KFPS Royal Friesian



Innate disorders/Genomics


Innate disorders

After the marking tests for hydrocephaly and dwarfism had been implemented, genetic research into megaesophagus,  aortic rupture and sweet itch got underway in 2014. It is likely that these characteristics have a less straightforward hereditary pattern. Therefore the way in which these tests can be used for selection purposes will also be different. The Breeding Committee will formulate policy based on the research into these disorders as soon as results have come in.


Genomic selection

Genomics is an excellent selection tool in the fight against innate disorders. In the coming season the Breeding Committee will explore how genomics could also be applied to characteristics such as exterior, sport aptitude and character and how this would affect the breeding programme.

















Cryptorchidism (Undescended Testicles)

For several years the Breeding Committee has been taking stock as to the occurrence of rigs. The outcome implies that the observation in foals represents a good prediction for cryptorchidism at a later age and this disorder is also found to have a fair degree of heredity. On the basis of these results the Breeding Committee will develop policy about how selection procedures for this characteristic can be used.


Semen quality

At the University of Utrecht research has been initiated into the fertilising capacity of sperm cells with deviating acrosomes. This could possibly lead to a reconsideration of the assessment of semen quality (for the benefit of stallion selection).















Recent research into stamina on the basis of heart rates and lactate measurements has failed to produce an effective selection procedure. The Breeding Committee is considering alternatives to develop parameters for selection purposes.



Life span

The University of Wageningen has been requested to conduct research to develop a good index number or indicator for life span. Because of the incompleteness of death registrations the possibility will be examined to base life expectancy on survival rates. The advantage is that information (about the offspring of stallions) will become available at an earlier stage.





The available information regarding the hereditary quality of character in KFPS stallions is found to be insufficient. From 2013 onwards all ABFP horses and Central Examination stallions receive scores for 18 character-related aspects. Analysis of the data will follow after two years so that a smaller number of characteristics can be defined which, ultimately, can lead to an estimate of breeding values for stallions.



Digital movement analysis

The Breeding Committee is investigating systems that can contribute to objective measurements of movement qualities which can be used at various stages of inspections and selection.




Thanks to breeding policy, inbreeding within the population of Friesian horses remains below current standards. Nevertheless, monitoring of inbreeding and fine tuning of policy continues to be of great importance. This has the attention of the Breeding Committee.


Inspection system

Inspections continue to be a vital element for the collection of breeding data. Hence, the aim is to encourage a more wide-spread participation in inspections. The Breeding Committee is looking into the possibilities to achieve this.