A touch of desert Arabian blood makes them specially tuned Friesians: Arabo-Friesians find more and more enthusiasts.
An idyllic countryside, between forest and vineyards, is the home of Günter, Elke and Rouven Erny. Here we live together with free-range chickens, ducks, gooses, sheeps, two cats, 2 Dobermann girls and naturally with our Friesian and AraboFriesian.
The town Weinsberg near Heilbronn is in Baden-Württemberg in the south of Germany.
AraboFriesians – Black Athletes
A touch of desert Arabian blood makes them specially tuned Friesians find more and more enthusiasts among equestrians
Some 400 years ago, during the time of the Spanish occupation from 1568 to 1648, the local Friesian farmers were forced to use Spanish stallions with Arabian blood on their mares. The result was an immensely athletic breed of horse which is found in the ancestry of Orlov trotter and the Morgan, among others.
Then around 1900, to save the Friesian from extinction, the horses had to be made suitable for agricultural work. Unfortunately, this development cost the breed its lung and heart volume.
When during the 1960s, Friesian horses disappeared from international driving and dressage arenas, some breeders decided to return to the roots. These experts began to search for the best desert Arabian blood, which had already been introduced into the breed 400 years ago, to use on carefully selected Friesian mares. They chose the well-known elite stallion Gharib, a straight Egyptian stallion at Marbach State Stud, in order to improve the following characteristics: endurance, toughness, lung and heart volume.
The means a quick return to a normal pulse and a better ability to give off warmth through a finer skin and different muscular structure. The result in the 2., 3. and 4. generation have been horses that have been very successful in sports.
For eight successive years, a team of AraboFriesians have won the Belgian four-in-hand championships, for many years they have been regularly placed among the TOP TEN in international driving competitions, including world championships. More recently, AraboFriesians have also competed successfully in dressage.
It was great advantage for the breeding of AraboFriesians, that the pure Friesians had been rigorously selected for beauty and movement. This meant that in breeding Arab-Friesians, the main emphasis could be placed on athletic ability. As a result, the horses uniformly look like Friesians and are very athletic. Most buyers of AraboFriesians are former warmblood owners, so that pure Friesians and AraboFriesians do not compete against each other.
AraboFriesians are not just simple crosses between Friesians and Arabians. They should carry 5 to 20 % selected desert Arabian blood and look like pure Friesians, with slightly less fetlock hair and finer heads. They have smooth gaits and enjoy moving. They have great endurance and toughness and are thus suitable for the toughest sport competitions. One of the most important aspects is their disposition: it is the “golden disposition” of the old proven Friesian bloodlines.
Most breeding stallions come from the Ritske and Age lines, the old Friesian sire lines known for their athleticism. Since 90 % of today`s Friesians are decended from the Mark sire line, which is only rarely found among AraboFriesians, all 231 Friesian dam lines can be used for breeding. If pure Friesians are used, lines free of Mark blood are preferred, in order to get the sport certificate.
The breeding goal is 10 to 20 % Arabian blood, so that the horses look like Friesians with their typical way of moving, and have the endurance and toughness of the Arabian. The foals receive full papers and equine passports. Foals that promise to be particularly athletic, receive the “sport certificate” The sport certificate is the highest accolade in AraboFriesian breeding and a necessary prerequisite for a potential breeding stallion.
These horses are bred specifically for performance. AraboFriesians should be able to compete against the best warmblood horses.
The breeding stallion Yk Dark Danilo competed for four years as the leading horse in a four-in-hand team among the world elite, in the world championships and in the indoors, until he was trained for dressage in 2005. In the same year, he was Reserve Champion in his class in Belgium.
AraboFriesians are equally for dressage and driving.
The European AraboFriesian Society today has daughter societies in France and in Germany.
There is also great interest in these baroque sports horses in the USA, Canada, Spain, Switzerland and Britain.
Originating from “Equus Robustus” the Friesian horse has always been a remarkable horse for the noble class. It`s special eye-catching characteristics have been one of the reasons why noble men choose this horse for their army leaders as well as a means of representing status.
This strong and noble original Friesian horse, adapted for riding long distances with heavy-weight harness man was transformed by inbreeding Arabian blood during the80 years lasting occupation of the Spanish into a lighter even more noble horse with improved characteristics for flexibility, speed and endurance. The Friesians became the horse for the leaders of army, because they were very distinctive, both in colour(black or white), long manes and tails, high knee-action, elegant craning neck and excellent rapidity. The soldiers could distinguish their leader by such eye-catching horses.
In the middle of the 17th century Friesians started to excel in the new art of dressage high school, practised on all respectable royal courts. Friesians were less heavy and more flexible with higher movements than other baroc horses at that time. Friesian stallions were exported to courts all over Europe in order to improve local horse breeds for saddle and dressage-sport-qualities.
In the same period Friesians developed into the best trotters of the world. Also Frieians were exported to improve other trotters, like Orlow-trotter and Morgens. That was the first time in Friesian history that these fine horses spread worldwide. In recent years Friesians are used for trotting again, however even the best ones are 10 seconds slower on short distances, than Friesian trotters from the last century. This shows clearly how the Friesian breed regressed in sport qualities.
Main reasons for this regression is the transformation of Friesian horses into a much heavier and short legged draft horse for agricultural use in the period 1910-1960.
This was necessary for economic and survival reasons.
30 years ago a “modernisation” started. During that time Friesians have been systematically selected to create a lean, light footed, long legged, elegant Friesian horse. The result is a sportive look, however the genetic inside represents still an agricultural horse as certain bloodlines have been selected for agricultural use for a long time. However, a few bloodlines with appropriate endurance characteristics still exist in older breeding mares – this are the genes we want to use in our breeding program.
Stallions, Mares and Breeding
The AraboFriesian Stallions are the result of our intensively studies about performance lines of Friesians and Arabians, breeding experience and praxis test of highest standard at the international driving sport. The parents, brothers and sisters of these stallions were that successfully in that heavy sport, that they belong over the years to the 10 best of the world. look at the page “News”.
In the praxis the hardest and best selection can be done in marathon, because here you can proof best, the endurance, flexibility of the body, the movement and the degree of exhaustion, as well the function of muscles, the heart and the lung. The selected breeding stallions and their families (both sites) have to meet the high requirements. A compatible test at this high standard is not to find at the pure Friesian stallions.
The breeding of AraboFriesians is relative simple. Every Friesian mare (with or without papers) can be bred by an approved AraboFriesian stallion. The influence of the sport genes of the stallion are that huge that the result will be a very good working horse, which will fulfill the requirements in driving sport as well in dressage riding sport under saddle. To pass the highest requirements in sport of course the mare has to come up with some qualities.
Papers and Passports
In all cases the foal will get complete papers, a passport and a microchip (at the neck)
The association as well is honoring these efficient, very promising foals with a “Sport Certificate”. To pursue the breeding quality of the stallions keurings are be held. Beside the performance AraboFriesians of course have to convince through beauty and good movements.
Which demands we make on the breeding stallions
The pure Arabians do have a much larger genetic breadth as the pure Friesians and most of both breeds fail to meet the strict requirements of AraboFriesian-Sporthorses. That`s why we are only working with proofed performance blood out of booth breeds for our breeding stallions.
The breeding goal is 5 % to 20 % Arabian blood, so that the horses look like Friesians with their typical way of moving, and the endurance and toughness of the Arabian.
This is the standard we followed and we want to keep this high standard for our AraboFriesian-Sporthorse breeding in the future.
Which Friesian mares are qualified?
Most breeding stallions come from the Ritske and Age lines, the old Friesian sire lines known for their athletism. Since 90 % of todays Friesians are descended from the
Mark sire line, which is only rarely found among Arab-Friesians, all 231 Friesian dam lines can be used for breeding.
For future breeders it is interesting to know that Friesian mares with white markings or with papers not issued by FPS, FPZV or without papers are be able to participate on our breeding program in the same way as registered Studbook, Star or Model mares.
Mares without papers have to proof their pedigree with an DNA test, then their foals will receive full papers. If this proof can not be given their offspring will receive a “half” paper in contrast to the pure Friesian breed.
Often buyers of AraboFRiesian foals are horse lovers, which worked with warm blood horses before, but looking to work with an good disposition, uncomplicated baroque horse which is efficiency in sport – dressage riding and driving sport.
The AraboFriesian Breeding Stallions are helping to remedy the heavy inbreed in the
Friesian breed. Their fresh Arabian blood result in this positiv effect. This maybe influence the high fertilication rate of more as 90 % and the foals are very active and Healthy after given birth.
Which stallions are available for the breeder?
1 of the best stallions are offering frozen semen for North Amerika
For more advise please contact
Günter Erny – representive of country phone 01149-7131-6499884, cell phone 0172-7482035, fax 01149-7131-179426
Were can I get an AraboFriesian?
One option would be to breed your Friesian mare (or one of your friends) with one of the approved AraboFriesian stallions( look at the page “Breeding Stallion”
Although you are breeding a well reasoned breed, which is build of studies of Friesian and Arabian blood lines. Basic is a almost 30 years preparatory work which was tested in praxis.
All AraboFriesian horses you can breed, even with pure Friesian stallions. These foals will also receive full AraboFriesian papers.
The easiest way to purchase a wonderful AraboFriesian is very simple.
You will be added to a purchaser list and we will help you to find your dream horse. Get in contact with your country representative:
Günter Erny phone 01149-7131-6499884 cell phone 0172-7482035 fax 01149-7131-179426