Breeding, importing and training program reflects the breed's best. If a picture tells a thousand words, then our cover image, of Friesian Focus stallion Monte 378 Sport, enables this to be a very short article. This poster boy for the modern incarnation of his breed, Monte stands for everything his owners strive for.
Let's start with the obvious: the hair! Flowing, gleaming mane, tail and feathers and brilliant black coat are the Friesian's hallmarks. Then there's that appealing certain something that's equal parts nobility and glamour. "Whether they are in a movie, a competition or a backyard, people are just drawn to these horses," explains Joan Fernandez, who owns Monte and his stablemates at the breeding and importing headquarters in Riverside County's Murrieta,
All the good looks are packaging for the most important Friesian qualities: athletic abilities, a "gentle giant" nature and desire to please their owners. Monte especially represents that. "He is such a sweet stallion," Joan reports. He's as cooperative with novice adults and kids as he is with his professional handlers and is well behaved in a variety of situations.
It's not a race or a fundraiser, Joan notes. It's a challenge and a fun way to showcase and celebrate the role horses have played throughout America's history. Joan plans to accompany the Caravan for its first day, and guests are welcome along the entire route – for a $15 fee that helps offset the cost of the undertaking. Having ridden a bike across the country several years ago with her husband, Joan wasn't tempted to go all the way with the Caravan, but she loves the spirit of the adventure and was happy to lend Friesian Focus' support. For more information, visit www.thecaravan.me.
The breeding and sales program also supports several equine charities, including Saving Horses, Inc., the Saving America's Horses documentary and the Foundation for the Care of Indigent Animals.
More exciting news includes the inclusion of Friesian Focus stables on a spring 2015 edition of Wild About Barns, a show on the Ride TV cable network. The beautiful Murrieta stable is one of three Golden State facilities to be featured.
The Cleveland National Forest nearly surrounds the Friesian Focus operation and its location on the border of San Diego and Riverside counties. Joan has enjoyed staging very popular open houses in the past and promises to resume the tradition soon. Visits are available for prospective buyers and breeders by appointment and everyone can enjoy Monte and his stablemates at this year's Jingle Bell Horse Show, Dec. 4-7 at the Del Mar Horse Park. Joan particularly recommends the "High Tini 'n' Tea" party on Friday, Dec. 5 and the Concours de Elegance carriage class on Thursday, Dec. 4.
For more information about Friesian Focus, call 951-304-7945 or visit www.friesianfocus.com.