A group of horses, born and bred in Powys, received several notable honours from experts in the field.

Ian and Gaynor Garbett of Fraithwen Friesians, in Adfa near Llanfair Caereinion, experienced overwhelming success at the annual inspection of Friesian horses, held in Leicestershire on September 24.

The inspection is an annual practice in which experts from the Friesian Horse Studbook travel from the Netherlands, home of the Friesian breed, to judge and award other examples of the breed from across the UK.

Two horses under Ian and Gaynor’s care, Jeldau and her three-year-old sister Mirjam, both received the highly coveted status of Crown from the judges, while Jeldau also received the award of Best Mare and Overall Champion.

Having been breeding horses for 12 years, it was a special moment for Fraithwen.

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Gaynor Garbett said: “Friesians are very rare in the UK and at one point were an endangered breed of horse.

“The annual inspection is the one chance to have the horses judged by experts so it’s a big deal for those of us who aspire to raise them right, and an even bigger deal for a stable in a small Welsh town to take such a prestigious prize.

“To receive recognition from them is vindication that your horse has a nice temperament and is judged at the highest level.

“In Holland, when their Royal family travels by horse-drawn carriage, the horses are always Friesians, which shows how highly regarded they are and how much the approval of judges from Holland means to breeders here.


“Horses are a huge passion for us, and we try to run our stable like it’s a hobby rather than a business, but success in  this region means we can put more money into the stable and better care for the horses.”

Being just three years old, Crown was the highest award Jeldau could receive at her age range, but Ian and Gaynor are excited for the next few years to see what they can achieve as the animal matures.

Gaynor added: “It’s definitely exciting to think about where we could go from here, having gotten her off to a great start.

“It’s a sign that we can go on and on for years and years, which is very reassuring.”