Moments in Black

Austria's most famous Friesian horse display team

The stage is set for a display of grace, power and pride. The world of Friesian horses is well-known in Austria - thanks to an impressive world record.
 
As a wild, romantic backdrop for the current autumn/winter campaign, Högl headed north and discovered an oasis of tranquillity on the East Frisian island of Norderney. The raw charm of the North Sea and the peacefulness of the deserted beaches in the cooler months are particularly enchanting there.

We wanted to capture this special magic in the new campaign, so that we could share it with customers all over the world. And so the search began to find a partner to join our photo shoots. One which matched up to the breathtaking backdrop and which would bring even more life to the images. So we deliberately chose an animal which is native to rugged East Frisia. Targon - this majestic name belongs to a glossy black Friesian stallion from the Marschhorst stable, which seemed to almost embody the essential qualities of Nordic nature: powerful, graceful and proud.
 
Luisa Hartema with Targon, the Friesian stallion provided by the Marschhorst Friesian stable.
Luisa Hartema with Targon, the Friesian stallion provided by the Marschhorst Friesian stable.
 
This report was inspired by Targon’s imposing appearance, because Friesian horse breeding also has its home in Austria, based on a long-standing tradition.

The Friesian – a gentle giant

The Friesian is one of the oldest horse breeds in Europe. The Dutch breed is originally from the province of Friesland, which was also responsible for giving the breed its name. Friesian horses are energetic, spirited and considered to be particularly willing to learn. Their powerful physique, proud stance and graceful movement make them the kings of the baroque horses. Frisians have such a strong and sturdy appearance and a patient and gentle nature, making them superbly suited to both driving and riding. Targon also demonstrated this by turning on his charm and remaining unfazed by the photo shoot for several hours.
 
Targon behind the scenes - completely relaxed with his owner Kathrin Stehr from the Marschhorst Friesian stable.
Targon behind the scenes - completely relaxed with his owner Kathrin Stehr from the Marschhorst Friesian stable.
 

Friesian horse breeding in Austria

Breeding in Austria has evolved continuously in recent years. The first Friesian mares came to Austria in 1984 and the first foal was born in 1989. Since then, the number of horses bred in Austria has risen steadily. In Stadl-Paura in Upper Austria, not far from the Högl headquarters in Taufkirchen an der Pram, a breeding show is held regularly, where prizes are awarded to young talent and mares and stallions are judged - an event which is an absolute must for Friesian breeders and riders, such as the team from the Mallon Friesian stable near Vienna.

Mallon Friesian stable, Austria

Barbara and Franz Simon describe their joint project, the Mallon Friesian stable in Lower Austria, as an "oasis of well-being for animals and humans". Extensive reconstruction work began in 2011. An indoor riding arena and a spacious outdoor area allow the Friesians to be trained in any weather conditions. It is precisely this training that is the key to success for Barbara Simon, because her horses are all trained for show purposes. A few years ago, along with a friend, she founded Moments in Black, the Friesian display team which is now well-known throughout Austria.
© Michaela Mejta Photography - stable owner Barbara Simon galloping on her mare, Black Princess.
© Michaela Mejta Photography - stable owner Barbara Simon galloping on her mare, Black Princess.
© Michaela Mejta Photography - the trust between horse and rider is the basis for the impressive shows.
© Michaela Mejta Photography - the trust between horse and rider is the basis for the impressive shows.

Moments in Black – Austria's largest Friesian display team

Critics claim that you spend more time grooming a Friesian than you do in the saddle. But that certainly doesn’t bother the predominantly female owners of these horses. For the members of the Viennese Friesian display team Moments in Black, the dedicated grooming of the noble animals can gladly take several hours. Riders and horses are adorned with elaborate costumes in dazzling colours, all designed, sewn and customised by the team members themselves. For Barbara Simon and her fellow riders, the little girls’ dream of becoming a princess becomes a reality at every performance.
 
Some of Moments in Black during a performance in Baroque costumes.
© Michaela Mejta Photography - some of Moments in Black during a performance in Baroque costumes.
 

There is a hush of amazement as the display team with its 20 riders enters an arena, but the actual show hasn’t even begun. The performances range from fairytale musicals to liberty dressage, through to daring action shows with motocross bikes.
Barbara Simon with one of her ponies performing liberty dressage. They have also since been booked for some film shoots.
© Michael Graf - Barbara Simon with one of her ponies performing liberty dressage. They have also since been booked for some film shoots.
Don’t try this yourself! “Climbing” is also possible in the saddle, but it takes lots of practice.
© Michaela Mejta Photography - don’t try this yourself! “Climbing” is also possible in the saddle, but it takes lots of practice.

Show dates 2018


12-13 October: KRÄMER Megastore Eibesbrunn, Eibesbrunn, Lower Austria

20-21 October: Apassionata premiere in Riesa, Germany

10 November: KRÄMER Megastore Feldkirchen, Feldkirchen, Graz, Styria

27-28 December: Apassionata Stuttgart, Germany


World record holder for 15 years

In 2003, the Moments in Black group really made a name for itself throughout the world of Friesian horses, setting a new world record at an equestrian event in Lower Austria which has not been beaten to this day. In front of 2,000 spectators, the team paraded and performed a Friesian quadrille consisting of 64 Friesian horses. 256 hooves and the equivalent of 40 tonnes of weight assembled in the hall and performed a five-minute presentation, including changes of pace and school figures.
 
64 Friesians marched into the arena on the day of the world record.
© Michaela Mejta Photography - 64 Friesians marched into the arena on the day of the world record.

Breaking the record was a huge sensation for a small country like Austria and an unforgettable moment in the Friesian horse scene!

Högl shoes with an equestrian look

Even though Targon’s performance at the photo shoot was limited to just a display of his charisma, the day remains an unforgettable experience for the entire Högl team.

Of course, it wasn’t just Targon in the spotlight that day, but also the cool Högl PATROL combat boots. These black lace-up boots are full of amazing character. Not only do they have a striking, masculine-inspired design, they’ve also been made with impressive attention to detail. The EQUESTRIAN leather boots provide a simpler version, with their style based more on classic riding boots. For fans of the classy equestrian look, Högl also has fashionable lace-up ankle boots, with or without a heel, which can be stylishly combined with a dress, skirt or trousers – without a horse in sight. So don’t delay, pull on those boots!

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