This article was written by Theodore Westerhoff and is on this website with his permission. Thank you also to Carina Jefferson who found it in her back archives for me.
late retirement of one great harness horse and his driver from competition in
2002 seems to have gone unnoticed on the continents far from the best old
homeland. So here is a tribute to
was bred by Wijbenga from Zwaagwesteinde. He was born on 28 April 1988 as son of
Feitse 293 P and the stam 15 ster mare Bonne-Amie (Tsjalling 235 x Wessel 237) .
Pander was offered as a twenter to Jelke Wierstra from Ferwerd by an
acquaintance in horse trading, who asked whether Wierstra was interested.
According to Jelke Wierstra Pander was a rather small and thin horse at the
time, and didnít seem to fit his other horses. Nevertheless, Pander went with
him, grew up nicely and showed he could move remarkably, so Pander was bought as
a three-year-old. His semen quality was not sufficient to go to the stallion
keuring in Leeuwarden. He proved to
be a horse that could be sweet, loving attention, but he was really hot, for a
Friesian horse even extremely hot. A horse with a real mind of his own too, with
his own likes and dislikes, a horse that likes to stand with his head to the
East for some reason.
1992 Pander started as a stallion in the one-in-hand harness competition, which
was won by Pander with the maximum number of points. All through Panderís
career the Frisian shay built in Anjum in 1990 and registered in the FSS with
the registration number 121 was used with him, always with starting number 84.
In 1993 the gelded Pander competed together with his calmer, one year younger,
full brother Rykle in the two in hand class, in 1994 they entered the tandem
class too. The brothers were a success as a team, almost always finishing among
the best. In 1998 they won the tandem championship.
Later Rykle was sold to the BRD. That did not mean that Panderís
participation in the team competition had ended, Pander and Wierstra teamed up
with Jelle Bouma and his horses for the teamwork.
did win a lot with just his driver to assist too, both in the Lady class with
Leidy Kraaijenbrink as driver and in the Honorary class with Jelke Wierstra as
driver. In 1997 Pander was the champion of the class Driven by a Lady. From 1998
to 2000 he was the Reserve Champion of that class.
In 1998 he won the Prize of the Best, the ďbattleĒ between the
harness champions and reserve-champions of the different harness classes for
one-in-hand Friesian horses. He
finished almost always in the top-three, no matter the class.
year 2001 should have been Panderís last year in competition. For the Dutch
harness competitions it was as a very short season as result of the Foot-and
-Mouth-Disease outbreak in Europe. Pander showed very well in 2001, winning the
championship in the Lady class again, driven by Leidy Kraaijenbrink. This was
gained in rather a spectacular way: early in the final showing of the
championship Pander lost a shoe, this would have sunk the attempt to become
champions again of many good combinations, but Pander quickly recovered and won
the title on three shoes. He was the most successful in the honorary class (just
for horses who have already won a large sum) too, but it was tropically hot
during the showing for the title in Drogeham, and Pander had problems with
standing the heat and finished second behind Sybren Minkema with Heinse 354.
Pander and Boumaís Rinse driven by Wierstra finished second in the tandem
final last year was 2002. According to the Hoefslag Pander lacked initially the
top quality he had in 2001. That quality returned and Pander won for the third
time the championship in the Lady class, and that in Drogeham! His farewell
event was Indoor Friesland, there he finished in the honorary class with Jelke
Wierstra, in both the Prize of the Best and the Lady Class with his lady, Leidy
Kraaijenbrink with the first three, as he had done all the way in his carreer.
His best score was the winning of the Frisia Cup for the Lady class, such as
befits the Lady Class Champion when he starts for the last time ever in the lady
class, or any class for that matter. Pander left the competition as a winner,
and although he may be remembered best for his achievements in the Lady class,
he did equally well in the Honorary class, finished often first, but never
became the champion in that class. It has been thought that part of the reason
for that could be that jurors might have a preference for the stamboek
end of Panderís sport career is not really the final curtain however; he will
still give demonstrations to the public at equine events. The show goes on and
Pander, still in health, is not gone from the spotlights and the admiration of
the public yet. His story is not
finished yet, but his sport career is finally over now. Many people may still
see him, perhaps in Het Swarte Paert of the Kraaijenbrinks, perhaps at large
equine events, but never again in the harness competitions he showed so well in,
at the top for a whole decade.