Local Friesian horse farm hosts open house featuring unique breed

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By Bill Rinderknecht

WKTV Community Writer


The Friesian Connection will host its Annual Open House and Ice Cream Social Saturday, May 6 from 1 – 4 p.m. on its beautiful acreage just minutes from downtown Grand Rapids at 2685 144th Ave., Dorr.


Come for an afternoon of fun and fellowship and visit the Friesian Connection Stallion Station. Here, the public will see these majestic creatures up close and personal. The afternoon will include the presentation of stallions under saddle and driving, horses at liberty, a petting barn, and all the ice cream you can eat.


This year the Open House will feature Hessel 480, a majestic stallion direct from the Netherlands, with special guest Petra Zeelen who is a renowned trainer and clinician from the Netherlands. Also, Spring is foaling season for local Friesians, so visitors will be able to witness these beautiful colts, llies, and mares up close.


The Friesian is a horse breed originating in Friesland in the Netherlands. The conformation of the breed resembles that of a light draught house with the animal being graceful and noble for its size. IT is believed that during the Middle Ages, ancestors of Friesian horses were in great demand as war horse through continental Europe because their size enabled them to carry a fully dressed knight.


In 1984, Robert and Arlene DeBoer imported three Friesian Star mares from the Netherlands. From there, the Friesian Connection expanded into a well-established breeding program, training, selling and importing horses from the Netherlands. Today, the Friesian Connection has more than 50 Friesian horses on its 400-arce farm with the entire family involved in the business.



The Friesian Connection has a history of hosting Friesians owners to market Friesian horses and services. This tradition began back in the 1980s when the DeBoers and other early Friesian import partners began to market their stock for sale and stud services. It has since grown to be a huge event that attracts enthusiasts from across the Midwest. Remember to bring your horse loving friends and family to this special, free event.