KFPS Royal Friesian

The Koninklijke Vereniging "Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek" (KFPS) has registered Friesian horses since 1879. Today more than 60,000 horses are registered worldwide, and the studbook counts 15,000 official members. Outside the Netherlands these members are organised into their own national associations, which maintain close ties with the KFPS. Most Dutch members are associated with breeding societies, which organise a large number of activities each year, among which are their own breeders days and various lecture evenings.

The Koninklijke Vereniging "Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek" provides registration and assessment services for Friesian horses, as well as providing answers to general questions about breeding, for example, about the breeding objective. Much of this information is published in the colourful and informative (Dutch-language) monthly magazine Phryso, which all members in the Netherlands receive after registering, and on this site.


The purchase of a Friesian horse
When you decide you would like to purchase a Friesian horse you can request a list from the KFPS with the addresses of all breeders, from which you can make a choice yourself. The KFPS does not play an intermediary role.

In buying a horse, a number of matters are important. Perhaps most important is the purpose for which you are purchasing the horse. Always take care that the horse has a valid passport and studbook certificate. The chip number on both documents must match the animals own identification chip, which is located under the skin in the middle of the left neck area, about 10 centimetres under the base of the mane.

Depending on the pedigree, the horses are entered into one of the registers (see table on registration procedures). The studbook certificate of the main category, the KFPS Book, is printed in the colours yellow, yellow-green and light grey. The colours of the registration certificate in the KFPS D Book are in the shades yellow, pink-red and light grey. Papers from Bijboek (Sub-Book) I are in the colours orange, red-brown and light grey, and those of Bijboek II are in the colours red, blue and light grey. The certificate of registration is laminated and watermarked with a raised textured stamp of the Koninklijke Vereniging ¡°Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek¡±.

After you have bought a Friesian horse, the seller sends the certificate of registration to the KFPS, with the name and the address of the new owner written on the back of this certificate. At the studbook office in Drachten the horse will be transferred and put under the name of the new owner, who then automatically becomes a KFPS member.

After payment of the membership and administration fees, the new owner receives the valid certificate of registration mailed to their home address.

Table registration procedures

stallion → KFPS-studbook Approved stallions of KFPS daughter studbook Foalbook with breeding permit Foalbook / Bb I / Bb II
Mare ↓        
KFPS-boek KFPS-boek KFPS-D/BbII*** Bb I Bb II
KFPS-D KFPS-boek KFPS-D / BbII*** Bb I Bb II

Bb I

Bb I* Bb I / BbII*** Bb I Bb II
Bb II** Bb I BbI** / BbII*** Bb II / BbI** Bb II


* After the use of 3 KFPS studbook stallions in the last 4 successive generations in the dam's pedigree, the descendants of the Bijboek I mare will be registered immediately in the KFPS main register.


** When a Bijboek II mare is bred with a Foalbook stallion with a breeding permit: promotion to Bijboek I occurs in 2 generations. If a Bijboek II mare is bred with a KFPS studbook stallion, promotion to Bijboek I occurs in 1 generation.

*** Or stallions approved by another EU-recognized daughter studbook: basis of approval by an EU daughter studbook will be examined by the KFPS. If the approval requirements fail to meet the KFPS regulations, the descendent will be registered in Bijboek II.


Registration of foals
Each breeding of a Friesian mare with a Friesian stallion must be registered with the KFPS. The KFPS then ensures that the stud farm receives a birth announcement, which it forwards to the owner of the mare. The birth announcement must be mailed to the KFPS within two weeks of the birth of the foal. The owner then receives a confirmation of birth sent to their home address. Later, when the foal is chipped, this birth confirmation can be sent to the KFPS together with the bar code of the foals microchip. These data are processed and the owner receives the related certificate of registration and a horse passport mailed to their home address. The applicable fees can be found on the KFPS website.

The foals can be provided with an identification chip at one of the KFPS inspections, where special teams are available. Alternatively, a veterinarian or micro-chip consultant can simply chip the foal at home.

The inspection
The KFPS organises inspections throughout the Netherlands in the summer season. At these studbook inspections, foals as well as mares and geldings aged 3 years and older can be presented for registration or for an upgrade in ranking. For stallions aged 3 years and older there are separate inspections: the foal book stallion inspection and the stallion inspection.

On the breeders days, which are organised by the breeders societies it is also possible to present yearlings, two-year-olds and older star mares for inspection. Three-year-old and older mares and geldings can earn distinctions in the following ways:


Average scores for 5 main characteristics



> 7.5

Included with  1st premium

Studbook Star (stb star)

~ 7

Included with 2nd premium

Studbook Star (stb star)

~ 6 ¨C 7

Included with 3rd premium

Studbook (stb)

~ 6

Included without premium

Studbook (stb)

< 6

Not included

Remains in foalbook


On the breeder's days, foals, yearlings and two-year-old mares can earn distinctions with a 1st, 2nd or 3rd premium, or they receive no premium. Star mares and geldings presented for inspection on the breeder's days can receive a 1st or 2nd premium. Note: In considering the awarding of premiums, the criteria relating to trueness to breed, the walk and the trot carry the most weight. In addition, a horse with a score of 4 or less for one or more criteria will not be registered, and a horse with a score of unsatisfactory (5 or less) for one or more of the main criteria cannot be entered into the star register.
For the 3-year-old and older stallions that are presented at the foal book stallion inspection there are two possibilities: The stallion remains foal book (Vb) or is declared star (Vb star).


Stallion selection 
Stallions that would like to become eligible for approval for stud service can, starting from their third year, be presented to the studbook. These young stallions undergo some three viewings:

  • First viewing in November: assessment of exterior and movement, both in hand (on a hard surface) and movement at freedom.
  • Second viewing in January, on the Thursday of the stallion inspection, with assessment of exterior and free movement.
  • Third viewing on the Friday of the stallion inspection, with assessment of exterior and movement in hand.

The stallions must meet rigorous veterinary requirements, including an examination of the chestnut-factor, clinical and X-ray assessments and semen examination. In the selection of stallions for stud service, the quality of the pedigree and the animals' kinship percentage in relation to the whole of the Friesian horse population, also play a role. Stallions that pass this rigorous selection are given the chance to prove themselves in the Central Examination. This is a test lasting 10 weeks in which the stallion is assessed for talent as a dressage, harness and show driving horse. Stallions that prove their quality are entered into the studbook register.

Young stallions receive a stud licence for 180 mares per year. At the time when the oldest progeny become adults, 20 offspring of the stallion concerned are selected for progeny testing.
If the offspring, in categories such as health, use, exterior and movement, turn out to be of sufficient quality, the stallion becomes approved on progeny. From that point onwards, the stallion may serve as stud stallion for an unlimited number of mares.


Central Inspection 
The horses, with the exception of the foals, that have earned a 1st premium in the inspection season, are invited to take part in the studbooks annual Central Inspection. This finale of the inspection season is held in October. At the Central Inspection, the 3-year-old and older star mares can earn the preliminary Crown Predicate or perhaps even the preliminary Model Predicate (the highest exterior predicate for mares).

These preliminary predicates can be made permanent through an IBOP or ABFP test, with at least 77 points and an average of 7 for the basic gaits, or by earning the sport predicate.


Stallion Inspection 
Next to the Central Inspection, the stallion inspection is organised on a yearly basis. This takes place in January in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden and is primarily aimed at selection of young stallions and the annual inspection of the approved KFPS studbook stallions. The event is held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the Friesian Proms organised as part of the programme on Thursday and Friday evening.

On the Friday before the stallion inspection, a public-admission clinic afternoon is organised. For many Friesian horse-lovers, this stallion inspection, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors, is the main event of the year.


Tests and the sport predicate 
In the Netherlands the KFPS offers a couple of tests in which Friesian horses can take part: the IBOP and the ABFP test. The IBOP test is designed to ascertain, in an as objective a manner as possible, the horse's suitability for a specific purpose. Similarly, the ABFP test is designed to ascertain, in an as objective a manner as possible, talent as dressage and/or show driving and/or harness horse. In addition, for all Friesian horses, there is the possibility to earn the sport predicate.


Other predicates
When it turns out that a stallion exhibits an exceptionally good heritability performance, it can be declared Preferent. Mares can also earn Preferent status. For this, four offspring of the dam must have earned the star predicate. Also, having brought a studbook stallion into the world counts towards the Preferent status of a mare. A mare earns the predicate performance dam when three of her offspring have earned the sport predicate.


How do I find a stud stallion for my mare?
Looking for the right partner for your mare is of course not something done in a day. You first have to know the purpose for which you want to use the foal in the future. Do you want a dressage horse, a harness horse or maybe an all-rounder?

In choosing a stud stallion you must determine what weak points of the mare you want to improve and what strong points you want to embed. As an aid in determining the strong and weak points of the horse, you can use the linear scoring form. This is drawn up at the inspection for the mare's studbook registration. Then you look at the heritability performance of the stallions. These data are found on the website of the KFPS and additionally are distributed annually with Phryso. On the basis of this information, you choose the stallion that can bring about the greatest improvement.

It is crucial to be careful to avoid inbreeding: considering that the population of Friesian horses is closed and not so very long ago, was even extremely small, inbreeding is something you have to watch out for. The KFPS advises use of combinations with a maximum of 5% inbreeding. In addition, it is important that the first three generations of foals must not be pared to the same stallions.