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Breeds of the world: The Friesian

This article has appeared previously with Equestrian Life. To see what is in our latest issue, please click here.

Handsome Friesian horse.


 

By Equestrian Life

Originating from Friesland in the Netherlands, the Friesian resembles a light draught horse - but is actually quite graceful and nimble for its size. It is believed that during the Middle Ages, ancestors of the breed were used as war horses throughout continental Europe as their size and build allowed them to carry a knight in armour.

 

Friesian horse.



Although the modern Friesian has been bred as a carriage horse, the breed excels in a number of disciplines - particularly dressage.

The breed is typical black in colour with minimal (or no) markings - although occasionally they are chestnut as some bloodlines carry the ‘red’ gene. Today, there are two distinct conformation types—the "baroque" type with the more robust build of the classical Friesian, and the modern, "sport horse" type that is finer-boned.

 

Jeremy Janjc and Crystal MT XODO in the Intermediate II class - © Roger Fitzhardinge

Jeremy Janjc and Crystal MT XODO.

© Roger Fitzhardinge



One of the best known Friesians in Australia is Jeremy Janjic’s now retired Django of Cacheral. This stunning stallion competed at Grand Prix level.

 

 

Jeremy Janjic and Django of Cacharel. © Michelle Terlato

Jeremy Janjic and Django of Cacharel.

© Michelle Terlato

 

 

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