The Friesian Horse Society

News & Links


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The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at UC Davis is looking for Friesians to participate in a genetic study to find out why Friesians are at a higher risk of getting bilateral corneal stromal loss.

They are looking for 70 participants and have invited the FHS membership to participate. If interested, you can use the link below to check out the requirements & click on the GREEN “I’m Interested In This Study” box to apply.


More about the study for understanding the genetics causing bilateral corneal stromal loss in Friesian horses.

Bilateral corneal stromal loss (BCSL) is a potentially progressive ocular disease that can be associated with pain, vision loss and even loss of the eye. The objective of this study is to determine the role genetics plays in BCSL in Friesian horses. This study is designed to determine the incidence of BCSL in the breed, to determine the mode of inheritance if a single gene is involved, and identify candidate genes for further investigation.

What happens in this study:

Participation will include an examination of your horse’s eyes by a veterinary ophthalmologist, photography of the horse to document coat color and any abnormalities found in the eyes, collection of hair samples from the horse’s mane, and discussion of the horse’s medical history. For some horses, hair samples may be collected from the mane to examine DNA for genes that may be involved in the development of BCSL. If any horse objects to having their eyes examined, or to having mane hair pulled, these procedures would not be performed.

Pet owner responsibilities:

If you allow your horse to participate in this study, you will not be responsible for anything other than allowing us access to examine your horse and pull hairs from the mane.

Participation requirements:

We are looking for Friesian horses with and without a diagnosis of bilateral corneal stromal loss (BCSL).

Benefits and risks of participating:

We cannot promise any benefits to your horse or other animals from your taking part in this clinical trial; however, possible benefits include lowering the incidence of this ocular disease in Friesians and other affected breeds, helping breeders to make informed mating decisions, and better prediction of the risk of developing disease for earlier diagnosis and treatment.


All costs associated with the study will be paid by the sponsor/department. However, if a presumptive diagnosis of BCSL is made for your horse, any further diagnostics or therapy associated with the diagnosis of BCSL will be your responsibility. Copies of any biopsy reports from horses that have been affected with BCSL may be requested.

Contest for FHS Members

The FHS Board of Directors thought we would celebrate the new 2021 FHS website by giving members the opportunity to get some extra free advertising promotion & win a prize at the same time!


The membership voted and the results are in!
Rhino SmartPak Collection Grooming Kit
The winner of the above grooming bag is:
FHS Member Diane Scott and “Danzitore”

None of the FHS Board of Directors participated in this contest. 

Your FHS Board of Directors

News from the Arabo-Friesian Studbook in Belgium

New High Score Breed Awards to be Awarded at US Dressage Finals

November 6-9, 2014 at the Kentucky Horse Park

Competitors at the 2014 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan will now have the opportunity to walk away with a High Score Breed Award! Participating breed and performance registries will award two high score awards for adult amateur riders, one for the national levels (Training through Fourth levels combined) and one for the FEI levels (Prix St. Georges through Grand Prix levels combined). There will also be two high score awards offered for open riders, one for the national levels (Training through Fourth levels combined) and one for the FEI levels (Prix St. Georges through Grand Prix levels combined). Results from freestyle and non‐championship classes will not be included. For more information, and to see a list of breed organizations currently participating, visit the US Dressage Finals website:

Each winner will receive this beautiful wooden clock engraved on the front with a description of the award and the inside is pictured here.

NEW! Friesian Horse Health Record

Attention FHS members who have a purebred Friesian foals arriving in 2013! The Fenway Foundation has created “Your New Friesian Horse Health Record” to assist you with the health and care of your new foal. In addition to basic Friesian info there are helpful record keeping charts for routine exams and procedures, parasite control, immunizations and farrier care. The Guide will be sent to you compliments, of the Fenway Foundation, with your foal’s registration packet. FHS thanks the Fenway Foundation and wishes everyone a successful foaling season!


The FHS Board of Directors is proud to announce that we will be able to lower the 2013 Membership fees!

We have heard from so many of our members that this economy is creating a tremendous strain on everyone’s discretionary spending. Additionally, the drought that was experienced in many states has created an added burden.

While many FHS expenses such as DNA testing, microchips, etc. have increased, the FHS Board of Directors looked for ways to cut spending in other areas. The largest savings was realized by becoming an independent North American Registry with our own UELN for the Friesian in the USA and Canada. This meant we no longer had to be affiliated with a EU studbook in order to provide International registration for your horses. This was a tremendous savings because our US Dollar is only worth about 0.75 Euro and we were charged a currency conversion fee every time we had to send funds to Europe. Also, the purchase of our own software so that our registrations could be printed here in the USA instead of in Europe was another huge savings for both the documents themselves as well as the postage.

Therefore, instead of putting the money saved in a savings account to be used for you later, the FHS Board decided to return it to you, the members, when you need it most! As of January 1, 2013 the Individual Memberships will be reduced from $110 per year to $90. That is only 25 cents per day. The Business Memberships will be reduced from $150 to $130 and that is only 36 cents per day. The Associate Membership will remain at its low $50 per year and as before all Memberships will run for an entire year from the date you sign up.

Therefore, instead of putting the money saved in a savings account to be used for you later, the FHS Board decided to return it to you, the members, when you need it most! As of January 1, 2013 the Individual Memberships will be reduced from $110 per year to $90. That

is only 25 cents per day. The Business Memberships will be reduced from $150 to $130 and that is only 36 cents per day. The Associate Membership will remain at its low $50 per year and as before all Memberships will run for an entire year from the date you sign up.

We also want to take this time to remind you that you have “perks” that come with your membership. You all received a membership card that has your member number on it. This is the number you should use when you purchase anything from our vendors that give FHS members a discount. Those businesses, including the amount of the discount you receive, are advertised on the FHS website and we are always on the lookout to add businesses who are willing to give discounts to our members. If you have any favorite vendors you like to do business with, let us know and we will contact them to see if they are willing to give our members a discount! Another important benefit you receive is free advertising on our website.

As a final note, anyone who renews their membership at least 30 days early, will receive a complimentary LARGE Boiselle calendar. These are the 2012 calendars, but many people remove the photos which are excellent quality and suitable for framing.

The FHS is a non-profit corporation and the work done for you is all volunteer, no salaries are paid! Therefore, all money is used for you, the members! We hope that 2013 will be a better economic year as you breed and sell your beautiful Friesians.


The FHS Board of Directors

Michigan State University team asks FHS to participate in research on Esophageal Disease in Friesian Horses

Friesian Horses Have a High Incidence of Severe Esophageal Disease Associated with Muscular Hypertrophy and Hyperplasia of the Caudal Esophagus

Misa Komine, Ingeborg Langohr and Matti Kiupel, Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH) at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI are doing a study on esophageal disease in Friesian horses and have reached out to the Friesian horse community for their help and support to submit samples that are needed to conduct this study. They would like to further investigate this condition to a) detect the suspected genetic defect, and b) develop a test for this defect. In order to complete the study, whole blood and cheek swab samples, and fresh/frozen tissue, are needed from a number of Friesian horses who are 15yrs of age or older who have and have not exhibited clinical signs of the disease.

Abstract of previous research:

Friesian horses have been perceived to have a high rate of congenital or hereditary diseases including megaesophagus that may lead to choke and death. A retrospective study was performed to characterize the prevalence and pathological commonalities of severe esophageal disease in horses and to compare those in Friesians to others. Necropsy reports of 852 horses, including 17 Friesians, submitted to the DCPAH from October 2005 to December 2011 were included in the study. Forty two (4.9%) horses had grossly described esophageal lesions (25 muscular hypertrophy, 7 hemorrhage, 6 megaesophagus, 4 erosion/ulceration, 3 obstruction, 2 tears, 2 secondary neoplastic invasion, 2 lymphoid patches, 1 thin wall and 1 esophagitis). Ten (1.2%) horses died or were euthanized because of severe esophageal diseases (6 megaesophagus, including 2 with tears, 3 esophageal obstruction with food bolus, 1 severe esophagitis). All 6 horses with megaesophagus, including the 2 esophageal tears, were Friesians. The ultimate cause of these lesions was not determined in the original necropsy reports. A detailed review of archived paraffin blocks of all 6 Friesians with severe esophageal lesions was performed. Histologically, the esophagus of 5 of these Friesians had a thickened muscularis interna and externa due to smooth muscle hypertrophy and hyperplasia. There was no evidence of significant fibrosis, degenerative disease or loss of myenteric plexi. Unlike in Friesian, none of the other 4 horses with severe esophageal disease had caudal muscular hypertrophy described. Furthermore, no muscular hypertrophy was reported in the remaining 11 Friesians that had been necropsied for other causes. Based on these data, Friesians have a high incidence (35.3%) of severe esophageal disease compared to other horse breeds (0.5%). Interestingly, marked caudal muscular hypertrophy and

hyperplasia was observed in 5 of 6 Friesians with megaesophagus and secondary tears. Esophageal idiopathic muscular hypertrophy is generally regarded as incidental finding in aged horses. However, in humans, a hereditary condition characterized by thickening of the esophagus due to circumferential proliferation of smooth muscle, called leiomyomatosis, causes subsequent dysmotility and achalasia. We speculate that caudal muscular hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the esophagus represents a similar hereditary condition in Friesian horses that can cause severe esophageal disease, such as megaesophagus and esophageal tears.

Dr. med. vet. habil. Matti Kiupel, BS, MS, PhD, DACVP
Fachtierarzt für Veterinär Pathologie
Professor, Section Chief Anatomic Pathology
Michigan State University
Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation
Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health
4125 Beaumont Road, Room 152A
Lansing, MI 48910

The FHS supports this study and encourages Friesian owners to contribute to the future health and well being of this magnificent breed by asking you to send in samples from your horse(s). Here are a couple of links including a letter detailing the study/requirements and a sample submission form (for your convenience) that is not required to send in with your samples, but can walk you through the process and make it easier for you.

Letter from Dr.s Ingeborg Lanhor & Matti Liupel

Sample Submission Form


What is Parentage Verification through DNA and Why is It Important?

Did you ever wonder why you have to get those DNA samples before your horse can be registered? Even though it may seem to be quite a tedious process, the benefits of having it done are worth it.

First of all, it proves the ancestors or lineage of your horse. There are many organizations that are willing to print out a “registration” document based on nothing more than the printed registration of a supposed sire and dam. The problem with that is twofold:

  1. There is no documentation to prove that those papers actually belong to the sire or dam.
  2. There is no way to prove any relationship between the horse being registered and the supposed sire and dam.

It is like an adopted child not knowing who his birth parents are. This is important for health, i.e. issues such as megaesophagus, dwarfism, hydrocephalism etc., allows prospective owners to know exactly what they are buying, and if the horse is destined for the show ring, will not be able to compete in USEF Friesian shows unless the registration is issued by a foreign or domestic registry that maintains proof of Friesian heritage through DNA testing and record maintenance.

This is Number 4 of the United States Equestrian Federation, USEF, rules for the Friesian and Part-Bred Friesian so anyone who thinks they don’t need DNA testing for their Part-Bred Friesian will be disappointed when they are not allowed to show.

So, before you breed your mare, make sure DNA is on file for the stallion you have selected or if it is not, the stallion owner is willing to make a DNA sample available.

If you are purchasing a Friesian or Part-Bred Friesian, make sure the “Registry” does parent verification through DNA on all horses.

What does it mean to have a horse that is Internationally registered?

If your horse has an International Registration, you a part of a very special group of people that can say their horse is unique and there is no other like it in the world!

Since horses travel frequently throughout Europe, they have passports just like humans to positively identify them and their health records. In order to be eligible for a passport, the horse is registered with a unique system so that NO OTHER HORSE can have that identity and once the horse is registered with this numbering system, it is NEVER changed or removed from the registry of origin.

Additionally, registries that have a UELN should not “double register” a horse.

For example, a person buys a Friesian in the Netherlands and imports it to the USA. They then decide they would like to participate in the FHS programs for breeding and inspection. All they have to do is become a member of the FHS. Their horse is automatically in the FHS database exactly as it was before it was imported. If it was a Ster in the Netherlands, it remains a Ster with FHS. The original registration is NEVER taken away from the horse.

The system is called the Universal Equine Life Number (UELN). The first three digits of the registration are the Country Code. (840 is for the United States). The second three numbers are the code for the registry. The FHS has the UELN for the Friesian in the USA and Canada and our UELN code is 037

The KFPS (mother studbook for the Friesian in Europe) is 004 and the Country Code for the Netherlands is 528

The last nine digits are the registration for the horse and this is recorded on the document in conjunction with the microchip number. Once the horse is given this registration, it can never be changed and the horse will only have this one registration in its entire life.

This is why you can have several Friesians with the same name. It’s not the name that makes the horse unique or positively identified. It is the UELN.

This system is also valuable because it insures the identity of the horse. Registration papers could not be switched among horses or given to a horse that had not gone through the DNA parentage verification process. By matching the microchip to the registration document, the owner is assured to get the correct horse.

The Fenway Foundation

The Fenway Foundation, founded in 2010 by Scott and Shelley Kelnhofer, is a non profit corporation that was formed to help preserve the Friesian Horse by focusing on Genetics, Health and a Rescue program.

The FHS supports the Fenway Foundation’s mission and encourages all Friesian owners to take a look at their website here to learn more about what they have to offer, and assist and support their organization in any way they can.

New Friesian T-Shirts

New & Unique design that you won’t find anywhere else.

FHS Extends Heartfelt Condolences …

We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Judith Warner, FHS lead U.S. Inspection Judge, on the recent loss of her husband, Dr. Richard H. Warner.

Dr. Richard “Doc” Warner had an esteemed teaching career at Washington Mary University in Fredricksberg, VA. Over his 36 year tenure he taught Russian, French, and Maritime History. He is also remembered fondly by students and colleagues as an avid supporter of the Rugby Club, which he was instrumental in starting at WMU.

A memorial donation in honor of Dr. Warner will be submitted by FHS to the Habitat for Humanity, by request of the family, in Asheville, North Carolina..

USDF All-Breeds Award Program

The FHS is a Participating Organization in the USDF All-Breeds awards and our members can be awarded 5 certificates (The maximum allowed by USDF) in every Division/Level for which the FHS has eligible horses.

The USDF has asked that you are also advised of the following:

  1. There is no fee for you to participate in the award program. The awards are paid for by FHS It is a benefit of your membership in FHS.
  2. Your horse must be shown under the Breed Registered name. (No barn names etc.)
  3. The horse must be registered with FHS or a registry that maintains proof of Friesian Heritage through DNA testing and record maintenance.
  4. The FHS will accept other (foreign or national) registration papers but a copy must be sent into the FHS office and the horse officially recorded with the FHS. (Since a horse can only have 1 registration in its lifetime, you keep the original papers. Entry in the FHS database is all that is required.)
  5. You must be a member in good standing with FHS.

USDF All-Breeds Declaration form can be found on our forms page, or the USDF website.


FHS has the Universal Equine Life Number to register the Friesian horse in the United States and Canada.

All Registries that participate in the International recognition that a UELN provides, have a UELN for their breed in their country. For instance, the KFPS has the UELN for the Friesian in the Netherlands.

This UELN will insure that your FHS registered Friesian can be uniquely identified throughout the world! Registries participating in the UELN have the ability to exchange important data concerning the horses such as the pedigree, owner, breeder, etc.

The Official Horse Breeds Standards Guide book – A wonderful guide for horse breeds of all kinds, featuring an entire chapter on the Friesian, and highlighting the FHS.  This extraordinary book can be purchased for only $26.40 on   (suggested retail $40.00)

Press Release 

Congratulations to Justice Rules and The Friesians of Freedom Farm for being asked to this event and representing the Friesian breed!  And thank you for sharing your story with us, it looks like Justice was an exemplary example of this wonderful breed!

The International Omaha is a premier indoor horse jumping competition and is one of a total of four venues who have put in bids to host the FEI World Cup Finals in 2017. London and Omaha, Neb., have applied to stage both the Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping and the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals. The other two venues have put in bids to host just one Final, with Hong Kong putting in a bid for the Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands) bidding to host the FEI World Cup Dressage Final.
Stallion Justice Rules of The Friesians of Freedom Farm LLC was invited to be the demonstration horse, as the International’s Gallery of Breeds chose to showcase the Friesian breed. He was also asked to participate each evening in the opening ceremonies on April 11thand 12th with FEI officials attending.

During the day of Friday April 11th, Justice enthusiastically hosted over 1,000 children from area schools as they took pictures with him using their cell phones and iPads. Special needs children were also bussed in and there was an especially touching moment when a child strapped in to an upright wheelchair reached only so far to touch because he was afraid. At that moment, Justice lowered his head and slowly reached out until his nose lightly touched the child’s outstretched hand. This put a huge smile on the child’s face and tears in all the adults eyes as only a Friesian can touch the soul of a human.

On Saturday April 12th, the gallery was open to the general public and there were many more pictures and a 30 minute presentation on the Friesian breed which included a question and answer period.

Overall it was a wonderful opportunity to present the enchantment of a Friesian to a wide variety of horse enthusiasts.


Congratulations to FHS member Morgan-Bailey Horan and her ½ Friesian ½ Morgan gelding “August Rush”. Morgan-Bailey’s mother, Elizabeth Conroy sent these photos in and said, “we anticipate a winning season this year. His center line medium is 72%. (Their first and second shows Aug and Nov 2014, they placed in the 70’s every class) they are in training with Debbie Hill, USDF national Champion. They also won he Highpoint award for first level at Greystone river dale recognized USEF/USDF in November with a score of 75%”

FHS wishes Morgan-Bailey and “August Rush” the best of in 2015 as they compete for USDF All-Breeds Awards!


CONGRATULATIONS to FHS member Tamera Mayo and her 6 yr. old Friesian mare Clair NAF (Elijah x Tetse 394). They had a very successful year in 2013 showing in Dressage:

Clair had a very successful show year in 2013. We went to every USEF/USDF recognized dressage show and many schooling shows in Oklahoma at 1st level. Of the 16 tests she did at recognized shows she placed 1st in 15 and 2nd in one. She also won every class she entered at the schooling shows. She never scored below 60% and her best score was 71.081%.

 2013 Year End Awards 

  • Great Plains Chapter of ODS 2013 Champion First Level Open Division

  • Oklahoma Dressage Society 2013 Schooling Show Champion ~ First Level Open

  • Oklahoma Dressage Society 2013 Recognized Show Champion ~ First Level Open

  • Adequan/USDF All Breeds 2013 National Champion First Level ~ Friesian Horse Society


Rider awards won on Clair in 2013:

  • Oklahoma Dressage Society 2013 Schooling Show Vintage Rider Champion ~ First Level

  • ODS Gemstone of Excellence Rider Award ~ First Level

  • USDF Rider Performance Award ~ First Level

  • Clair qualified for both the Great American/USDF regional championships and Southwest Dressage Championships but we elected to not go. It is in our plans for 2014.

Goals for 2014

  • Great American/USDF and SWDC regional championships at 1st level.

  • 2nd level in the fall.

  • Develop a 2nd level musical freestyle.

Well done Tamera and Clair on your accomplishments, and good luck on your continued success!


CONGRATULATIONS to FHS member Elizabeth Morosani and Aslan, her 5 year old, 18 hand Part-Bred Friesian x Percheron.  This was his first year competing at Recognized shows in the USEF and USDF and has won numerous awards and championships!  Aslans proud owner Elizabeth, bred and trained Aslan herself with the help of her local trainers. He will have a bright future I am sure!

Aslan’s 2013 Titles


  • World Champion Part Bred Dressage Friesian
  • World Champion Part Bred Hunter Friesian
  • National Champion Part Bred Training Level Dressage Friesian
  • National Champion Part Bred Sport horse Friesian Gelding
  • National Champion Part Bred Hunter Friesian
  • National Reserve Champion Part Bred Dressage Friesian
  • Region 3 Champion Part Bred Dressage Friesian
  • Region 3 Champion Part Bred In Hand Friesian
  • Region 3 Champion Part Bred Hunter Friesian
  • Region 5 Champion Part Bred Hunter Friesian
  • Region 5 Champion Part Bred Dressage Friesian
  • Region 5 5th Place Part Bred In Hand Friesian


  • All Breed Champion Part Bred Friesian Training level Adult Amateur- Friesian Horse Society, INC

  • All Breed Champion Part Bred Friesian Training Level Open – Friesian Horse Society, INC

Performance Horse Registry: Silver Stirrup Award

  • 15th in the Nation Silver Stirrup Award Dressage Horse Training Level

  • Zone 3 – 5thPlace Silver Stirrup Award Dressage Training Level

Congratulations Elizabeth and Aslan on your accomplishemnts, and good luck on your continued success!


Advertising Opportunities

Free Classified ads for FHS Members!

These are all great resources for advertising your horses, farm, business, servcies’s etc, and will help to support our non-profit organization.

Classified Ads

Classified ads for non-members are only $30/3 months, $55/6months (1 free month), $100 Annually (2 free months)

Spot Ads

Spot ads on the home page of the FHS website are $75/6 months or $150 Annually (2 free months). Purchase of this ad will also include your ad in our monthly newsletter The Friesian Brief, which goes out to the FHS membership and is available to view anytime in the Members Forum.

Send us pictures of your horses for our gallery pages, and stories with photos for inclusion in our monthly newsletter “The Friesian Brief”, and current events for our Events Calendar to: