The Friesian Registry

Understanding the Different Elements of the KFPS Registry

The first step in making an informed purchase of a Friesian horse is to understand the organization and rules of the KFPS Studbook.  The Koninklijke Vereniging ‘Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek’ (KFPS) recognizes the Friesian Horse Association of North America (FHANA) as its sole representative on the North American and as such, FHANA facilitates the registration of KFPS horses.  The rules of any horse registry may be complex and the rules of the KFPS are no exception. There are several levels in the KFPS studbook which allows one to differentiate between the registry and status/grade levels of horses in order to achieve the KFPS’s primary goal of preserving and improving the Friesian horse.

The following is a brief description of the KFPS studbook system to enable anyone unfamiliar with the registry to understand the registry status of a KFPS Friesian horse.

The Main of the KFPS Studbook

Breeding Friesian horses within the KFPS studbook system is strictly controlled. A horse can only be registered in the Foal Book register of the main section of the KFPS Studbook, sometimes referred to as “Main Book”, if its dam is in the main section of the Studbook herself (Studbook or Foalbook) and was bred to a Studbook stallion with KFPS approved breeding privileges, commonly referred to as an “Approved Stallion”.   In North America, there are on average 20 – 25 such Approved Stallions available for breeding.  Additionally, addition many Approved Stallions are available in The Netherlands for artificial insemination using frozen semen.  You will be able to easily recognize an Approved Stallion by its recorded three digit number following its name.  For example, Hessel 480 or Norbert 444.

NA based Approved Stallions:

Complete KFPS Stallion Information:

If you are considering buying a Friesian colt for eventual use as a stallion you should be aware the chances of getting him approved for breeding with the KFPS are relatively small. There are very stringent requirements placed on Approved Stallions. If, however, you wish to pursue this possibility, carefully review FHANA’s Rules & Regulations concerning the requirements for Studbook stallions.

B-Book I

In some countries, there is a scarcity of Approved Stallions. In order to promote breeding in those countries, the KFPS developed a subsidiary registry within the studbook system called the B-Book I (in Dutch, bijboek-I). Foals can be registered in B-Book I when the sire is a registered Foal Book stallion that has been given approval by the KFPS for limited breeding under specific predefined conditions.  In North America, breeding permits were given to select Foal Book stallions in the United States and Canada until 1992 when the availability of approved Studbook stallions negated the need..  However, Central America does have Foal Book stallions with limited breeding privileges granted by the KFPS.

A horse, particularly a filly or mare, registered in B-Book I may therefore cost a bit less than an equivalent horse registered in the main studbook and a potential buyer should be aware of this fact and be able to recognize such a horse’s registration paper.  It can be difficult to distinguish between main studbook and B-Book horses on the outward appearance of their papers. In this case you must look for a Foal Book-registered stallion in the horse’s pedigree.  Look for a V.B., Vb or vb. (referring to veulenboek, Dutch for Foal Book) following any sire’s name or registration number on the upper branches of the ancestral tree. If any such sires appear within three generations in the sire’s or dam’s line, then the horse should be considered equivalent to horses registered in B-Book I. (Although such horses born in the 1980’s, prior to the establishment of the B-Book, were registered in the main studbook, as are their descendants.)

B-Book II

In addition to the B-Book I, there is a second subsidiary registry within the studbook system called the B-Book II. This registry is intended for all purebred Friesian horses that were bred using Foal Book stallions without the approval of the KFPS.  FHANA does not process registration applications for B-Book II horses.  Members wishing to register such horses must correspond directly with the KFPS in the Netherlands.  A buyer might expect to pay somewhat less for B-Book II horses, all other things being equal.  B-Book horses can be identified by their distinctive Black and White Papers.  A B-Book horse may be an excellent fit your budget and future plans even though it may not be in the highest KFPS register.

Promotion of B-Book Descendants

There is a set of rules whereby the offspring of a B-Book II mare can be registered in B-Book I if that mare is bred to an Approved Stallion. Likewise, the descendants of B-Book I mares can be elevated to the main studbook after three generations of similar Approved breedings.

Status of Horses Within the Register

Within the registry, one may infer basic value from the placement of the horse within the registry and the horse’s premium and predicates, all things being equal.  For example, you should generally expect to pay more for a Model mare than a Star mare, more for a Star mare than a Studbook mare, and more for a Studbook Mare than for one that could not be promoted from the Foal Book (because of a white leg marking, for example).  Horses in the Foal Book can move up to the Studbook at the age of three or four after a positive inspection result; however, some owners– particularly of geldings, do not bother to have them judged and a mature Foal Book horse may still be a good buy if it has potential.  There is no category for stallions that have not been approved for breeding. A male horse must either be approved, gelded, or remain in the Foal Book.


To evaluate their quality, foals and adult horses are inspected by a KFPS judge from the Netherlands based on a combination of their movement and conformation.  Foals, yearling and two year old mares, star mares and geldings can receive premiums (in Dutch, premie) when they are judged. On judging day, a first premium horse demonstrated better movement and conformation than a second premium horse, which demonstrated better movement and conformation than a third premium horse.  “No premium” foals can result from many factors including genuine faults, poor quality, temporary unsoundness on judging day, unacceptable white markings.  Among adult horses, only Approved Stallions, Star Mares and Geldings, and the best quality studbook mares and geldings are eligible to receive premiums. In the case of multiple premiums, the most recent is typically the most important.  Foal premiums are frequently not be relevant indicators of a horse’s quality as an adult. For more information on the judging process, please visit the FHANA website:  Rules & Regulations


Within the KFPS registry, horses are also differentiated in quality by means of predicates. The predicates are based on the horse’s own merit or based on the quality of offspring. In addition predicates can be based on exterior, sport aptitude, sport performances or a combination thereof.  Predicates add a great deal of value to the horse in most cases and therefor, one would expect to pay more for a KFPS horse with a predicate.  Predicates include Star, Crown, Model, Sport, Sport Elite and Performance mother.  For more information on predicates and their requirements please see the FHANA website:  Predicates

Recognizing Studbook Certificates

The KFPS will issue a studbook certificate (registration papers) for all horses that are registered in the studbook.  The registration certificate is strictly a statement that a specific horse has a recognized pedigree and the privilege of being entered in the official worldwide registry for the Friesian horse. It has no specific rights or privileges in conjunction with it and is not, in itself, a proof of ownership.  Buyers should obtain a properly executed Bill of Sale from the Sellers for this purpose. The Registration Certificate is not the property of the horse owner and can be withdrawn by the KFPS or FHANA for justifiable cause. The certificate must be returned to the FHANA upon the death of the horse.

Main Book Example (Front)


Main Studbook registration certificates are laminated and a dark blue color as of January 1st, 2015.  The registration certificate for horses registered in 1989 through 2014 is yellow/green and yellow striped with a light gray horse, plastic laminated and contains an embossed seal of the KFPS. The back side of the certificate is yellow-green and contains a large insignia of the KFPS above the name, “Koninklijke Vereniging Het Friesch Paarden Stamboek.”

Organizations That Register Friesians

Main Book Example (Back)
B Book I Example (Front)

B-Book, “Bijboek” in Dutch, papers are easily recognized due to their color.  Both B-Book I and B-Book II papers are laminated black and gray as of January 1st, 2015.  Prior to 2015, B-Book I papers were laminated orange/brown and gold certificates with a light blue/gray horse image.

B Book II Example (Front)

B-Book II registration certificates are laminated black and gray as of January 1st, 2015.  Prior to 2015, B-Book II certificates were laminated blue and pastel red with a light blue-gray horse image.


B Book Example (Back)

Illustration of Registration Outcomes

* After use of three KFPS studbook stallions in the last four consecutive generations in the mare line, the offspring out of a B-Book I mare are registered in the KFPS Mainbook.

** When a B-Book II mare is bred to a KFPS Studbook stallion, the offspring is promoted to B-Book I in one generation.

*** When a B-Book II mare is bred to a Foalbook stallion with a KFPS Breeding Permit, promotion to B-Book I takes place in two generations.

Other Organizations That Register Friesians

FHANA is the only recognized North American representative of the KFPS.  The KFPS is the original Friesian studbook founded in 1879 in The Netherlands. The largest numbers of KFPS registered horses are in the Netherlands, Germany and North America.

Although the majority of Friesians are in the KFPS registry, you should be aware that there are multiple other organizations in the world that register Friesian horses and crossbred offspring of Friesian horses. The guidelines, DNA/parentage verification and breeding policies of other registries for Friesian horses are not equal to those of the KFPS.  The judging standards of other organizations are different than the standards of the KFPS.

Some horses registered by the other organization were originally registered with the KFPS and those horses would be eligible for KFPS registration again, although dual registry is not permitted. Other non-KFPS Friesian horses may or may not be eligible for KFPS registration and an inquiry must be made to FHANA to determine if the horse is eligible to be registered with the KFPS.


All KFPS registered horses born before 1997 have a tongue tattoo (in Dutch tongcode) on the left side of the tongue to identify a horse with its registration paper. Horses born in 1997 and after have an electronic identification chip in the upper left neck, midway between poll and withers. The chip code is on the horse’s registration paper (chipnummer).  A 16 digit ISO chip scanner will read the chip number which can then be used to verify the identity of the horse by confirming the number listed on the studbook certificate.  If needed, a 16 digit ISO chip reader can be rented from FHANA.  Link to rental form: Microchip Reader Rental 


For More Information

FHANA understands the complexity of this subject and you are encouraged to contact the office with any registration questions.


4037 Iron Works Parkway

Suite 160, Lexington, KY 40511

Phone: (859) 455-7430

E-mail [email protected]

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