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Friesians are one of the most recognizable horse breeds with long flowing manes and tails, exquisite feathering, and a jet black coat. These mesmerizing black horses have elegant head carriages and an animated way of moving.
Friesians are true powerhouses in the show ring, dominating in saddle seat, carriage driving, dressage, and everything in between. These beautiful horses are stars both in and out of the show ring. However, how much does a Friesian horse cost to buy?
On average, a Friesian horse will cost between $12,000 to $25,000, with some purebred horses selling over $100,000. The factors that affect the cost of a Friesian horse include bloodlines, inspection results, show record, training, age, and conformation
Though Friesians are growing in popularity, they are still relatively uncommon. They were first introduced to America in the 1970s and now there are approximately 8,000 Friesians in North America. The fact that their numbers are still only in the thousands in America and each horse is carefully bred to meet the breed requirements is why they are often more expensive.
Now let’s take a more in-depth look into how various factors affect a Friesian horse’s price and how you can buy one.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Friesian Horse
Bloodlines and Inspections
Just like other horse breeds, bloodlines play a large role in how much a Friesian will cost. A Friesian with a champion pedigree will likely sell for a lot of money.
To decide if a Friesian horse meets the official breed standards, they will undergo inspections, called Keuringa, as weanlings and then again typically at three years old. During these inspections, horses are judged on their confirmation and movement.
Foals, mares, and geldings are awarded a Premium (Premie) rating which reflects how close the Friesian complies with the breed standard. A champion and reserve champion foal, mare, gelding, and stallions are also awarded at each inspection.
Stallions can also become approved at inspections, which means they are eligible to be in the studbook. Stallions that have a lasting, special influence on the breed can be awarded the preferent prefix, which mares can also achieve if they have produced at least four quality horses.
Friesians that do well at the inspections, earning high ratings, will typically sell for more money. In addition, offspring of preferent stallions will likely be more expensive.
Training can significantly influence the price of a Friesian. A horse with extensive training from a top-notch show barn will sell for a higher price than an unbroke horse.
Foals and young horses with little to no training will typically sell around $10,000- $15,000. Training a horse is expensive and professional trainers will often work show horses several times a week to keep them in top shape. Since training a horse is demanding, a fully trained Friesian under saddle or harness will often sell upwards of $20,000.
Friesians make magnificent show horses, as they stand out with their stunning conformations and beautiful way of moving. They excel in several different disciplines within the show ring, both in riding and driving.
Top-quality Friesian show horses can easily cost $50,000 or more. As mentioned in our most expensive horse breeds guide, some of the highest performing elite Friesian show horses can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are becoming highly sought after for their bold, high stepping gaits and eye-catching looks.
Age and Conformation
As for every horse, age and conformation will factor significantly into the cost. A well-bred Friesian should display an upright head carriage, powerful yet elegant build with a shiny black coat with feathering on the legs and a long flowing mane and tail.
Ages also plays a role in price, with the prime age for a Friesian generally being 6-14 years old. Once a horse is in their late teens or early 20s, they will sell for less than a younger horse.
Buying a Friesian Horse
Whether you are looking for a stylish show horse or a pleasure mount, Friesians are great horses to own. Though their numbers are still on the low side in America, they have been continuing to grow in popularity.
Even though the cost of buying a Friesian can range widely, you can find cheaper Friesians for sale online or at auctions who don’t meet the strict breeding standard.
If a horse doesn’t meet the breeding standard, it simply means they won’t do as well as showing or fetch a high price for breeding. However, this won’t affect how good the horse is to own or ride and are just as good as any other horse.
Other Options Besides Buying a Friesian
Since owning a horse isn’t a practical option for everyone, there are other choices available. Leasing and joint ownership are the two most feasible options outside of buying.
Some sellers are willing to lease their horse, which gives the option of full or partial use of the horse at a more affordable cost. In some instances, a joint partnership or limited liability corporation (LLC) is an option, which splits the cost of buying and owning a horse.
Also read, 8 Interesting Friesian Horse Facts.