Short History and Description of a Arabo-Friesian
Arabo-Friesians are not just a simple crosses between Friesians and Arabians.
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:
♦ lung and heart volume
This means a quick return to a normal pulse and a better ability to give off heat through a finer skin and different muscular structure.
The result in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4rth, generations have been horses that have been very successful in Equestrian sports. For eight successive years, a team of Arabo-Friesians 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. Recently, Arabo-Friesians have been competing successfully in dressage.
It was a great advantage for the breeding of Arabo-Friesians, that the pure Friesians had been rigorously selected for beauty and movement. This meant that in breeding Arabo-Friesians, the main emphasis could be placed on athletic ability. As a result, the horses uniformly look like Friesians and are very athletic.
Arabo-Friesians are not just simple crosses between Friesians and Arabians.
♦ They should carry around 10% 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 character" of the old proven Friesian blood lines.
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 descended from the Mark sire line, which is only rarely found among Arabo-Friesians, all 231 Friesian dam lines can be used for breeding.
The breeding goal is 6 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.