The International Fjord Horse Show, Libby, MT

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The International Fjord Horse Show, Libby Montana
by Sherrie Dayton

In October of 1986 a group of Fjord Horse owners got together in Armstrong, British Columbia to form a club as a way of promoting Fjord Horses in North America. From that beginning the Pacific Northwest Fjord Promotional Group was formed. Every year the weekend after Labor Day this group sponsors one of only four Fjord Horse Breed shows in the USA.

A year earlier the town of Libby, Montana had started a Nordicfest Celebration and had invited a couple of local Fjord Horse owners to participate in the Nordicfest parade. The response from the spectators and the organizers was very enthusiastic towards the horses and they approached the horse owners about having a show in conjunction with the Nordicfest celebration.

Bev Bishop helped organize the first actual Fjord Horse show in Libby the next year, it started with classes on Friday, participation in the parade on Saturday and Sunday was a Fjord owner’s trail ride. From that beginning, the show has evolved into a full three days of showing in all the different disciplines.

Traditionally the Fjord horse has been thought of as a Draft Horse and is still used for draft work in many parts of the world including here in North America. With the proper training and the right type of body structure, the Fjord Horse can be trained to do anything that any other horse can do. There is a gelding in Olympia, Washington that has earned a Gold Medal in Grand Prix Dressage as well as a Stallion in Eugene, Oregon that competes in Open Cutting and Reining classes and wins. Fjords make wonderful Carriage driving horses and are used in Combined Driving. The photo that is on our Show Poster this year is of Brian Jensen driving his “Quadran” at Libby last year. As far as we know this is the only time that it has been done with Fjords in North America. This is a mixed group hitch with a mare, a stallion and two geldings.

Friday starts with Halter classes and In-Hand classes as well as the Trail Classes. There is usually time for at least one Clinic by our Judge or some other knowledgeable person.

Saturday still starts with participation in the parade. The parade starts at 10am Montana time. The performance classes start at 1pm. Saturday offers a variety of classes from English and Western Riding to Driving and Draft classes. There are also a few “Just for fun” classes, like the costume class. We finish off the day with a Tack Swap and pot luck, so we can all get together and just relax and visit with friends that we see only once a year at Libby.

Sunday starts with a Cowboy Church service and then the fun starts again at 10am. Here again, a variety of classes are offered with some more fun classes thrown in. On Sunday there is a Stick Horse Competition for the kids or for those that are young at heart.

We always try and showcase the Versatility of this breed and have a “Versatile Fjord” competition. This competition consists of English and Western Riding, Driving and the Log Skid. The horse, not the rider that accumulates the most points, wins an extra special prize. The cover of this issue is of last year's Versatility winner.

This year's show dates are September 9, 10 & 11, 2005. For more information please check out the Pacific Northwest Fjord Promotional Group web-site, Posted are complete schedules for the show as well as class descriptions and entry forms. For more information on The Fjord Horse Breed, please check out the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry web-site at If you can’t make it this year please come next year which will be our 20th Anniversary show. If you can make it to Libby during the show, please stop by and say Hi.


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8/15/05 10:42 PM