History and Development of the Friesian Sporthorse
For more than a century, people have been crossbreeding Friesians. Concerns over
the potential extinction of the purebred Friesian led the Dutch Friesian registry
(FPS/FHANA) to strongly discourage crossbreeding. As the numbers of Friesians continues to grow, there are less concerns about their potential extinction, and crossbreeding of purebred Friesian stallions has especially become more widely accepted.
The interest in crossbreeding Friesians in the United States has increased dramatically since the early 1990's. Some people chose the Friesian for crossbreeding primarily for their kind temperaments; crossbreeding primarily for pets and trail horses. Others chose to take the qualities of the Friesian and crossbreed specifically for a Friesian crossbred more suited for sport, leading to the development of Friesian Sporthorses and the Friesian Sporthorse Association (FSA). The Friesian Sporthorse Association was formed in 2007 and maintains the studbook for this developing breed. The name "Friesian Sporthorse" was trademarked by the FSA in 2008. The FSA has since grown into an internationally recognized registry,
registering Friesian Sporthorse worldwide.
Well-bred Friesian Sporthorses are lovely horses,
combining the beauty, temperament, and expressive
gaits of the Friesian, with the increased athleticism,
elasticity, endurance, and versatility of breeds such
as the Warmblood and Thoroughbred, with the added
benefit of the hybrid vigor which comes from
crossbreeding. This focus is what sets the Friesian
Sporthorse apart from other Friesian crossbreds.
Friesian Sporthorses are especially popular for
dressage and combined driving, having competed
successfully at the highest levels of both sports.
Careful, selective, responsible breeding will continue to
refine the Friesian Sporthorse. The Friesian Sporthorse
Association seeks to promote and encourage this careful,
selective breeding, by being the first registry dedicated
exclusively to recognizing and promoting the true
The popularity of the Friesian crossbred led to a rapidly
increasing number of Friesian crosses being bred.
Unfortunately, during the midst of this unchecked popularity
explosion, not much existed to educate, guide, encourage,
or support breeders or owners, particularly those with a
specific interest in breeding/owning Friesian crosses bred
for sport. The Friesian Sporthorse Association was
developed to fill this void -- providing breeding guidelines,
record keeping, support, encouragement, and a “home”
for those who are specifically breeders and owners of
Friesian Sporthorses. This emphasis on sport -- and quality,
responsible breeding -- has made the FSA the premier
registry choice for the owners and breeders of
sport-bred Friesian crosses. (minimum 25% Friesian heritage)
As a breed, the Friesian Sporthorse has a great deal of
potential. The goal of the Friesian Sporthorse Association
is to encourage, document, and maximize that potential --
offering a legitimate, reputable registry option for Friesian
Since its inception, the Friesian Sporthorse Association
has grown into an international registry, registering Friesian
Sporthorses around the world.