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Friesian
Well, this is the Friesian Encyclopedia in progress. Everything is listed alphabetically. If you are looking for a certain term, click on the letter it begins with below, and the page will jump to that section, so you don't have to scroll through everything. Unfortunately, it is likely to take quite a while to get everything in here, so I am opening the page to you, so you can at least reference the sections that are here. If you would like to contribute to this encyclopedia, please feel free to e-mail me with your definition and I will post it here with a credit. Thank you.

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Refers to the process of judging and testing of a stallion candidate for entry into the Studbook, and thus the right to breeding privileges. There are three rounds of testing a young stallion must go through before being granted a temporary breeding license.

The first round usually takes place at one of the annual Inspections that take place in the separate regions across the continent (N. America). Here the stallion is judged on conformation and movement, and is either passed on to the second round, being up to the standards of the FPS or denied, usually along with notes as to why and ways to improve upon him. The stallion may re-enter the next year. A stallion that has passed the first round will be qualified for consideration in the Central Stallion Proving.

In the second round, a video of the stallion will be reviewed by the FPS in the Netherlands. If they decide the candidate has met their standards so far, the stallion is passed on to the third round, invited to the Central Stallion Proving after passing a number of pre-evaluations. The stallion must have x-rays performed on the knee joints and pronounced sound; they must have a semen analysis performed and meet the minimum motility standard; and blood typing, to ensure the correct lineage must be performed upon the candidate and his dam.

The third round is the Central Stallion Proving. Stallions in this round will be tested and rated upon the walk, trot, canter, performance under saddle, performance as a driving horse (to demonstrate obedience), performance pulling a sledge, performance as a carriage show horse(to demonstrate action), character and temperament, stable manners and training manners.

If the stallion passes this round they are given a new name and number as well as temporary breeding approval, until their offspring have been tested. A stallion's offspring are tested when they reach three years of age, then five years of age.

If, after the first offspring judging, the stallion has not shown to positively impact the breed, his breeding privileges will be removed. Breeding privileges may be re-granted if the offspring, as adults prove exceptional in equestrian sports. Those stallions with a pulled breeding license will remain in the Stallion Studbook, but will not be a recognized sire to any foals born after the license was removed.
Stallions who passed both Offspring judgings must be judged annually to retain their breeding privileges. If after a time it is found the offspring of an approved stallion to consistently have faults, his license may (again) be withdrawn.

[See also: Inspections]

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A stallion in the FPS which has successfully completed the rigorous approval process and is permitted to breed to FPS mares. Approved Stallions may be identified as such by the fact that a number follows the name, (ex: Lammert 269, Wander 352, etc..). The number indicates the stallion's place in the list of stallion's approved since the FPS's founding, (so, Lammert was the two hundred and sixty ninth stallion approved, and so on..). However, if a stallion is disqualified, they may retain their name and number. Stallions which have not been approved for breeding are referred to as Foal Book stallions. Approved stallions may also be referred to as Studbook stallions.

[See also: Approval]

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The Auxiliary Studbook, or Hulpstamboek was used by the FPS to help establish the Studbook. It included mares who were of untraceable lineage but who were branded with a F or FS and demonstrated the physical characteristics of a Friesian. The Auxiliary Studbook is now essentially closed since the introduction of tattooing in the 1970's, and now microchipping which allows the horses' lineage to be traced.

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The B-Books are a Subsidiary Registry, for horses born prior to 1995 with an FPS lineage who do not qualify for the Studbooks. B-Book I was created for breeders in countries which have a scarcity of Approved Stallions. This was the case in North America and B-Book I breeding was permitted up until 1992.

The horses entered in B-Book I are those sired by a Foal Book stallion with limited breeding approval from the FPS; and whose dam is registered in B-Book I, the Foal Book, the Auxiliary Studbook, or the Studbook. Also eligible for B-Book I are horses sired by an Approved stallion and out of a mare registered in B-Book II.

B-Book I contains sub-registers for foals, mares, geldings and star mare/geldings. Foals receive identification codes and mares and geldings can be considered for B-Book Star status, with the same qualifications as those in the Studbook. A horse whose ancestors were registered in B-Book I may be transferred to the Studbook if the father, grandfather and great-grandfathers were all studbook stallions and if the horse meets the qualifications for Studbook entry.

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B-Book II is the second Subsidiary Registry within the FPS. Horses who were born prior to 1995, sired by a Foal Book stallion without breeding approval and produced by an FPS registered mare, may be registered in B-Book II. Also those horses sired by a stallion with limited breeding approval and produced by a B-Book II mare would be entered into the second B-Book. B-Book II horses receive identification codes from the FPS but are not eligible for star or any increase in status. North America has closed its B-Book registration to horses born after 1994, although it does recognize imported horses with B-Book II papers.

[See also: B-Book I]

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The branding of Friesian horses had been discontinued, but horses may still be seen with an FPS brand on the upper left side of their neck. Although it is often difficult to see a brand, due to a long coat, etc., the brand, if there is one, will be noted on the horse's registration certificate. A single letter 'F' on the neck indicates an adult FPS mare, gelding or Approved Stallion who has been entered into the main Studbook or B-Book I. A 'FS' on the neck indicates a Studbook or B-Book I, mare or gelding who has been given the designation of Star. A 'FSM' is a Studbook Star mare who has been awarded the designation of Model. A crown on the neck indicates a mare or Approved Stallion who has been designated Preferent. An '/ \' marking indicates a mare in the Auxiliary Studbook.

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The Crown or "Kroon" predicate was introduced recently an intermediary between Ster status and Model status for mares. The judging process for Crown mares encompasses both exterior quality and sport ability.

According to FHANA Rules and Regulations Section 3.3.3.2, requirements include:

  • Minimum age is three years old
  • Mare must have received a minimum of two (2) first premiums
  • For Permanent Crown status the mare must complete an IBOP or ABFP test with a minimum score of 77.0 points and an average of 7 for walk and trot. If the Sport predicate is earned within that time frame that will also convert the preliminary-Crown status into permanent Crown status.
  • Minimum height at the wither 1.58 Meters (15.2 Hands)

In the United States, a mare who was previously judged a first premie (for instance, at her 3 year old keur), may then return the next year in the Repeat for Premie category (thus achieving two 1st premies), then enter the preliminary Crown category. Once the mare has passed her IBOP in front of the judges (either that year, or within a year), then she will be awarded the full Crown status.

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The Foal Book is the basic registry for horses whose lineage would qualify them for entry in the Studbook at adulthood. Unlike the primary Studbook, there are no restrictions based on physical appearance or soundness. Some adult horses are not eligible for registration in the Studbook and may remain in the Foal Book. Reasons for permanent Foal Book status may include unacceptable white markings or soundness and conformational issues. Stallions who do not qualify for Approval may remain in the Foal Book permanently. The purebred offspring of Foal Book Mares, are eligible for Foal Book and later Studbook inclusion. However, any colts born of a Foal Book Mare may not be eligible for Studbook (approved) Stallion status.

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The Royal Association, Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek, or the 'FPS', is one of the oldest studbooks in the Netherlands, and is the original studbook for the Friesian horse. It was founded in 1879 by a group of dedicated individuals intent on saving the threatened breed from being crossbred into extinction. The objective of the studbook was to gather what true blooded colts and stallions of acceptable type were left and use them to rejuvenate the failing breed. Twice in its history, the number of purebred Friesians has dipped dangerously low, but with the help of the FPS and the Frisian people, the breed pulled through and is now flourishing under its international popularity. Since the studbook's founding, the FPS has been devoted to improving and maintaining the quality, beauty and versatility of the Friesian horse without resorting to the dilution of its bloodlines. By using a series of strict guidelines, regulating the breed's conformation, movement, color and temperament, and by having each horse individually assessed to ensure that they meet these guidelines, the studbook has preserved the qualities of the original Friesian horse. As the popularity of the breed has increased, so has the FPS, with affiliate organizations adopting the studbook breeding policies in countries across the globe. For more on the FPS, visit their website: Friesch Paarden-Stamboek.

[See also: FHANA, Inspections, and Approval]

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The Friesian Horse Association of North America is the sole representative of the Friesch Paarden-Stamboek (FPS), on the North American continent. It acts as a working studbook for its North American members, though all rules and regulations concerning the breed are adopted from the parent studbook and all registration processes for the Friesian horses are overseen by the FPS. For more on FHANA visit their website: Friesian Horse Association of North America.

[See also: FPS]

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The D-book is a subsidiary registry, or sub-category within the KFPS studbook. Like the B-books, the D-book was created for horses whose breeding or lineage does not conform with KFPS policies, but are still purebred Friesians. A more recent creation than the B-books, the D-book was created to comply with European Union regulations concerning the recognition of breed registries. In short since only one European KFPS affiliate executes its own registration and breeding program independently of the KFPS, the D-book deals specifically with the offspring of horses registered with the German studbook FPZV.

Horses are eligible for the D-book if the dam is registered in either the KFPS main studbook or the KFPS D-book, and the sire has completed and passed all the current requirements for the FPZV Stallion Book I.
Horses are not eligible for the D-book if:

  • the dam is in the KFPS B-Book
  • the sire is a stallion who has only partially met the approval requirements with the current FPZV testing
  • the sire is a stallion within the FPZV which was previously approved by the KFPS then disapproved on offspring (ex: Adel 357, Jelke 367, etc). Horses sired by disapproved KFPS stallions do not qualify for the D-book on the grounds that the KFPS has previously found undesirable qualities in their offspring.
Offspring with a sire as described above are eligible for KFPS B-book II.

[For more information, please see this KFPS bulletin.]

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See above link to article. (click 'Inspections')

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Adult Friesians entering the Studbook are evaluated using a linear score sheet. This lists various aspects of conformation, breed characteristics and movement, with horses being scored on each point based on their positive or negative deviation from the average breed standard. The linear score sheet is used to obtain data on a stallions influence on his offspring, as well as to inform the owner on the strong and weak points to their horse. The linear score sheet is sent to the owner with that horse's new Studbook registration papers.

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Every Friesian horse entered into the FPS Foal Book since 1997 has received an electronic identification code, or microchip. This chip is injected into the upper left neck, approximately mid way between the withers and the poll, usually when the horse is a foal, and has just been inspected and accepted into the Foal Book. (This has recently changed in the US, so that Foals are microchipped by a private vet before the Inspection.) This electronic ID code is recorded on the horse's registration certificate. The implanted chip can be read by certain microchip readers,available through most veterinarians and the FHANA office, though a different reader is needed for European and North American microchips. These chips ensure the correct identity of each horse, especially useful in a breed which display very similar coloration and other physical characteristics.

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Model is an FPS rating given to Star mares of exceptional quality. The Model Mare is much like the Studbook Stallion, having to meet many criteria and undergo evaluations before the title may be applied. To become a model mare, the horse must first be eligible for Provisional Model. Provisional Model requires that the horse be a Star Mare, at least 1.58 meters (15.2 1/4 hands), and be proven fertile by having borne and nursed a foal. The mare must demonstrate to judges that she is among the very best of Star Mares, having the ideal conformation and movements for a Friesian horse. A mare may be evaluated for Provisional Model at any of the annual FPS inspections. Once a mare has been designated Provisional Model, she must pass an IBOP performance test within the next calendar year, receiving at least a B designation of 77 or more points, or an equivalent test if determined by the FPS; shown either under saddle or driving. The Model mare is among the best of her breed and very few receive this prestigious rating.

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As well as registration numbers, Friesians can be identified to some extent by their names. Each year the FPS designates specific letters from the alphabet to be used in naming foals born in that calendar year. For example, foals born in 2000 were named with first letters of A, B, or C. This allows a horse's year of birth to be identified simply by their name. Names are encouraged to be relatively simple, and consisting of a single word. If two foals are registered under the same name, then a letter is assigned after the name, usually using the first letter of the last name of the breeder. Initials or farm names are not permitted to precede a name, but may follow it if approved by the FPS.
When stallions are selected for approval, they are re-named and assigned a number. The owners are given a list of Friesian names that have never been used by an Approved Stallion in the past, to choose from. The stallion is also assigned the next consecutive number in the Stallion Studbook, which follows his name. A stallion's registration number and studbook number are not the same. The new name and number become that stallion's official and permanent identification, even if he is disqualified on offspring.
Other than in the case of Approved Stallions, a Friesian's registered name, once it has been processed, may not be changed.

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The Performance Mother is a mare from the Studbook or Auxiliary Studbook who has three or more of her offspring who have achieved high levels of performance under saddle or driving. Performance must be demonstrated in competition at very high levels, such as qualification for international level driving events, successful competition at fourth level dressage or over jumps of up to four feet. Unlike other FPS designations, a Performance Mother does not have to undergo evaluation herself, and her offspring are judged upon their accomplishments, and not particularly to the breed standard.

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Premiums, or premies, are essentially a rating or classification. Premiums are awarded at Friesian inspections and classify a particular horse into categories of excellence. Each horse is judged individually against the Friesian standard, not against each other, and premies are awarded to those who show exceptional qualities. A Friesian normally receives two premiums in their lives, one when they are foals, at their first inspection, and and another when they are presented for Studbook at age three or older. There are three premiums, the third, awarded with a white ribbon, indicates a good Friesian horse and is the most commonly awarded, at 50%. The second premie, awarded with a red ribbon, is a very good quality Friesian and makes up about 35% of the population. First premium horses are awarded with an orange ribbon, are of exceptional quality, and only the top 5% of the Friesian population will receive this rating. When inspected as adults, horses that receive a first or second premie may also receive the exceptional 'Star' rating. Friesians may also receive no premie, in which case they do not sufficiently resemble the Friesian standard and are not entered into the studbook.

[See also: B-Book I, B-Book II, Foal Book, Inspections, and Star.]

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See Performance Mother.

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The Preferential status applies to both stallions and mares, and is determined by the quality of their offspring. This designation may be awarded to living mares and stallions or posthumously, though the qualifications for Preferential Mare and Preferential Stallion differ.

To become preferent, the mare must be in the Studbook or Auxiliary Studbook and must have produced at least four quality offspring. These offspring must have been either, a star or model mare, a star gelding, a studbook stallion with approved breeding privileges, or a stallion that has reached the second level of a recognized stallion inspection. (This would mean the stallion has been qualified for consideration in the Central Stallion Proving, or if in the Netherlands, been judged on the Saturday of the annual Stallion judging. For more see: Approval)

Preferential status is awarded to Studbook Stallions who have shown consistency and quality in passing on their genetic qualities to their offspring. In order to become Preferent, the stallion's oldest offspring must be at least ten years old and there must be sufficient numbers to judge sport performance and growth of older offspring. The stallion should have one or more of his sons approved on offspring. The stallion's percentage of Star, Model, Approved Stallion, Preferential and not approved offspring will be compared against the overall averages of all the other stallions during the general time period. His offspring will be considered for their performance, as shown in various sport associations, IBOP, ABFP, performance tests of stallions and national and regional competitions. His fertility must be a 50% average over the entire breeding period. Hereditary defects and growth of his offspring that may not have come into effect until after his full Approval to the Studbook shall be considered. Also the color and markings of his offspring will be considered in regard to the average, as well as the average sizes, taking into consideration the size of the dams; and offspring character.
The only living Preferent Stallions as of 2007 are Feitse 293 and Leffert 306.

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See Model.

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The sport predicate is awarded to mares, geldings and stallions within the registry which have shown an aptitude for competitive sport. The competitions must be recognized by the FPS and the scores must be of a satisfactorily high level in order to give eligibility for the predicate.

The minimum requirements to achieve the sport predicate include accomplishing at least one of the following:

  • Dressage Z1+5 (Z1 is the equivalent of a US Third level test, +5 is the number of winning points required.)
  • Show Driving: cat/ I & II honor class and cat. III open class in one season six placements as prize winner in the “green season” (April 15 until October 1).
  • Driving (Dressage) Z+10
  • Driving (Combined): class 3+10. It has to be announced ahead of time to both KFPS and KNHS with which Friesian horse(s) one will participate. The horse has to have obtained at least 10 gain points in class 3 at the time the horse is entered with KFPS and KNHS to this end.

Currently the requirements for eligibility listed above are only specific to show standards in the Netherlands. For sport predicate applicants in other countries, comparable scores from their own country's rating system are needed and will be reviewed by the KFPS judging team at the Inspection.

(For more information on the difference between US and NL dressage levels, see Legacy Friesian's explanation here.)

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Stam or stam lines refers to the recorded lines of significant breeding mares in the breed. It is essentially the motherline, that is the bottom-most line of names on a pedigree (Dam, Grand-dam, Great-grand-dam..etc). There are certain lines of mares which are noted for producing approved stallions.
For a good listing of the Stam Lines, see Signature Friesians' page on Mother-lines.
We are currently looking for someone who can provide us with a concise and informative explanation of Stams.

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Star or 'Ster' is an FPS rating given to mares, geldings in the Studbook and unapproved stallions, who are found to be of slightly higher quality in movement and/or conformation than unrated studbook horses. Mares and geldings are automatically evaluated for Star status when they are first entered into the Studbook. If they do not achieve the rating at that time,they may be re-evaluated at later inspections. Horses with star status may be branded with an 'S' to accompany the studbook 'F' upon their neck (FS).This is the highest rating possible for geldings and Foal Book (unapproved) stallions.

[See also: 'Inspections' for more on Star qualifications.]

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[for the stallion studbook, see 'Approval']

The mare and gelding studbook is the primary book for adult mares and geldings, older than three years old. Certain horses may qualify for status/predicates within the studbook if they are shown to be of a higher quality in movement, conformation or produce superior offspring. These predicates are: star, model, preferent, or performance mother. Also, see 'Inspections' for more on Studbook qualifications.


See Approved Stallion.

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