Home In previous issues A Friesian Grand Finale concludes 2023 judging season

A Friesian Grand Finale concludes 2023 judging season

Mirhte T. Provisional Crown (Maurits 437 x Beart 411), reserve champion three-year-olds

By Alice Booij, Body Bosgra, Moniek Amico, Lara Boelens
Photography: Karin Sevink

Take some 350 Friesian horses, organise a grand finale of four fine days at the end of the judging season, add plenty of sunshine, ask the lovers of Friesian horses to come to Manege Gaasterland in Harich and the Central Inspection will be a wonderful party. And so it happened.

Just like last year, two daughters of Jehannes 484 were crowned best of the Central Inspection. Two impressive new Model mares that were very much matched. After an exciting battle, the phenomenal Berber van Brabantshof was elected overall champion.

Overall Champion and Reserve Champion

That Berber van Brabantshof Model AA (Jehannes 484 x Norbert 444), bred by Jan Vernooij of Beusichem in Gelderland, the Netherlands, is a very special mare was already evident in 2018. Then, as a two-year-old, she became youth champion and overall reserve champion of the Central Inspection. Since then, she has had a fan base that she has never disappointed. With her enchanting breed type, noble head, and alert eyes, Berber has a royal appearance. A mare, moreover, who can move with a lot of swing and power. That earned her the first title overall champion of the Central Keuring in 2019, to the happiness of her owner Arno Thomassen. That she would succeed again four years later seemed impossible a year and a half ago.

Unfortunate injury

In spring 2022, Berber had a foal by Teun 505 (Bartele 472). “The birth of that foal, Thijs fan Meulunteren, did not go well and in the process Berber suffered an internal injury,” says Arno. According to one of the vets who coached her intensively, and was also present at the Central Inspection with two colleagues: “She then spent almost a year for rehabilitation at Veter-inary Horse Centre Kootwijkerbroek. Berber had a considerable inter-nal nerve damage. The recovery from such dam-age can take a very long time, if it recovers at all. She has had a very hard time and the fact that she then recovered so well is mainly thanks to her exceptionally strong character. She is a very special horse.”
During her rehabilitation, Berber was trained under saddle by one of the veterinarians and then she went to the Van Manen brothers in Ede to be made ready for the breeding day in Lunteren and then the Central Inspection. In all modesty, Arno Thomassen realises that he owes a lot to the vets who guided Berber and Jasper van Manen’s team. “They did it!”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber