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The Friesian Horse


The Friesian horse is noted for its lovable character, intelligence, and easy temperament, they are most recognizable by their jet-black coats, fluid motion, knee and hock action, long manes, and feathering around their feet. Most Friesians are between 15.2hh and 16.2hh. Friesians are always black with only a small white star  permitted. White markings anywhere else is not permitted and will not allow a horse into the Main Studbook.

There is a main studbook for classification of the majority of the breeding stock, There is a Star Registry for mares and geldings of a very high quality, and for mares that are close to flawless there is a Model classification, which is not only based on conformation and movement, but also the mare must be tested on performance. About 25% to 30% of mares of exceptional conformation and movement are awarded entrance into the star registry. Horses usually need to be re-shown to the Dutch Judges in years following, as few horses are mature enough at three to pass. And there is a B-Book 1 and B-Book 2, as well as a Foalbook, for horses that do not qualify for the Main Studbook.

Horses have mandatory inspections, at keurings, with Dutch judges, as weanlings, (for inclusion in the foalbook,) and at three, (for inclusion in the studbook). They are judged on 60% movement and 40% on conformation. Foals may now be included in the foalbook without being presented at a keuring through DNA testing and microchip identification has replaced tongue tattooing.

 Friesian stallions have such a difficult trial to become breeding stallions that less than 1% of horses that are tried get their permanent breeding approval. If a Friesian stallion is given breeding approval by the FPS, the parent organization for the Friesian Horse Association of North America, (FHANA), it is never allowed to crossbreed with other breeds of horses. There are approximately 84 stallions approved to breed in the world, approximately 20 of those are in the U.S.

Every year the FPS (Friese Paarden Stamboek), which is the original Friesian horse association, sends teams of officials to North America to judge the Friesians over here. When judged, the horse may be assigned a Premie, which is a measure of their desirable characteristics.

1st Premie:  An exceptional rating it indicates a horse that is deemed to be amongst the top 5%.
2nd Premie: A very good rating it is attained by approximately 35% of Friesians.
3rd Premie:  Approximately 50% receive this rating. (this % is for foal rating, the % for adult horses is lower)
No Premie:  Approximately remaining 10% (this % is for foal rating, the % for adult horses is higher)