Friesian breed finally recognised as sport horse by WBFSH

Marc Peter Spahn - Elias 494 Gothenburg Horse Show 2020 © Digishots

October 13, 2020

Marc Peter Spahn – Elias 494 Gothenburg Horse Show 2020 © Digishots
The World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) has accepted the KFPS as their member. That is the official recognition of the Friesian horse as a sport horse. This was announced by the WBFSH on Tuesday the 13th of October. This recognition opens doors for Friesian horses at international dressage competitions, such as the World Championships Dressage for Young Horses.

It all started with Cheré Burger and Anders 451

The WBFSH is the international federation of studbooks for sport horses. They have an important relation with the FEI, the international equestrian sport federation which organises the WCs. Only horses from studbooks registered with the WBFSH are entitled to take part. In spite of remarkable performances of Friesian horses, which began with Cheré Burger and Anders 451 during the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen, the doors of the WBFSH remained closed for Friesians – until now.

Contribution Peter Spahn and Elias 494

The KFPS has lobbied for years to secure this recognition, says KFPS Director Ids Hellinga. The WBFSH has been dubbing the Friesian horse as a ‘draught horse’ for years. ‘This might seem laughable, but we chose to interpret this as a sign to step up international appearances of Friesian horses. Especially the performances of Peter Spahn and Elias 494, for instance during the WC in Ermelo in 2019, have significantly contributed to this reconsideration on the part of the WBFSH. Moreover, we have succeeded in convincing the WBFSH that in spite of being a studbook for one specific breed, sport plays a prominent part in our breeding policy.’