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Peers name breeder Polinder to Clydesdale Hall of Hame

Teams of horses fixture at fairs

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LYNDEN, Washington Ė Each year, for decades Lynden dairy farmer Fred Polinder Jr. entertained tens of thousands of onlookers with his team of six Clydesdale horses at events such as the local Northwest Washington Fair and Vancouverís Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). He also has been a mainstay at the Clydesdale Breeders Association of the U.S.A. and has traveled to various parts of the world on behalf of the huge Scottish-descended horse. Now Polinderís U.S.A. peers have named the Lyndenite retiree to their Hall of Fame.

The Clydesdales have been a life-long passion for Polinder, instilled by his father Fred Sr. who started the family tradition. It meanwhile involves the fourth generation. Son Scott, a truck driver, took up the local annual plowing match and took home top honours five times just as his father had done before him. Grandson Courtney, a deputy sheriff, repeated the feat this year as well, except he improved on his fatherís and grandfatherís record by doing it in consecutive years, a new dimension to the familyís Clydesdale and plowing matchesí history.

A co-founder of the national breederís group in 1962, Fred Polinder Jr. then already had been a Clydesdale owner for 20 years. In 1947, at age 18, he started driving teams, which requires great skill, co-ordination and discipline especially when taking part in multi-team shows. Some years ago, the PNE recognized Polinder Jr. for his 50th consecutive show (which since has been phased out).

His Clydesdale involvement has taken him away from home frequently. In 1980, he took home a first prize from the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, the only time he participated at the pristine draft horse event. His wife Glenda (Blankers) often traveled with him, to take care of such chores as decorating horses and cooking. Although they live away from the farm now, the Polinders still own 14 Clydesdales.

The honour of being named to the Hall of Fame at the recent national convention was a total surprise for Polinder.

His father, Fred K. Polinder Sr. in his retirement years painstakingly restored a significant collection of horse-drawn buggys, which is the primary source of the Lynden Pioneer Museum display. The Polinder family hails from the Nunspeet area in the Netherlands. Fred Jr. and his wife have been to the Netherlands numerous times to keep contact with the country his grandparents left in 1880. His U.S.-born parents migrated to Lynden from Nebraska about a century ago.