I first became involved with Norwegian Fjord Horses in 2001. After experiences with Shetland ponies, Arabians, Quarter Horses, warmbloods and various other breeds I eventually fell in love with Fjords and all of the versatility that they offer.
I was co-founder and owner of Olivia Farm, Inc. from 2001 to 2017.
In 2006 I became treasurer for the Pacific Northwest Fjord Promotional Group, helping to officially secure USA Not-for-profit status for that organization. In the same year, I was elected to the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry's Board of Directors, becoming vice-president in 2008 and president in 2009. I co-chaired the NFHR's first ever, Education Forum.
I was a member of the NFHR's Evaluation Committee for over 12 years and have helped to organize multiple evaluations in the Pacific Northwest.
I also helped to establish a strong relationship between the NFHR and the Canadian Fjord Horse Association, attending and helping with the first jointly operated evaluation in Lanark, Ontario, Canada in 2009 and attending the second evaluation in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2010.
I have taken two trips to Norway, attending young-stock shows in Førde and Breim and the stallion show at Nordfjordeid in 2010, a trip which culminated in importing Siljar's sire Skogheims Viljar. In 2017, I purchased the German Fjord stallion, Tsjalle, together with my friend Denise Vogel.
DDungård, LLC was officially launched in the summer of 2018. In late 2019 Denise and I imported our red stallion Gio from the Netherlands.
In addition to my passion for Norwegian Fjord Horses, I hold a level 3 certification with the Professional Ski Instructors of America, have spent nearly 15 years working in the bicycle industry with Gregg's Cycles in Seattle and have two degrees in music and a teaching certificate from the University of Washington, having taught music both in California and Washington.
Besides my job, the horses and farming, a huge part of my life are my three kids: Ingrid (17), Elisa (11) and Eliot (6), who make my life more colorful and keep me busy.
Denise became involved with Fjord Horses in 2001 as well, but in Germany, the country with the largest Fjord Horse population in the world.
After meeting her in 2015 for the first time and working with her during the summer, she went back home to finish her degree in Business Management in Wholesale and Foreign trade. Luckily I could convince her to come back the following spring and again in the winter on a semi-permanent base.
Visa requirements led Denise to take college classes, where she started writing a fictional business plan. The idea for DDungård was born. After (not necessary intentionally ;-) adding more horses to the program, the idea came to actually start the new venture.
Besides working with the horses and duties on the farm, Denise is the importer and point person for our Brockamp Special Bareback pads!
All, but in particular
Abigal jointed the team in 2022 after starting to ride Gio in late 2021. We were initially looking for someone who has the skill set, motivation and ambition to do some jumping with our stallion Gio. We felt Gio, who has been a competitive eventer in the Netherlands, should still be able to do what he likes here in the US, even though Dan and Denise are not quite as interested in this area. Through Denise' trainer, we found Abigal, who usually is riding warmbloods and client horse at Liberty Grove in Spokane, but after just one ride, Abigal fell in love with our Big Red!
We look forward what this pair can accomplish in 2022!
Our move from Ford, WA to Valley, WA brought us a few good changes. The one we couldn't have dreamed of is Britta, our neighbor and our "backbone" without whom some of our adventures would not be possible. Britta loves the horses and helps out with feeding, moving horses, taking pictures and cleaning when we are in a pinch and is also housing our youngsters at her place over the summer months.
Britta is 100% reliable, thorough and actually cares about the horses. We have been more than impressed with her work and also how fast she knew all of our horses by name and parentage.