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Friesian Breed Standard

Purebred Friesians should be and are almost always black. Some bloodlines do carry a chestnut gene, so the occasional red foal is seen. Mares and geldings that are overall chestnut are permissible, though not desirable to all and shall be penalized accordingly. Stallions that are overall chestnut colored shall be more severely penalized. A small star on the forehead and obvious injury spots due to blanket or equipment rubs are permissible. Sun fading will occur with turnout and should not be penalized.

The desired height for a mature purebred Friesian will range between 15.1 (equal to 155 cm)—17.3 (equal to 180 cm) hands. Most breeders agree that the optimum average height is 15.3 hands. Deviation from the desired height shall not be penalized unless affecting type. Horses should display feathering that is age appropriate. Lack of feathering shall not be penalized.

With Part-bred Friesians, no color preferences are given, and deviation from Purebred color standards should not be penalized. Part-Bred Friesians may come in all colors. The overall presentation conformation should be correct and appealing to the judge. Height will vary dramatically with the part bred due to crossbreeding. Feathering is not required and a lack of feathering should not be penalized in the show ring.

Purebred and Part-bred Friesians come in several types and styles. The type of Friesian depends on what discipline is being bred for and the desired strengths and priority traits and characteristics relevant to a breeder’s program.

For that reason the Friesian and Part-bred Friesian may be shown as a Sport Horse, a Baroque Horse and in Open divisions.

During Sport Horse In Hand classes the walk shall be relaxed, forward and balanced while over striding from the hindquarters. Horses showing on the triangle or rail shall exhibit good impulsion and power from the hind quarters at the trot. They shall show good suspension, while being balanced with even cadence in the stride. Movement may either be long and low of Dressage quality or a more animated higher stride. Neither shall be penalized over the other.

A Baroque Friesian is not usually a Sport Horse. A Baroque Friesian is suitable for the collected gaits demanded of a Classical High School horse and still have the power, off all four corners, to move forward quickly in the battle field or carriage. There are exceptions, and breeders of course strive for the most athletic horse while maintaining Breed type.The Baroque Friesian should be high headed and upright while in self carriage, at rest and at work. He should be agile and strong bodied, characterized by powerful hindquarters, a muscular, arched neck, a straight or slightly convex profile and full, thick mane and tail. To be judged on Friesian Baroque Type, correct conformation, movement, quality, temperament and general soundness.

In the Open division, all types of Friesians maybe shown. Sport, Baroque, heavier Draft and sometimes a combination of all three will catch the judges eye and win the blue on any given day. The Ideal Friesian would be one that is suitable for the desired purpose that exudes the most breed type while maintaining correct conformation and form to function. The overall general conformation and correctness would be the same for all types of Purebred and Part-bred Friesians, as would the undesirable traits that are to be penalized.