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How Much Does a Friesian Horse Cost? (Price Chart)

How Much Does a Friesian Horse Cost

The heavily built and muscular Friesian horse originated in the Netherlands. This attractive animal is one of the oldest domesticated horse breeds and often the favorite choice among horse lovers. This gentle, good-natured giant with a striking appearance has a shiny black coat complemented by a long tail and thick mane.

As you have probably known, having a horse is an expensive hobby. How much does a Friesian horse cost is not the only question you need an answer for. It typically depends on the horse’s bloodline and racing success. However, you should also check the cost of maintaining and feeding your beautiful animal. Let’s see.

How Much Does a Friesian Horse Cost

Friesian Horse History

Friesian horses are an ancient breed native to Friesland, Holland. Initially, they were grey or bay, but they are only black nowadays due to specific breeding practices. 

Friesian horse breed

Features Friesian horse
Species Equus caballus
Family Equidae
Height Stallions standard size needs to be at least 15.3 hands (63 inches / 1.6 m)
Mares and geldings standard size is 14.3 hands (60 inches / 1.5 m)
Adult total high is ideally 15.3 to 16 hands (63 – 64 inches / 1.6 – 1.62 m)
Weight 1,300 to 1,450 pounds (590 – 658 kg)
Temperament Mischievous, eager, playful, friendly, and loving
Body type Sturdy and muscular build with arched neck and long, thick mane and tail
Color Black
Lifespan Sixteen years
Diet Timothy hay, grass, supplements
Care Advanced level
Minimal stall dimensions 24 by 24 feet (7.3 x 7.3 m)
Stall set-up Large bedding and at least 1 acre (0.4 ha) of pasture
Compatibility Average

The breed was re-introduced into the US in 1974, but they were often crossbred with other horse breeds. As a result, North American Friesians lost their pureblood, and only 8,000 purebred Friesian horses live in North America today. Most of them take place in horse show competitions.

Friesian Horse Price

As is the case with all horses, the Friesians’ price will depend on a few traits. Let’s check the crucial ones.

Bloodline

Like other horse breeds, the Friesians’ price will significantly vary depending on its bloodline. As you can guess, a Friesian horse with a champion pedigree will be pricey. Additionally, each weanling and a three-year-old horse is judged on its conformation and movement.

A specific inspection, Keuringa, is the only appropriate way to decide whether a Friesian meets the required official breed standards. After determining compliance with the standard, each foal, mare, and gelding get a Premium (Premie) rating.

The Friesian horse breed value

Horse type Average price
Weanling $7,000 to $15,000
1-year-olds Up to $15,000
Untrained colts $10,000
Fillies  and colts $10,000 to $20,000
Mares with three years of experience $15,000 to $25,000
Star mares $25,000 to $40,000+
Model mares $50,000 to $100,000+
Preferent mares $500,000 to $1,000,000
Stallions $150,000 to $750,000

After double evaluation, a horse will earn a premium status and gain entry into a Studbook. Keep in mind that only stallions approved at inspections are eligible to take place in the Studbook. Friesians with a special designation are prized and will always cost more.

Finally, only a few of them with a lasting, confirmed influence on the entire breed get the Preferent prefix. The same status will get mares after giving birth to at least four quality horses.

As you can assume, Friesians with a Premium rating will be worth more than average horses. Typically, their offspring will also be more expensive.

Breed registration

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Breed registration

You should be aware that horses registered with the Netherlands Friesch Paarden Stamboek or Friesian Horse Association of North America have a higher cost. You can be sure that these animals fulfill their strict standards after two required inspections.

These two registers are not the only ones worldwide, but they are highly reputable, and their strict standards are internationally accepted.

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Type and rarity

You can find two purebred Friesian horses:

  • Sport Friesians
  • Baroque Friesians

A robust-built Baroque Friesian is close to the original Friesian warhorse, but some breeders have bred a new lighter modern Friesian type. Such an animal will be more expensive than a traditional one.

With only 37,000 animals worldwide and 8,000 in the USA, Friesians are in a group of rare breeds. Therefore, you should always check the papers to know that a Friesian you want to buy is a purebred animal.

Age

The prime Friesian age is from 6 to 14 years old. The horse in the early 20s will be significantly cheaper.

Some older Friesians may suffer from aortic artery rupture, a fatal genetic disorder that occurs after the horses reach four. Therefore, checking the horse’s bloodline and its parents’ health is crucial.

Size

A standard Friesian size is always the same, regardless of type. Therefore, a horse that meets established standards will be more costly.

Stallion standardized height needs to be 15.3 hands (63 inches / 1.6 m) by the age of four. On the other hand, four-year-old mares should be 14.3 hands (60 inches / 1.5 m) tall.

As expected, Friesians that meet the ideal measurements are more expensive than taller or shorter animals. Any variation in size is a sign that the horse is not in a pure breed.

Be careful about dwarf Friesian horses. Dwarfism is not a specific breed but a well-known genetic mutation. Such a horse usually suffers from life-long health issues.

Gender

Gender will significantly affect the Friesian price, and you should pay more for a stallion than a mare of the same age and quality. The reason is that Friesian stallions are incredibly rare. Since only 800 of them were registered in 1990, you can expect that they are costly.

On the other hand, the top-rated mares can be unbelievably expensive. For instance, a star mare can be worth more than $40,000, while the model mare price can reach $100,000, sometimes even more.

Preferent mares are the most expensive, and it is not surprising that the best ones cost an astonishing $500,000 to $1,000,000.

Be careful with an inexpensive Friesian since it probably has a fatal genetic condition. In some cases, you can also find a horse with an aortic artery rupture.

Color

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Color

You can see that Studbook registered Friesians have only three different shades:

  • True black
  • Black bay
  • Black to very dark brown

These horses are monochrome or have a small white star on a forehead. Any other color is unacceptable for this breed.

For instance, the average price of a black bay Friesian stallion is over $100,000. However, the black animal with a star marking on the forehead can’t be worth more than $30,000.

Remember that color can slightly change over time due to sweat or when the horse is exposed to direct sunlight for a long. So, you should determine whether a lighter coat color results from genetics or is a harmless effect of sunbathing.

You can also find a Heritage (Fire) Friesian on the market, but you should know that such a horse is not a true Friesian. Since it is basically a hybrid, it is also impossible to register it in an official Studbook.

The Heritage Friesian’s coat is usually red or chestnut, and its price is significantly lower than a purebred horse.

Training

As always, training level will significantly affect the horse price. The best-trained horses of any age will cost you more than an untrained animal.

For instance, an unbroken foal or young horse will cost approximately $7,000 to $15,000. On the other hand, you will need to pay at least $20,000 for a well-trained animal. The reason is the high prices of ultimate training.

You should be aware that a professional trainer needs to work with a show horse at least two to three times a week to keep it in top shape. Since a top-notch trainer’s hourly rates are high, you need to set aside more money for such a prepared horse.

Most Friesians on the market are well-trained geldings that spent at least one to three years in the saddle. The average price for this horse is about $25,000 to $30,000.

Show records

Friesians are magnificent show horses, and their prices directly depend on their show records. Top-quality show animals are worth at least $50,000, but the highest performing elite animals can reach much more.

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Regular Monthly Friesian Expenses

Besides a horse cost, you should be aware of regular monthly expenses for a Friesian horse.

Friesian horse breed monthly expenses

Services Price
Boarding $150 to $1,250
Feeding $60 to $100+
Electricity $100
Training $2,000 to $10,000 ($45 to $80 per hour)
Farrier bi-monthly $100 ($25 to $30 per visit)
Veterinary bills $200 to $300
Vaccines $22 to $47+
Deworming (once in three months) $5 to $10
Microchipping $60
Health certificates $40
Coggins testing for travel $37 to $87
Grooming $10 to $125+
Dentistry costing once in 6 to 12 months $100 to $250+
Horseshoes $30 to $450
Stud fee for preferent stallions $1,500 to $4,000
Horse insurance 2.9% to 4.5% of the horse’s value
Membership in the FHANA $20 one-time administration fee

$60 to $180 annually

Licensing and registration $35
Manure removal $200 to $900 annually for a dumpster

$3,000 annually for a waste disposal company

Summary

Friesian horses are an old, excellently-regulated breed. Their price will directly depend on the horse’s purpose and breeding qualities. So, you can choose the animal with or without pedigree, depending on your budget, plans, and intentions.

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