique way, and that those who come face-to-face with a good Friesian know this to be true.