Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another door opens.” In the restructuring of the Fenway Foundation for Friesian Horses, a door closed but two and maybe more doors of opportunity have opened. Behind the first door is the development of the Fenway Research and Rescue Fund (FRRF). Seed money in the amount of $50,000 will be placed ANNUALLY in a fund that will be used to finance research to improve the lives of our beloved Friesians. Any donations received from the community will be placed directly into this fund as a portion of our continuing investment in the Friesian breed.
With regard to research, an initial amount of $15,000 has been sent to the University at Ghent for continued research on our magnificent Friesian Horses. Dr. Catherine Delesalle heads up the research team at Ghent. Many of you already know Dr. Delesalle from the 2014 FHANA AGM in Seattle. Her team assisted in the development of the Dwarfism and Hydrocephalous genetic testing. They were also instrumental in the unlocking of the Collagen/Elastin issue within our breed. We are very confident that these dollars will pay dividends that will benefit Friesian horses and their owners around the world. (See the attached article from the researchers at Ghent.)
Those dollars address research, the additional monies have been set aside for the rescuing of Friesians within the United States and Canada. Last year Fenway dealt in the rescuing/rehoming of ten full-blooded Friesian horses. Many times, the rescuing required dramatic lifesaving surgery that owners were unable to afford. In those cases, Fenway would assume the ownership, finance the surgery and either personally rehabilitate or find an appropriate caregiver to assist in the recovery of the affected Friesian. Fenway would then find a forever loving home for that horse. Fenway would continue that owner/partnership to ensure the horse continued to thrive and be given the best life possible.
Additionally, Fenway would like to introduce our new veterinary health and wellbeing advisor, Dr. Susan Stidham Gillen. Her credentials are impressive. She has been in private equine veterinary practice for 36 years, with emphasis on equine reproduction, Internal medicine, lameness, injuries, and emergency medicine. Dr. Gillen been active in AAEP and served on the Educational programs committee and as Moderator on the serve list.
She has also served on the Large Animal Advisory Board at UCDavis, as well as the student selection committee. Dr. Gillen will be able to assist Friesian owners throughout the United States and Canada by offering advice when called through her connections within Fenway. Since Dr. Gillen is not a direct employee of Fenway, medical inquires will be directly through the Fenway Foundation.
Fenway is confident that with these changes within the Foundation we will continue to positively influence the lives of God’s most noble creature, the magnificent Friesian horse. We very much appreciate the Friesian community’s continued financial and emotional support, along with their encouragement.