Frequently Asked Questions

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From where do Friesian horses originate?

Friesian horses originate from Friesland, in the most northern province of the Netherlands. Today they can be found all over the world.

What colour is a Friesian horse?

Black, Black and Black! The only permissible white markings are a few white hairs on the forehead or a small star no larger than 3.2cm and not occuring below the eye line. Any other white markings will preclude the horse from entering the main Studbook.

How tall are Friesian horses?

On average the Friesian stands between 150 cm (14.3 hands) and 175 cm (17.1 hands). Approved stallions must be at least 1.60cm by the age of four and mares must be at least 1.55cm (Ster mares must be at least 156 cm) to be registered in the main Studbook. However, between 1.58cm and 1.65cm (approx 15.2hh - 16.2hh) is considered ideal.

How many Dutch registered Friesian horses are there in Great Britain and Ireland?

There are currently over 1000 Friesian horses in Great Britain and Ireland with numbers increasing steadily. Numbers vary at any given time due to imports, births, deaths etc.

What disciplines are Friesian horses most suited to?

Friesian horses are very versatile and willing horses. They do excel in the world of show driving, combined driving and dressage (modern and classic) however, they are also used in a range of other disciplines such as in-hand showing, ridden showing, Le Trec, stunt work, and even the odd Show Jumping and Eventing Friesian is seen. They also make wonderful, recreational/pleasure horses.

What is an Inspection?

An Inspection is the evaluation of Friesian horses here in Great Britain and Ireland by official judges from the Netherlands. Once a year, qualified judges from Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek ("FPS") are sent here to inspect, register and grade our horses. This is a thorough evaluation process which helps us to upgrade and maintain our breeding programmes.

Can Friesian horses live out all year?

Friesian horses are robust, hardy horses and able to live out all year round in the relatively stable climate of Great Britain and Ireland. There should always be access to adequate shelter and ad-lib hay/haylage during the winter months. Rugging and stabling is entirely at the owners discretion and dependant on the horse's age/needs/workload/local climate.

My Friesian appears to turn brown in the summer. Is this normal and is there any way I can prevent it from happening?

The short answer is; yes it is normal and no there is no precise way to prevent it from happening. Some Friesians give the appearance of turning brown when their summer coat comes through, which is completely natural and mostly dependant on its genetic make-up. The degree of lightening/bleaching is determined first by genetics (chestnut gene), then add in a multitude of other factors, such as diet, mineral supplementation and exposure to the sun. Some Friesian owners use UV-protective rugs, stable their Friesian's on hot, sunny days or feed supplements claiming to enhance a dark coat to minimise lightening/bleaching of the coat. However, there is no evidence to suggest these methods will work for all Friesians and a blood test should always be taken before supplementing a horse's diet. There are some Friesians that live out all year with no UV protection or supplements and remain jet-black. It is advisable to wash off your Friesian after exercise to prevent any excess salt from sweat staying in the coat which may contribute to the lightening/bleaching of the coat.

How can I get my Friesians mane to grow?

Just as some Friesians turn brown during the summer, some Friesians naturally have more hair, which is usually down to hereditary/genetic factors. If you have a less-hairy Friesian, you can promote hair growth by keeping the mane and tail clean, untangled and ensuring your horse has a well-balanced diet. Good nutrition is vital for healthy, hair growth. For longer manes, it is recommended to gently finger-comb through the mane as excessive brushing can damage the hair. Some owners braid or plait their Friesians mane, but this is entirely personal preference. If you are a FHAGBI member, you can find lots of topics on hair care from members on our active Facebook group, or if you have a question, please feel free to ask.

How can I gain access to the members area (MY KFPS) of the KFPS website?

You must be a GOLD member of FHGABI in order to gain access to the members area (MY KFPS) of the KFPS website. To obtain a username and password, please email the KFPS ( directly with your FHAGBI membership number and they will send you login details.

Passports & Registration Papers

I have lost my Friesians passport, can I get it replaced?

Yes. Lost, misplaced or stolen passports can be replaced by requesting a duplicate from the KFPS. Click here to find out more.

I have lost my Friesians registration paper, can I get it replaced?

Yes. Lost, misplaced or stolen registration papers can be replaced by requesting a duplicate from the KFPS. Click here to find out more.

My Friesian has a green/yellow KFPS passport. Is this correct?

Yes it is a correct KFPS passport, however the green/yellow passports that were issued prior to 2004 did not have a Section IX Addendum, which is the medical treatment section. As long as the passport has the medical treatment insert in it is valid. If not, you will need to apply to the KFPS for an updated passport. Click here to find out how to update your Friesian's passport.

There is no space left on the vaccination pages my horses passport. Do I have to apply for a new passport?

If the vaccination pages are full, you can apply for a follow-up passport from the KFPS. For this, you will need to submit an “application form for a follow-up horse passport” accompanied by your current passport. The new-style, maroon passports will then be supplemented by extra vaccination pages and bound in a cover. An old-style yellow/green passport, will be supplemented with an “extra” passport. The owner should then keep the original yellow passport and this “extra” passport together. Both of these passports should also accompany you when taking the horse away from its stables. The extra passport is easy to recognize: the word “vervolgpaspoort” (follow-up passport) appears in the window.

My Friesian has passed away. What do I do with the passport and registration paper?

Following the sad event of the death of a KFPS Registered Friesian, you must return both the registration paper and passport to the KFPS. If you would like to keep them both as a keepsake, please include a covering letter requesting they are returned for this reason. The KFPS will then return the passport and registration paper to you. Please also inform FHAGBI by emailing Michaela Green -

Buying & Selling

Where can I purchase a Friesian horse?

There are a number of dealers in Great Britain and Ireland that import Friesian horses from the Netherlands with a wide variety of qualities. There are still only a handful of breeders in the UK who breed in line with the breeding goals and policies of the KFPS. It is worth looking at the Classifieds section on this website where members advertise their KFPS registered horses for sale from time to time.

I have viewed a Friesian I want to buy, but it has no passport. Should I still go ahead with the purchase?

Our advice is NEVER buy a horse without being handed the passport at the time of sale. If the passport has been lost, wait until the seller has obtained a duplicate passport. DO NOT buy a horse with an application form, the seller must apply for the passport themselves. It is also an offence (maximum fine £5000) to sell a horse without handing over the passport at the time of the sale. REPORT anyone who tries to sell you a horse without a passport to the Animal Health officer at your local council.

I have seen a KFPS Registered Friesian advertised online very cheaply. Should I still buy it?

Please exercise caution when you come across adverts that seem too good to be true, because they usually are! In recent years there are a number of scam adverts appearing on the internet for Friesian horses. Unfortunately there is nothing FHAGBI can do to prevent these. If you find a potential scam advert please report it to your local trading standards office or the website it is advertised on.

Can I advertise/sell my KFPS Registered Friesian on FHAGBI's website?

Yes. If you are a FHAGBI member, you can advertise your Friesian on here where it will appear in the Classfieds section and in the member's quarterly newsletter. There is a charge of £5.00 for private advertisers and £10.00 for commercial advertisers, which entitles you to entry in one newsletter and a 3 MONTH ADVERT ONLINE. Lapsed FHAGBI members may also advertise at a cost of £20.00. Currently, you cannot advertise with us if you are not/or have never been a FHAGBI member.


Where can I find a breeding stallion in Great Britain or Ireland?

There are NO licensed, approved Studbook stallions standing in Great Britain or Ireland, and Foalbook stallions with breeding privileges are no longer permitted. In order to maximise the qualities of the offspring from a KFPS registered mare, FHAGBI recommend the use of AI with chilled/frozen semen from an approved Studbook stallion in the Netherlands, or subject to finances, having the mare inseminated with fresh semen from an approved Studbook stallion in the Netherlands. Very few approved Studbook stallions offer natural cover nowadays. Whilst FHAGBI always recommend the use of an approved Studbook stallion, where AI is not feasible, a few people do choose to use non-approved Foalbook stallions to cover their mare. However, foals may only be registered following satisfactory DNA tests and are registered in an auxillary studbook, B-Book II. Find out more information about approved stallions here.

What is an Approved stallion?

Approved stallions (also known as Studbook stallions) are stallions of exceptional breeding and quality that have passed the strict selection criteria of the KFPS which includes veterinary examinations, gradings and performance tests. Approved stallions are officially approved for breeding and entered into the main KFPS Studbook.

How can I find out what approved stallion would be most suited to my mare?

There are many factors to consider when deciding which stallion to use for your mare. Breeders should select a stallion whose conformation, movement, sports performance and pedigree will best complement the specific mare for the particular purpose for which the mare is being bred. Click here to read more about the factors to consider when choosing a suitable stallion.

Can I register my cross-bred Friesian foal with the KFPS?

The KFPS and FHAGBI do not officially recognise cross-bred, Friesian horses. Additionally, FHAGBI cannot issue passports to cross-bred Friesian horses and are unable to update non-KFPS passports or over-stamp sire/dam information.