Friesian horses have a long history. Once used in medieval times to carry knights into war, they were originally developed as a breed in the northern areas of the Netherlands in the province of Friesland. This makes them one of the oldest domestic breeds that is currently still highly sought after by owners today.
There is also a certain scarcity to this breed. When machines began to replace animals for agricultural work and warfare, there was less of a need to breed Friesian horses. By World War I, it is believed that there were only 3 Friesian stallions in the world that were available for breeding purposes.
This horse breed has managed to recover well thanks to a global effort to save Friesians. They are willing, energetic, and highly active horses that also have a docile personality. It carries itself with elegance, is generally black in color, and has a long mane and tail that should never be cut.
How much are Friesian horses? If you’re looking to purchase one day, then the median price to expect in the United States is about $25,000 per horse. Certain factors and personality traits may also affect pricing.
Training Directly Affects the Price of Friesian Horses
If the Friesian horse has been properly trained, then this may add an addition 10-20% to the price of the horse. Friesians can be trained in a number of different tasks, but riding and driving tend to be the two most popular demands that are seen. Sporting horses within this breed also tend to add the same amount to the final price.
Registered sport horses for this breed tend to not be double or triple trained. This does not mean a future owner would be unable to train the horse in other tasks, but it does mean the initial price will be similar when comparing these two outcomes.
Most of the Friesian horses that you will find for sale fit into these training categories and tend to be geldings that have been under saddle for 1-3 years. Pricing will generally be between $25,000 to $30,000 per horse.
Weanlings and Untrained Colts or Fillies Offer the Best Deals
A verified breeding history for a weanling may let you find a Friesian horse for as little as $7,000. It is rare for weanlings or 1-year-olds to be more than $15,000 – though lineage may affect this pricing in some way.
Colts or fillies that are untrained will also be found below the median price for this breed. Occasionally you’ll find untrained colts or fillies for less than $10,000. Most horses in this category will be priced for less than $20,000.
What Is the Cost for Qualified Stallions?
Stallions are still incredibly rare in the Friesian breed. In the early 1990s, there were just 800 Friesians in the United States, making them a very rare and endangered breed. This means there are two methods of qualification that a stallion may have for the Friesian breed. The stallion can qualify with breed standards or it may qualify through offspring.
Breed standard qualifications for a stallion will cause the price of the horse to be at least $150,000. Depending on how well the stallion meets the breed standard, the price may rise to over $500,000.
When a stallion is able to produce qualified offspring from stud work, then this increases his value even further. Minimum pricing for this type of Friesian horse is $300,000 and could easily exceed $750,000 depending on the number of offspring that meet qualifications which are produced.
What Is the Cost of Stud Fees for Preferent Stallions?
Once a stallion is able to produce a number of live offspring that meet standards, it may be given the title of preferent. When this title is received, it changes the breeding rights for that stallion. Qualified stallions may be given regional breeding rights and be temporarily approved as a first premium breeding stallion.
Preferent stallions receive permanent approval as a first premium breeding stallion and will typically receive worldwide breeding rights.
For this reason, the stud fees from a preferent stallion will typically be at least $1,500. Some stallions may be made available for cross-breeding, but this isn’t a requirement. There may also be additional shipping, handling, and care fees involved in addition to the mandatory stud fee.
Many of the Friesian horses that qualify for preferent status as a stallion will also come with a foaling guarantee. As long as the mare meets specific qualification, the payment of the stud fee will guarantee a foal that can stand on its own, be able to feed, and be free of physical defects. If this does not occur, then the guarantee would allow for another studding in the next cycle without an additional stud fee.
What Is the Cost for Friesian Mares?
There are four different classifications for mares when looking at the Friesian breed. Each classification brings a different price.
The most common mares that you will see for sale are those that have 3+ years of experience. On a good day, you might be able to find a mare like this for about $15,000. If the mare meets some breed standards, the price for a mare like this may rise up to the average price point of $25,000 for this breed.
Star mares meet more of the breed standards than a standard mare. This means their starting price begins at $25,000. Top mares in this category may fetch more than $40,000, depending on the current availability of horses that are for sale.
Model mares tend to offer the best value purchase for those who are looking to breed Friesians. They meet a majority of the breed standards and are quite reliable. It is rare to find a model mare for less than $50,000 these days, especially if there is an extensive level of preferent lineage in that mare’s background. You will often find model mares with good lineage are priced at $100,000 or more.
Preferent mares are a title that is rarely given because the horse perfectly meets all breed standards. To receive this status, a mare must not only meet her own breed standards, but so must her offspring. Because of this, most owners are unwilling to part with a mare that has been given this title. Sales are quite rare. When they do occur, it is not unusual for the price to exceed $1 million.
The prices of Friesian horses are quite high compared to other breeds because of their scarcity and demand. These beautiful horses have a lot of charisma, are incredibly versatile, and give you plenty of balance and agility. They may be a considerable investment, but most owners feel like it is one that is definitely worth making.