DOB: 30th May 2008
(Ait 410 x Time 398)
KFPS Model Mare
2008 - KFPS 1st Premie
2008 - UK Champion Foal
2008 - UK Reserve Breed Champion
2011 - 2nd Premie Ster
2011 - UK Overall Breed Champion
2013 - 1st Premie Ster
2013 - KFPS Provisional Kroon
2014 - IBOP Performance test - 77.5 points
2014 - KFPS Definitive Kroon
2016 - UK Overall Breed Champion
2018 - KFPS Model
2018 - UK Overall Breed Champion
Anja was born in Inverness, Scotland in 2008, her mother Mintsje was imported over from the Netherlands in foal by Melanie Reid. At just a few months old Anja headed to the UK inspections where she was awarded a 1st Premie which only 5% of foals achieve. To top it off she was also UK Reserve Breed Champion the same day to our MODEL mare Femma L who was UK Overall Breed Champion.
It was very clear to see that Anja had a bright future but on paper, her breeding was not the best with both her father and mothers father having lost their breeding rights with the KFPS after their offspring did not prove to be consistently good enough.
Melanie contacted us when Anja was a yearling as sadly due to circumstances she needed to sell her. As we had fallen in love with her as a foal we agreed to take her on and give her the very best start in life that we could.
When Anja turned 3, she returned to the UK inspections. She only did a minimal amount of groundwork for a few weeks and showed little energy or expression at home. However when she entered the ring she turned into the most impressive, powerful and expressive moving mare in the ring that day. To our delight Anja was awarded 2nd Premie Ster and went on to be awarded Overall Breed Champion.
Anja was backed the following Spring and proved she did not possess a great interest in work and forwardness which proved challenging to work with. In 2013 she returned to the UK Inspections where she not only upgraded to a 1st Premie Ster but was also awarded the `Provisional` KROON title. This title is only awarded to the very best 1st Premie Ster mares and meant Anja would need to do an IBOP performance test in either Dressage or Driving with a score of 77 points or above.
For Anja to score over 77 points on an IBOP performance test was going to be challenging as she was a complicated character to work with and at the time Tracey did not have the necessary knowledge and skill to work with her. So, with the help of trainer Melanie Turner, she worked on Anja’s fitness over the next year. Anja completed the test and scored a respectable 77.5 and her KROON title was confirmed.
Anja started to take part in experience days in the early stages of `The Friesian Experience` but soon let us know that she was not happy with different riders. With her strong-minded characteristics, she made it clear that she wanted to be ridden in a way she was happy with. Anja appeared to lack forwardness however over the years she has taught Tracey more than any other horse about how to get the best out of a Friesian horse who is not considered naturally 'forward'. She will always be a one person horse who will not give anything unless you give her 100% of your attention. It is all or nothing with Anja and when you ride her correctly and with consideration she is the most amazing mare to ride with an incredible and powerful energy.
In 2015 Anja was put into foal to the famous stallion Tsjalle 454 who is known to throw offspring with a good work ethic, even though Anja’s breeding on paper was not the best she was a great example of the Friesian breed. In May 2016 Ciska fan de Groenbank was born. With Ciska at foot, Anja returned to the UK inspections and once again entered the ring with her impressive energy and was awarded Overall UK Breed Champion for a second time.
Due to Anja producing a foal naturally, she met all the additional requirements for the prestigious title of MODEL mare, the highest a Friesian mare can be awarded. So in 2018 Anja returned in the hope she would be good enough to achieve this title. She entered the ring and put on her magnificent display of energy and was awarded the title of MODEL and for the third time was UK Overall Breed Champion.
Sadly we lost Anja's foal, Ciska very suddenly in 2020 and suspect it was to the hereditary heart condition we also lost Ischka to in 2015. Due to this we have taken the decision not to breed with Anja again. Despite her being an incredible mare, until there is further research into these genetic issues we do not feel it is right to breed again with her when she clearly is a carrier of the condition.
Anja will remain a resident here for life and will continue to take visitors out for carriage drives round the village and take part in photoshoots.
You can watch Anja's journey on our Social Media pages and through the online training programs we offer.