If the YouTube link does not appear, click “HERE” to go to the video.

If the YouTube link does not appear, click “HERE” to go to the video.


The Friesians


The Friesians

In 2005, I decided to find a Friesian.  I had been contemplating this since I watched the beautiful Friesians perform at Equine Affaire.  Who wouldn’t want such majestic and magical horse?  In July of 2005, I was surfing the internet, viewing the various “Friesian for sale” sites and found the website of Black Sterling Friesians, based out of California.  Janna Goldman had several Friesians for sale, young ones and older ones.  I was on the search for a young one, but when I saw the ad for a 13 year old mare…. I had to learn more about this lovely horse.

“Beike fan ‘t Zand” was advertised to be successful at ZZ level of dressage in the Netherlands.  Her photos and videos were all very nice, and the price, although higher than for any horse I had ever purchased, was in reach.  So, the deal was made, and at the end of August, 2005, Beike arrived in the United States, via KLM airlines.  I met her for the first time at the USDA import quarantine facility at Rock Tavern, NY, at where Dad and I picked her up to take her to Cornell’s CEM quarantine facility.  I had my first ride on Beike at the Cornell’s CEM facility.  

When Beike was sold, the sale included a breeding to the KFPS approved stallion Fabe 348.  So, when Beike came to the United States, she was “in foal”.  

“Timothy fan Gale’s” was born on June 19, 2006.  We then rebred Beike to the magnificent KFPS approved stallion, Goffert 369.  The breeding was successful, and “Whisper fan Gale’s” was born on June 18, 2007.  Both youngsters are maturing into very nice riding horses.  Tim is so very smart and easily trained.  The KFPS awarded Tim with his “Star” rating in 2010.  Whisper is very laid back and is a very good lesson horse.  I currently use her for intermediate/advanced riders.

After Beike was relieved of being a “broodmare”, I got serious about advancing Beike’s dressage training, building on what Miek had already taught her.  I had set a goal for myself to earn the USDF Silver Medal, which required certain scores in Fourth level dressage and Prix St. George (PSG).  So, we actually entered our first USEF/USDF dressage show at Fourth level!  And was able to earn the first half of the necessary scores.  

One of the treasures that came along with the purchase of Beike, was getting to know Beike’s original owners, Miek and Jan Reitsma who live in the town of ‘t Zand in the Netherlands.  We have traveled to each other’s homes and have made some fun trips together to dressage shows, and of course, the big Friesian Stallion Show, that happens every January in the Netherlands.  Photos of one of my trips can be seen here.

The next step was to train Beike to be able to do the required maneuvers for Prix St. George.  Once again, Miek traveled to the United States to help me with…well…everything… to make it possible for us to travel to Dressage at Saratoga in May of 2013, at where we got our first “above 60” score in PSG.  We took the lessons learned by the Saratoga judges’ comments, and practiced and practiced and practiced for the next two weeks until we showed at the dressage show at Houghton College in early June.  We were successful to get the second needed “above 60” score, completing the requirements for the USDF Silver Medal.  Although I have received the Silver Medal Certificate from USDF, the actual medal will be awarded at the USDF Annual Convention, this year, in Lexington, KY in December.


I was not the only one that caught the “Friesian bug”.  Pam Schneider was so impressed with Beike, that when the opportunity came up to buy Beike’s half sister, Karolien, Pam became a Friesian owner as well.  Karolien arrived in January of 2006 into the United States.  Pam and I enjoyed riding the sisters together, and most memorable is our Pas De Deux performance (video is below), done during the “Dances With Horses” horse show, which happened to be held at our stable in September of 2007.  

Pam purchased her second Friesian, “Amos” in March of 2008.  He truly has the “fairy tale” Friesian “look” and personality.  Pam schooled and showed her two Friesians at the local dressage shows through the next couple of years, but sadly, in the fall of 2010, we lost Karolien to a strange malfunction of her stomach. It just stopped working.  Even with the best efforts of Cornell University and all that we could do for her, she left us on a sad afternoon, with Beike by her side.  I was very worried about Beike for awhile as she was depressed not to have her sister and friend.  

As we know, when one door closes, another door will open, and it did for Pam.  Not long after Karolien’s passing, Pam found “Wiebren”, another wonderful Friesian gelding.  After a successful test ride, Wiebren was purchased by Pam and moved to our stable in December of 2010.  

During the summer of 2011, Pam bought a Hanoverian warmblood from Germany.  “Rugby” arrived in the United States in September of 2011, and Pam sold Amos to me to use for lessons, which is what he continues to do even today.  He is a barn favorite for lessons, as he is beautiful and well behaved, giving his students a good feeling about the basics of dressage.  Pam and her horses now spend the winters in Florida, and return to Gale’s during the summer months.

Sadly, we lost Amos to colic in February of 2016.  Very sad.  

Photos of Beike,

Showing her

Versatility.

“Dances with Horses”

Performed in 2007 with Beike and Karolien to Beatles Music.  

Beike and Gale perform a third level freestyle at the 2009 Chemung County Fair, with “Madonna Music”.

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Beike fan ‘t Zand

1992 - 2017

With more sadness than words can even describe, I write here to tell of the loss of my beloved Beike.  At age 25, she presented colic symptoms on the afternoon of May 31st, 2017.  All medical efforts were done through the night, but it was apparent, at 4 AM on June 1st, that she was not going to get better.  At her age, and with all the known complications that Friesians have with anesthesia, surgical options were not available to us.  Beike crossed over Rainbow Bridge, about 5 AM on the morning of June 1st, 2017. As is tradition at our stable, if a horse leaves us to cross over, we set up memorials in the stall for a week.  As you can see, Beike was well loved, and is sorely missed.  My heart still breaks to have lost such a special horse.

A rare western rainbow appeared over the barn on early morning of June 4th, 2017.  I called the beautiful site as “Beike’s Rainbow”.