The Friesian Horse


The "Friese Paarden Stamboek", or Friesian Horse Association, is the Netherlands' oldest and second largest studbook and has about 7,400 members living in the Netherlands and abroad. At this time there are about 25,000 Friesian horses registered. One of the oldest domesticated breeds in Europe, the Friesian is native to the province of Friesland in the northern Netherlands. The Friesian suffered a decline in numbers with the increase of mechanization on the farm and in transportation. In fact, the number of Friesian stallions reputedly was reduced to only three prior to World War I. The breed was rejuvenated by introducing Oldenburg blood. In recent years the breed has attracted a great deal of acclaim and its future seems assured. The Friesian is used for light agricultural work. It is traditionally used in harness to quaint Friesian gigs.

In the 1960s, the Friesian horse was threatened with extinction. At that time, only 500 of the breed were registered in the studbook. Thanks to the efforts of certain breeders that remained loyal to the breed, these horses were not crossed with other breeds. This means that there are still purebred Friesian horses to this day. Due to the rising interest in combined competition and dressage sport in the 1970s as well as to the increasing prosperity and leisure time that people are enjoying, the Friesian horse emerged again. The demand for this unique breed increased. And step by step, the Friesian horse came forth from its Dutch province to enter the wide world. It first conquered the rest of the Netherlands and then spread to countries over the Dutch border. At this time there are Friesian horse associations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, North America, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland.
Astrid Appels

Related Links
Australian Friesian Horse Society: www.horsetalk.co.nz/friesian
Friesian Horse Association of North America: www.fhana.com
Friesian Horse Society: www.friesianhorsesociety.com
Friesian News: www.friesiannews.com




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