SO YOU WANT TO BUY A FRIESIAN HORSE
A Summary of Registers, Statuses and Premiums for the Prospective Buyer
The rules of any studbook are complex and the rules of Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek (FPS) which is the parent handbook of the Friesians Horse Association of North America (FHANA) are no exception. The purpose of these complexities is to differentiate between the Registry and status/grade levels of horses in order to achieve our primary goal of preserving and improving the breed. To evaluate their quality, foals and adult horses are inspected by a FPS judge from The Netherlands based on a combination of their movement (60%) and conformation (40%).
The following is a brief description of the Friesian studbook system to enable first time or inexperienced buyers to recognize the grading of a Friesian horse from its brand markings and its registration papers.
The Main Studbooks
If you are considering buying a Friesian colt for eventual use as a stallion you should be aware that the chances of getting him approved for breeding are very small. There are very stringent requirements placed on Approved Stallions. If, however, you wish to pursue this possibility, carefully review FHANA's Rules & Regulations concerning the requirements for the Studbook of Stallions.
Breeding for the B-Book I was allowed in North America until 1992. A horse, particularly a filly or mare, registered in B-Book I may therefore cost a bit less than an equivalent horse registered in the main studbook and a potential buyer should be aware of this fact and be able to recognize such a horse's registration paper.
Unfortunately it is difficult to distinguish between the main studbook and B-Book I horses registered in 1992 or earlier based on the outward appearance of their papers. In this case you must look for a Foal Book-registered stallion in the horse's pedigree.
For both the white paper and laminated plastic certificates, look for a V.B., Vb or vb. (referring to veulenboek, Foal Book) following any sire's name or registration number on the upper branches of the ancestral tree. If any such sires appear within three generations in the sire's or dam's line, then the horse should be considered equivalent to horses registered in B-Book I. (Although such horses born in the 1980's, prior to the establishment of the B-Book, were registered in the main studbook, as are their descendants.)
Both the FHANA and the FPS strongly discourage B-Book II breeding and, within North America, any such horses born after the end of 1994 will not qualify for registration. Therefore a buyer might expect to pay somewhat less for B-Book II horses - all other things being equal. B-Book II horses can be identified by their distinctive blue and blue/pastel-red laminated plastic papers.