Bluebird Lane Blog
Bluebird Lane Blog

Prisco : A Super-Star of the Fjord Breed!

by Lori Albrough

Prisco Fjord Head Shot
  • Gelding, 14.1 hh
  • Halstor X Gertha by Myrstein (elite)
  • Date of Birth: 1995-04-24
  • Breeder: D&F Oosting, The Netherlands

Prisco was a very influential horse in my life. I bought him in the summer of 2000 when he was five years old, from my friend Julia (Julie) Will.

Julie imported Prisco from Holland in 1996 as a yearling, when she was over there looking at horses with Vivian Creigh. Julie had been looking for a junior stallion prospect who had the ability to sire grey offspring. At the time her senior stallion was the grey, MVF Erlend. Julie was hoping to find a high quality colt that they could breed Erlend daughters to.

They spotted Prisco out in the field with another colt and were impressed by his movement. They knew one of the two boys was a son of the grey Fjord stallion Briggen, but they couldn’t get near enough to them to check their brands. Hoping for the best, Julie bought both of them and had them imported to America.

Dutch newspaper article about the sale to America, showing Prisco (right) with his breeders, the Oosting brothers.

Dutch newspaper article about the sale to America, showing Prisco (right) with his breeders, the Oosting brothers.

Tammy Savery was the trainer at Julie’s Old Hickory Farm at that time, and Tammy worked with the boys to get them settled down and trained.

Prisco grew up to be a wonderful Fjord horse with remarkable movement, but he was the one sired by Halstor not Briggen, and he never did have a drop of grey in his genes! 🙂

Julie asked me to take Prisco in the summer of 2000. She had recently sold Erlend and had imported Fløtren from Norway. Fløtren did not much like the idea of a second stallion, Prisco, being on the farm and it was starting to cause problems. Tammy was pregnant with her first child, and Julie was thinking of selling Prisco and needed someone to work with him in preparation for the Evaluation in the fall. I had ridden him and driven him when I visited Old Hickory that spring, and quite liked him, so Julie asked me if I’d like to spend the summer working with him.

After having Prisco at my farm for a short time, and riding and driving him all around our fields, trails and back roads, I decided I really liked the horse. I had started dressage lessons earlier that year with the goal of improving my riding, and I wanted to pursue this type of training on a Fjord horse. I thought Prisco had the movement to make him well suited to the sport. So I started thinking about seeing if I could buy him, but I wasn’t really interested in owning a stallion at that point. At any rate he was closely related to one of my foundation mares so he wouldn’t have been the greatest choice for me from that point of view. Julie decided she would sell him to me as a gelding, and thus began my journey with my first dressage Fjord.

Prisco at Dressage at Eastwood

Prisco at Dressage at Eastwood

From the very beginning, and the whole time I owned Prisco, we trained with Ute Busse. Ute came to Canada from Germany, where she trained in dressage with her father, and she became a huge influence on me. Ute is an accomplished rider who loves horses and has a no-nonsense way of communicating her expectations to them. English is her second language, and as a result she has developed some rather colourful sayings that she uses in her teaching. One of my favorites is, “Don’t open a can of worms unless you are prepared to eat it.”

In the beginning, Prisco was very, very naughty. Whenever I asked him to canter, he would buck. Actually, bronc would be a more descriptive term. Trying to go once around a twenty metre circle in a steady trot would involve scooting forward, jumping sideways, and much silliness and mayhem on his part. It felt like he was forever saying “Haha, the joke is on you!”

My motto became “I stay on!” and Ute coached me through every step. “Go forward and use up that energy”, she would say. Things improved and I learned so much riding Prisco with Ute. I always felt lucky to have a horse with such talent and joie-de-vivre, and I thoroughly enjoyed his personality and character. Prisco is a very smart horse and he seemed to enjoy the challenge of dressage training.

Prisco in trot warming up at Eastwood Dressage

This photo of Prisco in trot appeared in Dressage Today magazine

We began showing at primary level shows in 2001, and in 2002 did our first National shows with good results. Prisco’s sense of humour would often surface in the show ring, but if I could get through the first six or so movements of the test without him playing a practical joke on me, I knew we would have a great score. When he was good, he was very good! As time went by, and I learned how to channel his energy (and my nerves) our partnership became more confirmed, and our results more consistent.

I was honoured to have Dressage Today magazine feature Prisco and I in an article called “Fjords Do Dressage” in May 2003. This was part of a feature they did on ponies in the sport, and they used the photo shown at left, of Prisco and I taken in the warmup ring at Dressage at Eastwood the previous year.

Through the years Ute trained Prisco and me up to Third/Fourth level, and we achieved some great results, both in the show ring and in the pleasure I got from our training rides. I showed him at Third Level for two seasons, winning Champion and Reserve Championships at a number of National Shows, and Ute could ride all the Fourth Level work with him. For our scores on the National show circuit, Prisco and I earned both Bronze and Silver medal achievement awards from Dressage Canada.

Some people were surprised to see a Fjord horse showing at this level of dressage, because it was a bit of a rarity. But he won people over when they saw him working, and he developed quite a following, people always happy to see him out competing at the big shows and there to cheer him on. Julie had given Prisco the barn name of “Dutch” and we were often greeted by happy calls of “Dutchie!” from all the people who recognized him as we rode around the show grounds.

In his breeding career before being gelded, Prisco sired 13 offspring that I know of, all brown dun. Nine were fillies, three geldings, and one stallion registered in Canada who has one registered offspring himself. I owned two of Prisco’s daughters and they looked very much alike, and I had seen pictures of another daughter who also looked just like my two, and yet to my eye they did not look like Prisco at all. I always imagined that they must look like his mother. I started and trained these two Prisco daughters and found them both to be serious-minded hard workers, not at all impish like their father had been at a young age, although neither moved quite like him, either.

In 2007 I sold Prisco to my friend Peggy Peregrine-Spear. She was looking for an awesome horse for riding and driving, and I knew she would be a great owner for Prisco. Peggy has really made Prisco her own, developing a deep and solid relationship with him, taking his driving training to a very high level on the pleasure and CDE scene, and clinicing regularly in dressage with Janet Foy. Together this pair has amassed many more blue ribbons, registry awards, Championships, successes, positive exposure for the breed, and happy memories.

Peggy and her Dad driving Prisco in the Father's Day Class

Peggy and her Dad driving Prisco in the Father's Day Class

Peggy and Prisco driving in a CDE

Peggy and Prisco driving in a CDE

Sadly, our friend Julie Will passed away in 2002. We miss her, and think of her frequently. She was a true friend of the Fjordhorse. I know that Julie would be so proud of what Prisco became, a super-star of the Fjord breed!


5 Responses to “Prisco : A Super-Star of the Fjord Breed!”

  1. Mike Spear wrote:

    Lori –
    Very nice article! Hope you and Stefan are doing well.
    Best Regards,

  2. Disney’s Frozen Movie and Sitron the Fjord Horse wrote:

    […] To learn more about Prisco, read my article Prisco : A Super-Star of the Fjord Breed. […]

  3. Joni Griffin wrote:

    Hi, Lori! I am a member of the Midwest Fjord Horse Club. I have been taking my Fjord gelding, Jock, to the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wisconsin for the past 20yrs to do breed demos. I also design our hospitality stall. The theme this year is “Horse Tales”, so we have chosen to use “Frozen” as our theme. I will be posting the story of “Prisco/”Dutch” as part of our hosp. stall. If you have any photos you could send me for our stall, I would really appreciate it. Did the Disney people contact you at all, or did they just get Prisco’s picture off your web-site? Appreciate any help you can lend! Joni

  4. peggy Desautels wrote:

    Hi Lori,
    Loved the article.Loved the horse.My horse has many the same horses in her line.I realize with the purity of the breed, that is not a difficult thing to do.Just was so cool to see the same names on my papers as on prisco/dutch.Just so cool.peg

  5. Patty Mountain wrote:

    I have one of his offspring… OMF Roxanne. She did driving dressage before I got her. Very cool to see this article on her Sire.

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