The Pinto stallion Bonte Nico kept turning heads all through the sixties of the 20th century. The media, also showed plenty of attention for this striking and noticeable Pinto horse. Our current Barockpinto Studbook ows him the right to exist!
Nico came to farm “Lunia State” Kees Hellinga, son of the owner in Marssum. In January 1964, Nico was first submitted for inspection for the Warmblood breeding, in Alkmaar. Initially, mister Hellinga sr. mostly used Nico for breeding his own mares and his sons’ mares. The noticeable color, quickly spiked the interest of other local farmers. Thus, he quickly became a popular “wild stallion”.
Present day, breeding with a not approved stud does not cause any problems, however, this was very different. In 1965, the AID wrote many fines to the owners of mares that were bred with Bonte Nico. The agriculture association even ordered the confiscation of Bonte Nico. To dodge this fate, the owner wrote an urgent letter to HRH, Prince Bernhard. The prince in turn, moved the letter on to the then Minister of Agriculture, Mr. van Biesheuvel. He intervened personally twice, to have Nico been given the green light, for all breeding. Mr. van Biesheuvel based his decision on article 35 of the Horselaw, as it was at the time..
It was particularly the Pinto color, that caused Nico to become immensely popular. His popularity reached such large proportions, that he was featured in, not only regional but also national newspapers, on a regular basis. The popularity of the offspring also was reflected in money. A Pinto foal would sell for around ƒ700,- more than a plain colored foal. In those years, the stud fee was not too high, being ƒ50,- for the breeding itself and another ƒ50,- it the mare was pregnant. In his peak year, Nico bred 150 mares, an enormous number for that time, since they were not yet using AI.
Nico’s popularity was so great that kids would pull strands of hair from their “idols’” tail. In September of 1966, Nico was the big attraction during the ‘Sneek Bunte Happe Happening ‘, where he was the highlight, showing nineteen offspring. His offspring started to notice this breeding program, as many of his offspring were sold to the circus. We can thank Mr. Hellinga for giving shape to the breeding of Pinto Frisian horses, over 50 years ago, it created the right to exist for our association today.