Dr. Klaas Wiersma Inducted into FHANA Hall of Fame
August 5, 2019
At the 35th Anniversary Celebration of FHANA, Dr. Klaas Wiersma was inducted into the FHANA Hall of Fame. FHANA has survived and flourished in the past 35 years mostly as a result of its many dedicated members across this continent. Dr. Klaas Wiersma is one of these members, whose dedication truly shines. As a young man he emigrated from his native country, The Netherlands, to settle in Nobleford, Alberta, and began a lifelong practice of veterinary medicine alongside his wife Annelies. In the early years following, the two of them would establish Bonnie View Farm, where many generations of Friesian horses have been successfully bred.
In the late 1980’s and early 90’s, Klaas pioneered the use of different insemination techniques using frozen semen imported from Holland. He also started using fresh imported semen from the USA long before it was an accepted practice. Klaas was also one of FHANA’s first members to become involved with and practice embryo transfer. In fact, he helped FHANA set up the first rules and guidelines regarding this new reproductive technique during the time when Cees Vander Groef was President of FHANA.
Over the last 25 years, Klaas has proven his dedication to the organization by finding time from his busy schedule as a veterinary doctor to contribute for many years as a part of FHANA committees and faithfully attend many of FHANA and the KFPS’s primary meetings. Klaas has attended almost all of FHANA’s official AGMs and has not missed one Stallion Show in Leeuwarden in the last 20 years. He is also an avid attendee of the 1st Viewing of the young stallions in The Netherlands. Klaas was also instrumental in organizing the Alberta Friesian Horse Association and has served as their President for many years in its early history.
As a Veterinarian, Klaas collaborated with the Van Haringen Institute in The Netherlands to set up a protocol to submit samples for DNA testing for PSSM of Friesian horses at the University of Minnesota Veterinary College. In 1995, he submitted one of his Friesian mares into the GIFT (Gamete Interfallopian Transfer) Program at the University of Colorado Veterinary College in Fort Collins. This was the first Friesian to be involved in in-vitro injection of a semen cell into an egg worldwide.
Over the years, FHANA has benefited greatly from Klaas’s dedication to all things Friesian horses, whether it was the health of our black beauties, his local FHANA chapter, our North American organization, or the KFPS internationally. But most of all, Klaas has proven himself to be consistently a kind and friendly ambassador of our beloved Friesians for the past 35 years.