By Amber Heintzberger
A most splashing debut at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, February 1-4, 2001, was made by Sabine Schut on the Friesian Tinus.
Thursday's Prix Saint Georges at the WEF in Wellington, FL was won by Sabine Schut, of Texas, and Tinus, (by Jillis), a 10-year-old Friesian imported from the Netherlands. Even more unusual than his breed is the fact that this was Tinus' first time competing at this level; they scored an impressive 69.125%.
If his background is any indication of his ability, greater things may be expected still: Tinus was USDF horse of the year at second level in 1999 and at third level in 2000. He started fourth level last year and moved up with flying colors on Thursday.
"It was 30-40 degrees in Texas, and I notice a difference in the horses in the heat," said Schut. "The Friesians are big, heavy horses and their coats are black, and they are really affected by the heat. I don't like cold weather, but it's good for these horses. They perform better when it's cold."
Schut moved to the US from Germany three years ago with her horse Jorrit, who was PSG horse of the year last year. He was purchased from her by Jim Mosebrook and Lany Riggs of Proud Meadows Farm in Cedar Hill, Texas. They also offered Sabine a job as head trainer at the farm.
Schut said that Friesians need good solid training in order to achieve good extensions, and that the Friesians' canter starts out very big-strided compared to Warmbloods, but they have very good temperaments and are easy to work with. While the horses are imported from the Netherlands, they are registered with the German registry, which requires a 50-day testing for stallions and a two-week testing for mares. It is recognized by the German FN (National Federation).
"We do lots of exhibitions with them, and they know how to bow, sit, rear, and do the Spanish walk. Our next exhibition is at the Equine Affaire in Ohio, and then we're doing a Pas des Deux at Equitana. We've also been to Madison Square Garden and Devon with them." She said that they have turned down some invitations because the traveling is too hard on the horses, though Tinus' winning performance was only three hours after getting off the trailer.
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