Friday, July 13, 2018

The Fjord Horde

A year ago, right after Lake District Live 2017, I sent Miss Laura the first order for the Fjord Horde. A year later at Lake District 2018 I picked up the last of the horde and unveiled them in the Conga class as the Fjord Rainbow.

Fjord horses are almost exclusively dun with a base colour of chestnut, bay, or black. The cream gene is also present which, when combined with dun, presents as lighter version of the standard colours - buckskin dun, palomino dun, and smoky black dun (which is visually indistinguishable from black dun).

A double dose of the cream gene + dun results in an almost completely white, blue-eyed horse - perlino dun (bay base), cremello dun (chestnut base), and smoky cream dun (black base). This colour is considered unfavourable and is very rare in the Fjord population.

The five "official" and registrable colours in the Fjord breed are called: Brunblakk (bay dun), Grå (black dun), Rødblakk (chestnut dun), Ulsblakk (buckskin dun), Gulblakk (palomino dun). Double dilutes, or Kvits, are not encouraged or recognized. The vast majority of modern Fjords are bay dun, with a scattering of chestnut and black duns and cream duns as a rarity, but in the past, the other colours were more popular and therefore more prevalent.
With the advent of the dun test, a few purebred heterozygous (one copy) dun Fjords have been identified, meaning that there is a chance, however rare, of two heterozygous registered Fjords producing a non-dun Fjord foal in any of the colours currently found in the gene pool. Non-dun Fjords have existed in the past, but now we can provide genetic proof of parentage. The registry currently only recognizes the five official colours, and since the possibility of a non-dun foal is astronomically small, this is unlikely to change. I chose just to commission examples of basic bay, chestnut, and black... for now. 😁

For some reason, I decided to go with a Louisiana theme for my Fjords with a prefix of Southern Gothic and names relating to various aspects of the region.

Southern Gothic Praline & her foal, Zirondelle
Zirondelle was actually my first fjord and my first spare from my first Lake District Live back in 2015. Her name is Cajun for "dragonfly. I bought Praline second-hand after placing my first Fjord special order; a praline is a type of candy which, in the Southern variation developed in New Orleans, contains pecans and cream. Both are examples of the "classic" bay dun.

The first actual Fjord Horde order was for two Show Cobs.

Southern Gothic Zydeco
Zydeco is a genre of music which blends blues, jazz, and rhythm developed by the Louisiana Creole people. This model is a black dun.

Southern Gothic Beignet
This is our palomino dun. Beignets are a type of French fritter which are a popular breakfast food in New Orleans and are served warm with powdered sugar.

The second order was for two Cob Stallions. The second model in this order is still a WIP due to technical difficulties.

Southern Gothic Boudin
Our first non-dun Fjord is a flaxen chestnut with extensive pangaré, a type of shading which is common in the Fjord breed. Boudin is a type of blood sausage which is popular ingredient in Louisiana dishes.

The third order was for two Cob Mares.

Southern Gothic Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is our chestnut dun. French for "Fat Tuesday", Mardi Gras is the festival leading up to the Lenten season and is a major event in Louisiana and much of the Southern US.

Southern Gothic Métairie
Miss Laura outdid herself with her execution of the shaded dappled bay I ordered; this model also has a slightly dropped head. Métairie is a large unincorporated area in Jefferson Parrish which has been absorbed by New Orleans Metropolitan Area. The word means "Sharecropper" in French.

The fourth order was for two Connemaras. I picked up these and the last order from Miss Laura at Lake District 2018.

Southern Gothic Étouffée
This is our buckskin dun representative. Étouffée - French for "stuffed" or "smothered" is essentially the Creole/Cajun form of curry with the meat being some form of shellfish such as shrimp, crab, or crawfish in a thick, gravy-like sauce. Like curry, it is served over rice.

Southern Gothic Bourré
Our third non-dun model is an exquisite shaded and dappled black. I wanted something a little fancier than a plain black; Miss Laura outdid herself with this gorgeous model. Maybe one day I'll get a picture which does him justice. Bourré is a card game popular in the Acadiana region of Louisiana.

My fifth, and at this time final, Fjord Horde order was for an Irish Draught. I picked him up with the Connemaras at Lake District Live. Maybe he'll get a Fjord brother in a variation of one of the above colours some day, but I'll let Miss Laura have a break from making Fjords for a while first.

Southern Gothic Delacroix
There isn't that much of difference between the various flavours of double cream, so I just ordered one for the collection, a perlino dun (double cream + dun + bay). Delacroix is an unincorporated area in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana.

The Horde all together

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