Can Friesian horses be white?

The Friesian horse is stately and lovely. Although all horses are appreciated, it seems that horses with flowing manes and tails receive a lot of attention. The Friesian horse is big and the breeds extra long hair and beautiful leg feathers combine with their gentle natured disposition to make them very popular. Did you know that not all Friesian horses are black? Let’s have a look at the hues of Friesian horses.

friesian horse

Can Friesians be white? Purebred Friesian horses are not allowed to be white. A white Friesian horse competed at Equitana in 2007. Nero was really 25% Arabian and 75% Friesian.

Black Friesians

Most of the Friesian horses you will ever personally encounter will be black in color. They should be completely black with no white marks.

Friesian horses have a breed standard that prefers entirely black horses with just a very little star allowed. Socks, paint marks, or white stripes on the face are not permitted on purebred, registered Frisian horses.

Friesians, on the other hand, should be a stunning pure black. The shade can range from a faded red to a blue-black depending on the horse and the time of year.

black friesian horse

Because of selective breeding for the black hue, the majority of Friesian horses are homozygous for black. As a result, even when mixed with another breed, they should not be able to produce a chestnut or palomino foal.

Of course, there are certain exceptions to most “rules” when it comes to horses.

Chestnut Friesians

Friesian horses are only available in black. A stallion cannot be permitted for breeding unless he is homozygous black, however this was not always the case.

Several Friesians were born chestnut before genetic coat color testing was available for horses. These horses, known as “fox” Friesians, were also purebred.

Pinterest pin - Friesian Horse Colors

Despite having two black parents, every foal had a 25% chance of being born red if both parents were heterozygous for the red gene.

While 25% is not a lot, it is enough to support the existence of numerous red Friesians. To guarantee that no more chestnut horses were bred, the Fresian horse studbook, FPS, began demanding obligatory color testing for stallions.

Purebred chestnut Friesians are feasible, but they are not suitable for registration with any of the main Friesian horse registries.

These horses are still highly important to certain breeders for use in Friesian sport horse breeding programs. In this case, typically purebred stallions are crossed with mares of other breeds to produce foals that can be any color. Purebred Friesian mares may, however, be mixed with stallions of other breeds.

If all registration requirements are completed, the resultant foal may be registered with the Friesian Sport Horse Association.

white friesian horse

White Friesian Horses

In 2007, Equitana featured Nero, a stunning pure white Friesian. But, if Friesian horses only come in black, and rarely chestnut, how is there a pure white Friesian?

Nero is exceptionally beautiful but he is not purebred Friesian. He’s really 75% Friesian and 25% Arabian. According to EuroDressage, the Queen of the Netherlands granted permission to a Dutch family residing in Germany to breed purebred Friesian mares to a gray Arabian stallion.

The idea behind this marriage was to provide fresh blood to the otherwise small Friesian gene pool. One of the offspring, a colt called Negus, was born gray rather than black.

grey arabian

Negus, a half-Arabian, half-Friesian stallion, was not taught to ride until he was given a new owner and subsequently mated to purebred Friesian mares. One of those crosses produced Nero, the white Friesian that wowed the crowd at Equitana.

Other Colors of Friesian Horses

There are many other horses that may appear to be purebred Friesian but are other colors such as paint, pinto, piebald, skewbald, palomino, buckskin and even dun. All of these horses seem to be Friesian, yet they are, in reality, crossbred horses.

It doesn’t make them any less lovely or magnificent to look upon. In fact, with skilled breeding, a horse might seem to be almost 100% purebred while being paint, pinto, or even champagne or pearl.

If you’re curious about any of these hues, check out our horse coat color guide, which has hundreds of images of various horse colors.

Final Thoughts

You are now aware that genuine Friesian horses are only available in white or, very seldom, chestnut. While black may be your only true color option for purchasing a registered purebred Friesian horse, if you are willing to look at crossbreeds the color options are limitless. Certain Friesian half-breeds may even be registered with registries like the Frisian Sport Horse Association.


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Related Questions

  • Is a white Friesian horse rare?

    Frisian horses are a rather uncommon breed. Although considered to be fairly popular dressage and carriage horse, there are currently less than 1,000 Friesian horses registered in North America, according to some estimates.

  • Can Friesian horses have white?

    White markings are uncommon in Friesians. Pure black is typically preferred for the Friesian breed, so most Friesian registries do not allow horses with excessive white markings to be registered. Most white marks are regarded by registries as indication that the horse is not a pure bred Friesian.

  • What colors can Friesian horses be?

    Friesians come in what colors? A. The only color a studbook-registered Friesian comes in is black, however this may range from very dark brown or black-bay to true black. Many Friesians appear black bay when their coats are shedding or when they have become sun or sweat bleached.

  • How much are white Friesian horses?

    A decent friesian horse that is relatively young, healthy with standard conformation costs about $20,000 and up. You could expect to pay roughly $200,000 for a licensed breeding stallion.

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