NEW SJEES FOR FENWAY


During the planning process for the Friesian heritage demo at Midwest Horse Fair, the GLFHA decided that we would be remiss if we did not include a sjees. A sjees is unique to Friesland and is drawn by one or two Friesian horses. It is an impressive sight at a horse show. The wheels of a sjees are 1.50m high or more and have 14 spokes. The elegant little body is suspended high above the ground on solid leather thorough braces. The sjees is manned by a gentleman and a lady dressed in the traditional costumes of the 1860's. The lady wears a solid golden casque that all but covers the back of her head. Over it she wears a lace bonnet. The gentleman wears knickerbockers and a black top hat. The Friesian sjees is the only carriage, apart from agricultural wagons, in which the driver is seated on the left-hand side. He keeps his lady on his right as being the place of honor.

GLFHA member Kris Fulwiler spoke with old friends Fred and Fran Hekstra located in Michigan to see if they would be willing to lend their sjees for the fair. The Hekstras were delighted to help and they also included the traditional Dutch costumes from the period. While at the show Kris mentioned that the Hekstras were looking to sell and that is all we needed to hear and the sjees was ours!

This sjees has very special memories for Fenway as it was pulled by Nanning at his Midwest Open House back in 2007 at Hekstras. Fred Hekstra built the sjees more than 30 years ago and the craftsmanship is amazing. Hekstras have become good friends since that Open House and we are very honored to be the new owners of their sjees.