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14th April 2012
23rd Sept 2020

(Tjalbert 460 x Ulbert 390)

KFPS 1st Premie Foal




2012 - Awarded KFPS 1st Premie as a foal in the Netherlands


Noortje came to Greenbank farm with Maaike in 2016 due to their owners needing a place for them to stay while they sorted out their personal affairs. Upon arrival, we noticed that Noortje was lame but when we notified the owners, they did not wish to go through the expense of her being assessed by our vet (Frame, Swift & Partners).

Over time Noortje’s owners stopped paying for her care and eventually, all contact ceased from them. We served an abandonment notice for Noortje & Maaike and subsequently, ownership was transferred to us. Once this process was completed Noortje’s lameness was a high priority to be investigated and after several trips to the vet and visits by our Osteopath, we came to the conclusion that we suspected at some point in her life Noortje had fractured her pelvis.

With this information, we decided the best thing for Noortje was to be turned away with the herd and to be given the chance to fully grow and mature. In addition to this her front feet were not a `matching pair` so our farrier Chris Milby took exceptional care to maintain these.

As we suspect Noortje was not sound for a very long time, we never thought we would ever get to a point where she could be backed. However, like most animals, they find a way to move that is comfortable for them and by the end of 2018 she was looking nearly 100% sound. We made the decision that we would try to back her but it would be done in a very quiet way and at a pace, she was comfortable with. So, in January 2019 Noortje we gave Holly Dobson (who has grown up around the farm) the opportunity to take her on as her first backing project.

At the time Holly was only 14yrs old but she has spent time around horses since she was 4yrs and as she formed a relationship with Noortje the trust grew between them. As they worked together it was a joy to watch as they both learned new things and accomplished each step on their journey. The progress they made was outstanding and Holly was happy hacking Noortje out on her own and started some basic schooling.

In March 2020 Noortje went lame in front and due to the Coronavirus lockdown, this could not be looked at for several weeks. Once we were able to get it investigated by the vet it was found that she had damaged her deep digital flexor tendon quite badly. As a result of this diagnosis, Noortje was put on strict rest but was able to keep Sjoukje, who was also in rehabilitation, company.

Noortje was one of the more dominant mares in the herd and not afraid to put the others in their place. She craved human attention and was the most gentle, relaxed and kind mare who loves to be pampered with a nice bath or groom. Always the first to greet you in the field she was much loved by all our visitors over the years.

We had hoped that one day Noortje would be able to take part in our hacks and experiences but sadly this was not to be. Just days before she was due to have her tendon injury reviewed by the vet she developed colic. Despite catching it early we had to rush her to Leahurst equine hospital as she was clearly in a lot of pain. They opened her up to find she had badly twisted her intestines and the prognosis for survival was very poor. We had to make the devastating decision to let her go.

Noortje is greatly missed by us all and in particular Holly who had such a special bond with her. She has a memorial apple tree called 'Spartan' in our Friesian orchard. A 'very popular eating variety with bright red fruit. Crisp, juicy & sweet'

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