Sire: Ulbert 390
Dam: Rommy Fan Twillens
In March 2009, because of complications due to laminitis, Martyn and I lost Martha van der Sanhourran, one of our lovely imported Friesian mares. Martha, as a four year old, was just starting to reach her potential as a harness horse and we were really enjoying taking her out to a variety of events to further her education. To say the least, Martha's loss was devastating.
Martha was by Ulbert 390, a highly performed Friesian harness stallion now residing in the USA. We loved Martha’s sweet nature and willingness to work so it was obvious we should try to find another one by this stallion.
In the past, we have used Ria van der Veen from ‘Old Corner Stables’ as our agent for buying our Friesians from The Netherlands. Buying horses internationally and sight unseen is obviously a very risky business, so once again, because we have been happy with the Friesians she has found for us, we contacted Ria to see if she had any suitable mares by Ulbert for us to consider…..and she did!
Metsje fan Twillens, a five year old daughter of Ulbert 390, arrived at Eastern Creek Quarantine Station in August. The time in quarantine saw Metsje and four other young horses become infected by a nasty respiratory virus. This required extra veterinary treatment and also caused her to be isolated upon her arrival at our stud for a period of three weeks. The infection, extra blood tests and an E.I. scare relating to a horse from the U.S. delayed the release of all the horses from quarantine for a week.
Metsje finally arrived at Huntington Friesians, in September 2009. Although considerably taller, her resemblance to Martha was remarkable as was her temperament and people loving nature. Martyn and I began to wonder though if it really had been such a good idea buying another mare that reminded us so much of the one we so tragically lost.
Since we have had Metsje, she is proving to be a delight. She was well broken to saddle and harness in The Netherlands but it quickly became obvious she was severely lacking in experience.
Three weeks after her arrival and the day after her extra quarantine was completed, we took Metsje to the AWHA NSW Branch Gala Show at the SIEC complex at Horsley Park. She swept all before her by winning Champion Led Friesian and the Supreme Guest Breed Exhibit where the Champions from the Friesian, Friesian Warmblood, Lipizzana, Irish Sport Horse, Irish Draught and Cleveland Bay rings all contested this prestigious award.
We were even more amazed when our wonderful rider, Toni Brown, who was at the show just to ride the mare around’, decided to enter Metsje in the Ridden Friesian/Friesian Warmblood class ‘for experience’. Amazingly, she won the class and then went on to be Champion Ridden Friesian/Friesian Warmblood. She then contested the Supreme Ridden Guest Breed but this time her lack of experience showed. She managed to win Reserve which, to be honest, Martyn, Toni and I thought was a bit a dubious.
Since then, we have taken Metsje to the Southern Highlands, Camden and Hills Challenge Day where she performed very well, The Hills Dressage and Cones Day and The Southern Harness Club Harness Show. We were delighted when Metsje was awarded Reserve Champion at the harness show to the Barlow family's Nagero Grasshopper, the Supreme Harness exhibit at the 2009 Melbourne Royal Show.
Metsje is proving to be a worthy replacement for Martha and we are really looking forward to taking her out and about before she eventually joins our band of broodmares.