The Friesian Sport horse is produced by out-crossing Friesians with selected breeds. It creates a horse that retains some of the outstanding characteristics of the purebred Friesian, while improving on its athletic ability, hybrid vigor, and stamina. Friesian Sport horse body types can range from the lighter frame of traditional sporthorses to a heavier, more baroque build. They tend to have a nicely arched neck that is set higher, giving the Friesian Sporthorse an elegant uphill appearance.
While the term, Friesian Sport horse, is used generically to refer to any Friesian crossbreed, the ideal Friesian Sporthorse is specifically bred to excel in disciplines such as dressage, eventing, combined driving, harness, and jumping.
One of the greatest assets deriving from their Friesian heritage is a gentle nature and a friendly willing attitude. Because of their beauty and superb temperaments, they are also valued as pleasure and trail horses.
Friesians have been crossbred for more than a century. Therefore, in 1879, the Friesian registry created two books: one for purebred Friesians, and another for crossbreeds. By 1907, crossbreeding had become so common that the rules were changed again to combine the two registries back into one book. In 1915, the rules were changed once more, due to concerns over the potential extinction of the purebred Friesian, and again two books were created, Dutch and German. Today the Dutch Friesian (FPS, Friese Paarden Stamboek) registry and its American counterpart (FHANA, Friesian Horse Association North America) do not allow crossbreeding. However, the German Friesian registry (FPZV, Friesenpferde Zuchtverband e. V.) does allow crossbreeding.
Friesian Sport horse were not commonly bred in Canada until fairly recent years. One of the first breeders was Whispering Hills Friesians in Alberta, standing the stallion Donius W, whose first foals arrived in 1996. The popularity of these wonderful sporthorses has increased dramatically over the last 15 years; Friesian Sport horses are impressing horse enthusiasts as competition and pleasure horses as well as loving companions.