Zander fan Camelot Ster

Photo courtesy of Sandra Hall
(2007 – )
Owned by Victoria Gillenwater
Inducted: 2020


Photo courtesy of Sandra Hall
Photo courtesy of Sandra Hall
Photo courtesy of Avalon Photography
In 2019, Victoria Gillenwater's personable 2007 Friesian stallion, Zander fan Camelot Ster, enjoyed a remarkable fourth undefeated show season in United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and International Friesian Show Horse Association (IFSHA) competition. Shown saddle seat by trainer Jacques Van Niekerk, in 2019 "Zander" won an IFSHA/USEF regional English Pleasure Saddle Seat Open and Park Saddle championship, as well as IFSHA's World and Grand National Championship English Pleasure Saddle Seat Stallion/Gelding title. Zander also collected Champion honors for the USEF National Friesian Saddle Seat Horse of the Year for the second consecutive year.

A pillar in the saddle seat show community for his talent and nature, Zander capped his season by foregoing his usual division to show in the charitable All Glory Benefit class at the IFSHA World and Grand National Championships, where he duly won the first All Discipline Trainer's Challenge that benefited The All Glory Project to support veterans.

Zander has won multiple World Champion titles in the In-Hand, Junior, Amateur and Open Divisions at the IFSHA World Championships with Jacques VanNiekerk and Victoria Gillenwater. His fans have honored him with 12 People's Choice Awards through out his career. He has won 18 IFSHA Regional Championships in different divisions. His photograph by Kyle Kuykendall appeared on the Tennessee Tourism Bureau website.

Zander also carried his only two riders in his career to win USEF Equestrian of Honor Awards, the CJ "June" Cronan Award, for his trainer Jacques VanNiekerk (2014) and his owner Victoria Gillenwater (2018). They are the only professional/amateur team to achieve this honor.

In 2014, Zander made his mark on the Friesian breed as a stand-out to the Friesian Horse Association of North America (FHANA). Each year, the FHANA hosts a series of inspections across North America where a jury of trained Dutch inspectors study each horses' breeding, conformation, disposition, beauty and ability to move at the walk, canter and, most importantly, their trot. The inspection for entry into the studbook is a rigorous examination, so much so that only 480 stallions in history have been approved and licensed to breed by the KFPS.

The process of becoming an approved KFPS Friesian stallion is not for the faint of heart, but Gillenwater believed Zander deserved a shot. "While I had never dreamed of owning an approved Friesian breeding stallion, I did believe in this horse and I felt that he should have the opportunity to go as far as he could as a Friesian. Zander has proven over and over he is a great horse, why not give him a shot at the history books," said Gillenwater.

After more than a month of inspections, Zander was the only horse in North America to be selected by the jury for the 2014 evaluation. He was shipped to the Central Proving Test location in Hanford, California, where he was evaluated for 70 days for his trainability, his aptitude in dressage and show driving. Zander was the first Friesian stallion to be evaluated for approval in the history of the breed to have been shown in saddle seat, a discipline not recognized by the Dutch, however his athleticism has shown his ability to excel in dressage as well.

His first foal, Zayda Prima TDR won three IFSHA World Championships in 2018.

A Friesian breeder and photographer said, "Zander is the epitome of what a Friesian should be. He is the horse you see in your mind when someone says the word Friesian. He is the horse we all dream of."