What has stripes on its legs and an upright mane like a zebra? No, it's not a zorse or zony
or any kind of zebra hybrid...it's not an exotic animal at all and there are certainly NO permits required to own
one! This is, in fact, one of the world's oldest and purest domestic equines: this is the Norwegian Fjord Horse.
Migrating into Norway over 4000 years ago, the Fjord Horse had been selectively bred for at least 2000 years as
indicated by archeological evidence found at Viking burial sites.
When Dina and Isha turned 5 years old in 2000, we decided to have them bred. Without a stallion of our own then, we had cooled semen shipped from a rare grey dun Fjord stallion, Bjorn-Knutson of Dun Lookin' Fjords. Dina settled on her first AI, but Isha remained open after two attempts. It was getting late in the season, so we decided to wait and get an earlier start on Isha next year. In a sad turn of events, Bjorn died of colic that December.
2001 found us once again in the market for a stallion to service our mares. We located another gorgeous grey Fjord stallion, MVF Erlend of Knutsen Fjord Farm, and this time Isha settled on her first AI in April that year. The foal Dina was carrying by Bjorn-Knutson arrived on June 18th, 2001 - a handsome colt that we named Odhinn. He was gelded at 6 months of age and was later sold to a wonderful family with a sweet little girl to love him forever. Dina was then rebred by AI to MVF Erlend in July of 2001.
Isha gave birth to a handsome colt foal on Easter Sunday, March 31st, 2002. We named the colt Aske (a.k.a. - "Ash") since he looked like he was going to be a grey just like his sire, MVF Erlend. His baby pictures are to the left of our address below. While Aske matured out to be a brown dun, he has beautiful dark barring on his legs, superb conformation, bold and out-going with a presence that commands one's attention! Aske was sold to a wonderful family who's daughter had fallen in love with the Fjord breed.
Dina gave birth to a beautiful filly foal on Sunday, June 23rd, 2002. We named the filly Nova. She has the prettiest head and most feminine features. Her baby pictures are to the right of our address below. Although brown dun herself, being a daughter of MVF Erlend, Nova carries one copy of the recessive black gene (EE, Aa) that will produce a grey dun if paired up with another copy from a mating. So Nova will remain here, eventually joining our broodmare herd.
In 2003, we decided to purchase a grey dun Fjord stallion of our own, finding just what we were looking for in Brok, a 2002 colt bred by Dennis & Jeane Downing of The Pines Fjords, in Cambridge, IL. His photo's are located across the top of this page and in the lower right hand corner below. Brok has the sweetest disposition and is very much the people-horse; always right there if you're in the pasture, visiting the herd, doing fencework, having a bonfire, or whatever. However, 2003 also brought us a profound sadness with the loss of our beloved mare, Dina, to colic in July.
The year 2004 found us looking looking at the addition of three new Fjords: 1) a 2002 grey dun filly, Nitah, that is of MVF Erlend breeding on her dam's topside; 2) a 1992 grey broodmare, Veni's Finn, that has excellent color genetics including a copy of the red gene (Ee, aa); and, a 2004 grey filly, Finola, that is out of Veni's Finn and sired by CRR Graysen. An ultrasound on May 7th confirmed that Finn was already 60 days back in foal by Graysen. Since we are focusing on the grey dun gene in our breeding program, we sold our brown dun mare, Isha. She is now residing in Strasburg, Colorado. Since Finola was only purchased as part of a package deal in order to acquire Veni's Finn, she has been weaned and SOLD. Finola is now residing in Nuevo, California, with a long-time Fjord acquaintance of ours who just happens to own a Fjord mare named Runa that is a full-sister to our late beloved Fjord mare, Dina.
On Thursday, February 10th, 2005, Veni's Finn gave birth to a beautiful filly foal . We
named the filly Fiona Eple. She is a very rare red dun (ee, aa)! See
her in the second row of photo's below on the right side. Another exciting event that occurred this spring was
our Fjords' involvement in a soon-to-be-released children's book by Flory Godinez! The book will be part of a series
that teaches music through The
Adventures of Max & Millie and the live photographs taken of our Fjords will be digitally
characturized in it. Getting back to the ranch, we rebred Veni's Finn to Brok in July, so she is expecting another
foal in June 2006. Since we decided to keep the red dun filly, Fiona Eple, we must sell one of our other mares
to make room in the pasture. It was a tough decision, but we want to keep one mare of each color and Veni's Finn
has such a great production record, we offered the younger grey mare, Nitah, FOR SALE.
2007 has seen the departure of And Gra to his new home in Salados, Texas, and brought the
arrival our first outside customer for Brok's services, Kjor Hannah, owned by Sammie Floyd. Hannah has already
been bred and is confirmed in foal for a late February 2008 foal. Our first foal of 2007 was born to Nitah on May
1st...both mare and foal are now owned by Shannon Kaplan. Then, on a very rare stroke of luck, Nova presented us
with a beautiful grey dun filly right there in broad daylight as we were making the feeding rounds on May 12th!
Our best friends, Brian and Summer Cataldo, had just stopped by to visit and got to witness the birth as well...such
a special event! We named this filly foal Elke. Nova has been bred back to Brok for
a June 2008 foal. Then later that month, Veni's Finn gave us another grey dun foal by Brok on May 27th who we named
Ansel. Finn has remained
open for 2008. On a more somber note, the company that both of us work for, STMicroelectronics, announced on July
10th the closure of its last two remaining US fabrication plans, which is to occur within the next 2-3 years. So
after 25 years of working together for the same company, we will be looking for new jobs. In light of such, we
have decided to sell all of our Fjords (except Brok). Congratulations to Brian and Summer Cataldo on their purchase
of Nova and Fiona Eple! That sure helped us out.
2009 saw the arrival of yet another grey foal from Veni's Finn, a filly born in January that we named Anikka...she's a real cutie pie! Otherwise, we were released from our jobs at ST Microelectronics on June 9th and officially unemployed for the first time in 25 years. We plan on going back to college for retraining in the Oil & Gas Industry. YAY!!!
2010 was spent attending college at North Central Texas College as planned. Veni's Finn was
bred back to Brok for a spring 2011 foal and we still had our pretty grey mare, Elke, who has since been SOLD.
Here are some of the babies that we've raised...
This is our current broodmare & broodmare prospect line-up below...