Welcome to the DHSA
Many of us reading this have one specific memory of when they first saw a Dutch Harness Horse. They have an exact moment when they were entirely mesmerized by the presence, power, and sheer natural ability of a Dutch Harness Horse. For many of us that moment instilled in us an unwavering passion and desire to own, breed, train and show these amazing horses.
With this association I hope to tap back into some of that excitement that I and so many others were a part of not that long ago.
Starting in the early 2000’s Dutch Harness Horses came over by the plane loads from the Netherlands, week after week, month after month and year after year. There was an excitement surrounding these horses unlike anything I have ever seen in the horse business, or any business for that matter. At every keuring and horse sale you could see passionate and excited people meticulously braiding manes, trimming the white yarn in these braids to perfection. People could be seen cleaning their black and white show buggies and painstakingly polishing their Liverpool bits, even bolting on aluminum double shoes to their flat steel horseshoes. All of this was done in preparation for the real excitement, driving these horses. These horses would charge into the ring with a ground covering trot, their hind legs stepping strongly under their loose and supple bodies, all leading to the extraordinary elevated front leg, reaching far out from the shoulder and heads being carried naturally and proudly.
To me, and I believe many others this was the hay day of the Dutch Harness Horse in North America. There was an unprecedented excitement and enthusiasm surrounding these horses. There seemed to be a sense of appreciation for the tradition surrounding these horses as well as an appreciation for the strict and selective breeding program that produced these spectacular horses with unparalleled natural ability.
That is why I am excited to announce the formation of the new Dutch Harness Show Association. We are creating this organization with hopes of creating a successful show circuit that focuses on rewarding the training, breeding and showing more like what is done in the Netherlands today. This style is what got many of us excited about these horses a decade ago. This organization is separate from the KWPN-NA although we do have full support of the KWPN-NA and vice versa.