For a short while the Canadian village of Ponoka in the state of Alberta was reminiscent of Friesland. With Friesian horses hitched up to the sjees, no traditional costumes but instead with cowboy hats on, a true ring riding competition went ahead.
Members of Friesian/Dutch background
The enthusiastic Friesian Club in Alberta took the initiative, says a just as enthusiastic Annie Muilwijk. ‘Our Alberta Friesian Horse Association (AFHA) has many active members and a great many of those are of Friesian/Dutch origin. So it’s not that surprising that the idea was launched to organise proper, historic ring riding on the street, just like it’s done in the Netherlands.’
Annually organised event
The initiators were a couple of club members of truly Friesian origin: Doeke, Sita, and Loekie Hoekstra. The Town of Ponoka in central Alberta was just as keen and fully cooperated. Around twenty participants (including all members of the Alberta Quadrille Group), lots of spectators, splendid weather, magnificent Friesian horses and happy faces resulted in a festive activity. The title ‘1st Annual Ring Riding Event’ was chosen for a reason and if it’s up to the members of AFHA this event will be an annual feature on the calendar.
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