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Fjord Horse International's mission is to host an international forum of member countries around the world

 

On this page you will find articles about breeding, use and regulations in the different countries where the beautiful Fjord Horse lives.

The official minutes of the FHI General Assembly have already been published in the FHI-homepage, and so the images and rankings of the stallions are published in the homepage of Norges Fjordhestlag http://fjordhest.net/blogg/ in much better quality than I could deliver them. That's why I am going to summarize my personal experiences and impressions in this report about the Jubilees and Stallion Licensing Week but start with the official part of my journey as substitute for substitute Sabine Münch von Ah, Switzerland.

Embedded in time of the Norwegian performance test and licensing for fjord stallions and in the middle of the week of the horse shows in Førde, Breim and Nordfjordeid the General Meeting of FHI took place on Wednesday, May 1rst 2019 in the Fjordhestcenter in Nordfjordeid.

Under the final direction of longtime President Nils Ivar Dolvik, Norway, a pleasing number of national and international representatives of the member countries and guests (together 25 participants) this year met in the office of the Fjord Horse Center.
(http://www.fjordhorseinternational.org/FjHI/ see official minutes of the GA 2019)

In addition to the annual report of the board, finances and discharge of the board, the most important point on the agenda was the new and supplementary elections to the board and their substitutes.
Nils Ivar Dolvik had previously announced that he would not be available for re-election in 2019 after 7 years in office.
Newly proposed and ready for a candidature was the Norwegian Jenny Wright Johnson, who was a member of the FHI board from 2010-2012 and knows the organization a bit. She has studied animal breeding in Norway and has also been involved in the breeding of Fjord horses after spending time abroad. She lives with her family and her fjord horses in Hardanger (Central Norway).

Since she only was arriving at the meeting evening due to other commitments and could not be present in time in Nordfjordeid, there was a short Skype live show in which she introduced herself once again.
Jenny was unanimously elected by the Assembly as the new president of the FHI! (By statute, the president is elected every year for only 1 year)
The next day, a personal meeting with the present board members and their substitutes took place, to which Jenny was accompanied by the also newly elected president of Norges Fjordhestlag.

Inger Davidsson, board member for Sweden, also announced previously that she would not be on re-election in 2019. Inger was concerned as substitute from 2008 to 2012 and involved as active board member for 6 years, starting in 2013. Her mandate is followed up by the candidature of Leif Grimmbühler, Denmark, elected to the Board for the first time for two years. Maureen van Bon, The Netherlands, was confirmed for another two years.

The new FHI board now consists of:
President Jenny Wright Johnson/ Norway, Maureen van Bon/ The Netherlands, Leif Grimbühler/ Denmark, Jan Verbeeck/ Belgium, and Jochen Nösinger/ Germany.

The substitutes to be re-elected: Olaf van Leeuwen/ The Netherlands, Sabine Münch von Ah/ Switzerland, and Jacky Ernwein/France were unanimously elected for two years. Eric Watness/ USA was newly elected. Susanne Petersen/ Germany did not stand for reelection this year.
All elections were unanimous.

Furthermore, Nils Ivar Dolvik presented the important Norwegian concern to the Assembly, to which a detailed invitation for a working meeting in Brussels on the 7th and 8th of June was sent to the FHI member countries. The invitation was given by the Norwegian Fjord Horse Center with the financial support of the 'Sognog Fjordane' district.

The topic is the development of Fjord horse numbers in Norway but also in the world. Not for the first time, the basic idea and today's chances of realization for an international Fjord horse register with modern (data) technology are to be discussed. Most FHI countries have agreed to come!

At the end of the GA, the FHI member representatives thanked Nils Ivar Dolvik for 7 pleasant years of cooperation, which will hopefully continue in a different role.

The FHI General Assembly 2020 will take place on April 29th, 2020 in Nordfjordeid.

2019 is the year of the big anniversaries :

100 years Nordfjord Fjordhestlag, 70 years Norges Fjordhestlag and in August 50 years Association Francaise du Cheval Fjord.

For me it was after 20 years, the 2nd participation in a big Norges Fjordhestlag anniversary.

On April 27th, in mild spring weather, I got off the plane in Bergen, took over the rental car and started in the early afternoon towards Førde, where on the Sunday before the stallion show in Nordfjordeid always a young horse show takes place, but for some years not in Førde itself, but on the grounds of an agricultural school 20 minutes in the direction of Nordfjord. The show started at noon, so I had time on my way to visit the Sunnfjord Museum(www.tripadvisor.ch/Attraction_Review-). On a very scenic hillside over the Førdefjord the most diverse typical historical buildings of the area are collected, rebuilt and provided with appropriate agricultural or fishing required equipment. Architectural details are always impressive, as here the grassy roofs, which are perfectly adapted to the climatic conditions.

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The young horse show, organized by the Sunnfjord Fjordhestlag, (founded in 1930), began with a mixed class of "NordlandsHest / Lyngshest", "Miniature" and "Danish Warmblood". Significantly, these 4 animals in the catalog, however, had the numbers 17 to 20, the catalog numbers 1 to 16 were reserved for the Fjord horses, they had just always been there, so they are owners of the show and stand in front!

Of the 5 2-year-old stallions and the 7 3-year-old mares of the 2nd and 3rd class 3 and 4 animals reached a ranking, of the 3 1-year-old mares 2 with even very high points. The award for this is a Sløyfe (loop). Since these young horses are still in their development and a single punctuation "6" excludes an award, no ranking or "premium" does not mean the breeding “Off”, in a year or two, the result may look quite different.

Already here in Førde I have met many faces that have been known for years, sometimes only seeing, sometimes working together on the board of FHI or the judge's manual or having met at some show in another fjord horse country. So, it was not difficult to start a conversation, the starting point was always given.

The show ended around 3 pm and the journey continued over well-developed roads along miles of lakes to the Nordfjord. Another ferry, a tunnel and the destination were reached: I was driving into Nordfjordeid past the show ground with the beautiful bronze Fjordhorse, behind which the international flags were blowing. My quarters for the next few days, a pretty guest apartment in a former carpenter shed on a farm a bit out of town, I found relatively good.

As there was still some time until the evening meeting with old acquaintances, I set out to search for the Viking ship, which was reconstructed two years ago in a hall only built for this purpose. In 2017, a tour was organized especially for the FHI members. (Pictures below May 2017)

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Now the square was empty, the hall lay on the ground and a large new one was built on the ground behind, but it seemed empty. Finally, I asked someone where the Viking ship had come from and learned that after disassembling the factory building with a crane, that was still there, also with the crane it would have been placed on the water and moored in the boat harbor at the other end of the road along the fjord. Lo and behold, in the early evening light, the great dragon's head proudly towered over all the other boats.

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I even found access to the feeder and was able to look closely at the imposing structure at close range. Particularly interesting for me were the rivets, which I had found 1 ½ years ago in the same shape but much larger dimensions in an old Bernese farmhouse from the early 18th century for the connection of beams. By the way, I was lucky enough to see the ship in the open air. During the week, it disappeared in the new hall, and was no longer visible until the later official baptism of the ship.

On Monday it was a "show-stopper" and I took the opportunity as the weather was so nice, for finally driving to the famous Geiranger Fjord. As well in Norway, this year's April had been extremely warm, and the vegetation was correspondingly wide. What particularly struck me was the lack of the smell of manure that otherwise hung in early May over Nordfjordeid and the whole area. The reason was just this early start of spring, the manure could be applied already in April! So, first along Homindal Vadnes and later along fields with flowering Anemones the trip over to Hellesylt, the entrance to the Geirangerfjord, was without this stench even more beautiful.

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Without my car, I boarded the last car ferry, which runs to Geiranger and back only 3 times a day until the end of April. From the upper deck, I enjoyed the view of dramatic scenery for the many larger and smaller waterfalls, that now during the time of snowmelt, from all sides of the fjord were falling. High above the rock walls you could partly see the road on which you can also drive to Geiranger in the snow-free months. After a short stay of 20 minutes in Geiranger, enough time to change passengers, their cars and various buses with their tourist cargo, the journey return to Hellesylt started with new views of the natural beauties already admired on the outward journey.

On Tuesday, April 30th at 11 o'clock, under blue skies, sun, birdsong was the start of the young horse show in Breim, organized by Midtre Nordfjord Fjordhestlag,(founded in 1925). Since 1995 the Norwegian Country festival is taking place on the show ground of Breim,which today is the largest cultural event of its kind in the Sogn og Fjordane County. Accordingly, in "my 20 years" the stage construction, before which the horse show takes place, has grown to considerable size.

20 young fjord horses were presented in Breim. Again, the start of the show successively made the classes of 3 2- and 6 1-year-old stallions, of which each 3 and 5 animals were awarded a Sløyfe. Then followed the classes of the 5 3-, 3 2- and 3-1-year-old mares, each receiving 4, 2 and 2 animals with an “extra Sløyfe” or Sløyfe.
One day before the start of the stallion licensing, many foreign visitors were already sitting on the grass benches staggered on a slight slope or at the tables set up with a less good overview next to the show ground. Many of the young and very young Norwegian women had their children with them, from babies to teenagers, sometimes supported by grand or even great-grandmothers, when they themselves presented animals or had official functions. So, the over next generation already is becoming imprinted!

Breim was the last beautiful day in April, on May 1rst, the weather god remembered the mostly not so mild stallion show weather and hit it right: I have been in Nordfjordeid 14 or 15 times in the last 20 years, but never was frozen, like this year. And I was not the only one who bought additional warm underwear and boots. Thanks to the very warm April throughout Europe, also experienced stallion shows visitors had miscalculated while packing their suitcases. If it remained dry on Wednesday with a noticeable drop in temperature, came on Thursday strong wind and rain showers, occasionally even sleet at temperatures little above zero.

The prelude to the stallion licensing was, as always, the free running and free jumping of the 3-year-olds in the riding hall and afterwards the riding test in riding hall and the grounds. In the afternoon the general assembly of the FHI took place, about which I already mentioned above and in the early evening in the hall of the Nordfjord Hotel a movie of the very special kind was shown. An enthusiastic IT-specialist has the collection of historical film footage of Fjord Horse Shows between the 1940-ties and the 1960-ties digitized and the 1rsttime demonstrated. Famous horses and breeders were shown on the move, but also as still photos. Even though occasionally shots seemed to be compressed in width, the development from a heavy workhorse to a lighter working horse was clearly noticeable. Furthermore, over all documented years, the horses were presented by men who were also the breeders or owners and the judges were men as well.

Today, the picture has changed a lot: for the 43 stallions listed in this year's Nordfjordeid show catalog, 16 of them are female breeders and 30 are female owners or co-owners. In the show class of the 2-year-old stallions 3 of the 5 shown animals are bred by women. If you now look at the judges’ panels of the 3 shows in Førde, Breim and Nordfjordeid, 7 women are facing 5 men plus the male licensing director of Norges Hestecenter. And to complete the picture yet another short statistic: the directions and presidiae of Norsk Fjordhestcenter, Norges Hestecenter, Norges Fjordhestlag and FHI are all recently cared for by women.

The reason for this change in the gender distribution, not only in the fjord horse breeding, is with a certain probability to be found in the change of use of the horses. The Fjord horse was, as well could be seen in the old film footage, until the1950-ties a purely peasant horse for the farms on the West Coast, where it was also bred under state breeding control. With the advent of the tractors, it lost its need for many of the traditional owners and breeders, but it was not in the right type for horseback riding, which began a little later in many parts of Western Europe. I remember that in the second half of the 1990s an international judges' meeting took place onoccasion of the stallion licensing, in which two Swiss judges participated. At that time heavier and lighter stallion types were presented and the invited judges were to judge them as recreational horse from the point of view of modern usability. The overwhelming opinion was that the breeding of the heavy draft horse would have to turn to the smoother recreational horse, which has happened afterwards.

As a riding horse, the Fjord horse was and in general still is too small for men, but they like to drive it. It is therefore understandable that the equestrian use is predominantly run by young people and women. Since the breeding was no longer necessary for the farm, probably a certain number of farmers have ever separated from the Fjord horse and some smaller old farms have now been abandoned for reasons of age or economy. With the new increasing equestrian use of Fjord horses by girls and women, who were familiar with animal breeding, especially with their own rural origin, and the necessary infrastructure was or is available on their own farm or with their parents or grandparents, the step lay close for breeding under their own name. In this year's catalogs, for example, you can also find prefixes and names of old, enthusiastic breeders and their granddaughters as breeders, owners or exhibitors.

Despite and literally with wind and weather, the 3 licensing days took their course, during the traditional migration of the stallions through Nordfjordeid on Friday afternoon it was temporarily almost dry.

In the evening in the Nordfjord Hotel the Festmiddag was celebrated, because of the more than 300 participants exceptionally not with the traditional buffet and self-service, but at long, set tables with a menu served. And I was really looking forward to the many fish specialties of the traditional buffet!

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On Saturday morning, the stallions were presented another time class by class while the greedy weather was the same and from 13 o'clock the valuations and the awards were announced, which lasted for the 43 stallions a good 2½ hours in the open.

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Tor Finstad, FHI- President and Board- Member 2004 - 2009

The stallions were best conditioned for this weather. The rest of us packed in with everything we got on top of each other and were happy if we could find some dormant shelter

And then began the big farewell of new, old and now from their age very old friends and acquaintances, which in all the years in bad weather was always much shorter than in sunshine. Hopefully all us silverbacks will have some more time left for meetings at the Nordfjord.

I had already packed my suitcase and stowed it in the car. Since the Check-In via Internet for my return flight from Bergen on Sunday afternoon had not worked and the weather was still rather uncertain, I started in the late afternoon direction Førde to stay there again in the same hotel as on the outward journey. With an early Start in the morning I would have enough time for all sorts of weather caprioles and a timely arrival at the airport. After a good night's sleep without being aware of any time pressure the next day, I drove by snowdrift in 3 ½ hours to Bergen through these archaic landscapes. At some point after the Sunnfjord ferry, I had a big truck behind me, for which I surely drove too slowly (but he did not push).Finally, before the next tunnel I turned out to the right, let him pass and then “attached” me to him. These trucks always drive at the upper speed limit and with enough safety distance you are of course protected from oncoming surprises on the winding roads. Just before Bergen, he turned off in another direction. However, the roads have generally been improved significantly in the last 5/6 years and some tunnels have been added. At noon I reached the Hertz Check - In and had ample time to get rid of my suitcase and for a new variation of the delicious Norwegian fish soup, and to wait for my departure in the warm. In Copenhagen, there was still quite a run because of a slight delay of my plane, they have no treadmills and the signposts lead specifically in serpentine lines through the Tax-free shops. But they always show how long you must walk! In Zurich, I soon had a train and was at 21.30 clock in Aarau, where my husband was already waiting with the car engine running. The only loss of this trip was the 3rd pair of gloves that I lost this winter, and now I needed it again.

Oda Münch-Bronk, Switzerland

RESULTS OF THE ANNUAL JENNIFER MURRAY MEMORIAL TROPHY COMPETITION

1st. Amy Duncan & Haakon
2nd Shuna Mardon & Gaia
3rd Peter Williams
4th Mary Inman & Ausdan Prem

It is good to see so many newcomers enter the competition and our winner, Amy Duncan and her fjord horse Stockton Haakon is one of them. Congratulations to Amy for getting in there and impressing our judges. Quite an achievement. Well done also to newcomer Mary Inman & Ausdan Prem

Here is what the Judging Panel had to say:
A note from Head Judge Catriona Murray congratulating all the entrants for this year's Jennifer Murray Memorial Trophy Competition.
'It was very exciting to have newcomers and new disciplines forward this year.
I congratulate Amy Duncan our winner who has competed successfully at British Eventing, which is made up of dressage, showjumping and cross country. As well as getting all three disciplines correct the showjumping and cross country are timed, so she would have had to go pretty fast especially as fjords are draught animals not racehorses!!
Shuna has again done very well with Gaia. Again her results in British Dressage are great. It just shows how, if well produced, accurate and consistent, the world is your oyster.
Well done Peter your horses are always well turned out and hold their own in the show ring.
Many congratulations to the winners. Thank you to those who are on their first year entering their fjords, Thank you for entering and look forward to lots more things you will have done this year for next year's results.

We will let Amy have the last word:
I will be the first to admit, I am terrible at keeping record of his achievements – perhaps, this should encourage me to keep a diary! Haakon competes in most disciplines when my work allows – he loves to jump & will regularly go double clear in unaffiliated 70/80cm classes. He competes at unaffiliated Novice level dressage too. I entered Haakon into BE Aswanley. He scored 29.8 in the dressage, went clear in the SJ & clear XC with 3.6 time faults. This placed him 2ndoverall out of approx. 30 riders. The photo here is of us jumping the last XC fence. Delighted was an understatement! I am very proud of him. I think the result at Aswanley proves what an all-rounder a Fjord can be.

WELL SAID AMY.
A BIG THANK YOU TO CATRIONA MURRAY AND PANEL. CATRIONA IS A STICKLER FOR CORRECTNESS SO THOSE WHO HAVE MADE IT TO THE TOP CAN BE PROUD OF THEMSELVES.
Fjord Horse National Studbook of Great-Britain

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NORDFJORDEID May 2019

News with stallion pictures and results on the homepage of Norges Fjordhestlag : HERE

Short list of the stallions : HERE

Link to Norsk Hestesenter with possibility to search the stallion file and open his evaluation card :
HERE

 

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