For almost three decades, Sunnyside Farms has been breeding Fjords destined to help less privileged youth who are faced with special needs. Primarily, we strive to assist those suffering from educational hurdles, traumatic experiences and social challenges. We bring peace to those who struggle by breeding and sharing Fjord horses suitable for development, learning and growth. With the help of our horses, we foster physical and educational opportunities for early childhood learners while bestowing a sense of responsibility and empowerment to developing youth.
Our focus includes generating grey Fjord Horses because this recessive color is said to be paired with a gentle disposition. There once was an old Norwegian adage, “if you want a ‘reliably good’ horse, look for a grey.”
In 2016, only 45 new foals were born and registered within the US Registry (NFHR). By this, we are faced with an obvious dilemma.
One of our goals is to preserve, protect and promote the Norwegian Fjord ensuring its future through therapeutic use. As our mission states: We provide life-changing education and therapy in association with the Norwegian Fjord Horse.
Sunnyside’s founder, Wendy Bauwens, offers her farm, facilities and life’s work consisting of full time breeding, foaling, raising, training and using Fjord Horses for therapeutic purposes. Supporting Wendy is a talented and dedicated Board of Directors and we are mentored by a regional Advisory Board who share a wealth of working experience and expertise. On the farm, we are assisted by a farm manager, interns and tireless volunteers.
The soul of the program, however, is a team of amazing grey Norwegian Fjord Horses. Our senior stallion, Smedsmo Gråen has been the heart of Fjord Horses in America since 2002. Phil Odden imported “Smeds” after his second inspection in Norway where he received premium breeding status. Sunnyside Farms was fortunate enough to give this wonderful stallion a forever home in 2015 thanks to the very generous gift from Cara Whitney. We have loved every moment.
We imported our junior star, Brigg, as a weanling from Anita Sæthre in Norway of 2016. Team Brigg gave him the constant handling and training needed to make him a solid citizen while riding, driving and breeding. As of 2022, Brigg is expecting his third foal crop and is winning in various disciplines while in the show ring! Both stallions were imported from Norway (at 5 years and 5 months respectively) and represent the foundation of our program in their temperament, balance, conformation and quality. Nearly every one of our exceptional mares have also been imported and provide superior genetics from which our foals are proudly produced.
At Sunnyside, the horses ARE the program.
In 2020, Sunnyside Farms began to diversify our genetic pool and brought a few other mares of recessive colors and bloodlines into the breeding program. In 2022, Sunnyside Farms and Frontier Fjords had the fortunate opportunity to partner with Jenny Barnes of Footnote Farms who imported the stunning red dun Fjord stallion Njord Halsnæs to Canada from Germany. The spring and summer of 2022 will see the first of countless Njord breedings in the U.S. and we are so excited to see his foals hit the ground. By way of our three imported stallions and stunning mares, Sunnyside Farms continues to garner respect through it’s consistently lovely foals born each year.
Our contribution to Fjord genetics, quality of conformation, movement, and temperament is, without a doubt, one of the best.
Sunnyside Farms is a small Norwegian Fjord breeding program devoted to securing the future of this great horse and all those who benefit from their impact. In November of 2016, Sunnyside was granted a 501(c)3 status. We hope that our mission and this status will give donors the incentive to make sizable contributions to our cause. May the Fjord horses capture your heart, as they have ours, and may your passion grow so that your desire to help in preserving this great breed be strong!
With your help, the horses can continue to provide the opportunities that the children in our community deserve. Throughout any given year, the horses of Sunnyside Farms contribute to the aesthetics and cultural enjoyment at various community events and activities. Whether it be conducting kids’ camps, participating in parades, celebrating historic events, making an appearance at special events, or giving wagon rides at a farmers market, Sunnyside Farms continually provides its neighbors and community members with a more rich and enjoyable life experience. Primarily, we strive to help those in need and bring peace to those who struggle by breeding horses suitable for therapeutic purposes.
The power of the Fjord horse can deeply move the soul of a human.