Skip to main content

Check out photos of Williams Chocolate owner Willem Hellema and his Friesian, Morris, in action

1 of 10

Williams Chocolate owner Willem Hellema with his horse, Morris. Mr. Hellema paid $20,000 for Morris after the young Friesian caught his eye at a judging in 2008. Although Mr. Hellema doesn't ride,his pleasure comes from seeing his black stallion in action, and he’s philosophical about the $40,000 to $45,000 a year it takes to maintain a high-level show horse.

TRACY HANES

2 of 10

From left to right, owner Willem Hellema, horse Morris, rider and trainer Karin Davis, and groom Cassie Jessop, after a training session. The horse is a Friesian, a breed that originated in Friesland in the Netherlands, where Mr. Hellema is from. Morris is wearing horse blankets to keep him warm because his winter coat has been clipped, and boots to protect his legs.

TRACY HANES

3 of 10

Morris wears a jewelled browband on his bridle that cost $250. The annual $40,000 to $45,000 costs to care for Morris include board, regular lessons with a coach, clinics with top international riders, show fees and veterinary costs, as well as expenses such as having the horse’s hooves reshod every six weeks, acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. His rider uses a $2,500 saddle and the animal’s bits cost $200.

TRACY HANES

4 of 10

Morris and his rider Karin Davis competed at the Dressage at Devon competition in Devon, Penn. in 2012. Here, Ms. Davis walks Morris before showing him to the judges. Friesians such as Morris are a rarity in the dressage world.

KATHY KAJAKS/COURTESY OF KATHY KAJAKS

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 10

Here’s another view of Morris and his rider Karin Davis at the Dressage at Devon competition in Devon, Penn. in 2012. This year, Morris will compete at eight shows.

KATHY KAJAKS/COURTESY OF KATHY KAJAKS

6 of 10

Morris and his rider Karin Davis ‘jog’ in front of the judges at the Dressage at Devon competition in Devon, Penn. in 2012. The judges verify that each horse is sound and fit to compete.

KATHY KAJAKS/COURTESY OF KATHY KAJAKS

7 of 10

Morris and his rider Karin Davis strut their stuff in the dressage ring at the Dressage at Devon competition in Devon, Penn. in 2012. The horse has demonstrate a ‘freakish ability,’ according to Ms. Davis, and, at age nine, performs movements well beyond what most dressage horses his age are capable of.

KATHY KAJAKS/COURTESY OF KATHY KAJAKS

8 of 10

Morris and his rider Karin Davis strut their stuff in the dressage ring at the Dressage at Devon competition in Devon, Penn. in 2012. In the stands on the lefthand side of the picture sit owner Willem Hellema and his wife, Anneke. They can often be found at various riding stables watching the horse train or railside at horse shows watching competitions. Mr. Hellema’s joy comes from watching his black stallion in action.

KATHY KAJAKS/COURTESY OF KATHY KAJAKS

9 of 10

Rider Karin Davis gives Morris a well deserved pat as they finish their dressage test at the Dressage at Devon competition in Devon, Penn. in 2012.

KATHY KAJAKS/COURTESY OF KATHY KAJAKS

10 of 10

‘This horse is going to change my life,’ Mr. Hellema has said of Morris. ‘You don’t do it for the money. This is the only hobby I’ve got, and you’ve got to waste your money on something.”

TRACY HANES

Report an error