Rules & Regulations


5.1. PURPOSE OF JUDGING - The annual judging conducted by the FPS has as its primary purpose the evaluation and selection of Friesian breeding stock. Certain categories of horses may be evaluated for premium awards and adult Friesians may be evaluated for promotion to the studbooks and to the registers of status/predicates.


To be evaluated by the FPS judges, a horse must be registered with the FPS. The FHANA reserves the right to withhold judging services from those horses for which Judging Applications and/or payments are not received by the published deadline.

5.2.1. Accountability - By presenting a horse to be judged, identification coded, or to have genetic samples taken for parentage verification, the owner acknowledges that this is done on a voluntary basis, that the horse participates entirely at the owner's risk, that the owner will pay all fees associated with the judging and/or procedures and that neither the FHANA, the FPS, nor the host(s) can be held responsible for whatever consequences may occur.

5.2.2. Members In Good Standing - Horses to be judged must be registered, on the Judging Application Deadline and on the day of judging, to a FHANA member in good standing.

5.2.3. Horses Must Be Sound - In order to be evaluated, a horse must be sound. Unsound horses cannot be evaluated for prizes or premiums, for the Studbooks or for status/predicates. These horses must remain in their current register indefinitely, or until they are sound. However, all foals must enter the Foal Book; there are no soundness restrictions for the Foal Book.

5.2.4. Categories To Be Judged 

  1. Weanling colts for Foalbook
  2. Weanling fillies for Foalbook
  3. Yearling Mares for Premium
  4. Two Year Old Mares for Premium
  5. 4 and Older Mares for Studbook and Star
  6. 3 Year Old Mares for Studbook and Star
  7. Studbook Mares repeat for Star
  8. Star Mares 4-6 for Premium
  9. Star Mares 7 and Older for Premium
  10. Crown Mares for Premium
  11. Model Mares for Premium
  12. 3 and Older Geldings for Gelding Book and Star
  13. Gedlings Repeat for Star
  14. Star Geldings for Premium
  15. 3 Year and Older Foalbook Stallions for Studbook and Star
  16. Approved Stallions
  17. IBOP


5.3.1. Judging Fees and the Circuit Fee - Judging fees for various categories of horses are shown on the List of Service Fees. In addition, a judging Circuit Fee is established annually as each horse's share of the total estimated FPS cost for all judging circuits. The appropriate Judging Fee and the Circuit Fee is due on or before the Judging Application Deadline. Late Application Fee - Applications and/or Fees received after the published deadline will incur a Late Application Fee for each horse as shown in the List of Service Fees. Substitutions and Refunds - The policy for substitution of horses and refunds of Judging Fees and Circuit Fees will be provided in writing to the horse owners at least 14 days prior to any related deadlines.

5.3.2. Regional Judging or Central Show Fees may be collected by the host organization to reimburse the cost of the event and the judges' travel, meal and lodging costs while in the local area.


5.4.1. Judging Sites - Judging will be held annually at sites designated by the FHANA, taking into account the requests of regional clubs and individuals, the number of horses on which judging is requested (especially foals and horses applying for entry in the studbooks), and the length of time since the previous judging at the location. An attempt will be made to honor as many requests as possible, but some locations may not be judged every year. Responsibilities of Hosts - Any individual or chapter hosting a Regional Judging or Central Show must agree to fulfill the responsibilities listed under Responsibilities of Judging Coordinators in the Appendix. The owner of private property on which a judging is held may wish to verify their liability insurance coverage with their agent. Regional groups holding a judging at a public or private facility should consider obtaining liability insurance for the event.


5.5.1. Premiums are awarded by the FPS at Regional Judgings in North America. Only certain categories of horses are eligible to receive premiums. Premiums to Foals shall be awarded by the FPS judges:

  • 1st Premium - orange ribbon; top 5% approximately
  • 2nd Premium - red ribbon; next 35% approximately
  • 3rd Premium - white ribbon; next 50% approximately
  • No Premium - 10% approximately

Premiums will not be awarded to foals with white on legs, feet or body; which are unsound; which are of very poor quality or in very bad condition; or which have a serious fault. However, all foals qualifying on the basis of their lineage will be entered in the Foal Book. Premiums to Other Horses- In Categories 3-7 and 12-13, the following results may be attained: First Premium, second Premium, third premium or no premium. Mares may be denied admission to the studbook and geldings may be denied admission to the Gelding Book if they do not meet minimum standards.  The results in each of these categories will be recorded on each horse's registration certificate.

In categories 8-10 and 14, horses will be considered for a first premium. If a first premium is awarded, this result will be recorded on each horse's registration certificate.  If the horse does not receive a first premium, no change will be made to the registration certificate.

Model mares (Category 11) presented for judging will receive a first premium.

Foalbook stallions (Category 17) will not receive premiums.  They will receive a result of Star or no Star, and this will be recorded.  Some stallions may be referred for further consideration for the Stallion Approval Examination.  (See rule 3.5)

5.5.2. Prizes can be awarded by the FHANA or by the host of the inspection, if desired. Prizes are strictly optional and may consist of championship awards and place ribbons which should not go beyond third place for any category.


5.6.1. Judging Format - It shall be left to the discretion of the judges as to the final sequence and format for the judging. In general, horses are presented individually in hand by category (foals, yearling fillies, 2 year old fillies, 3 year old mares, 4-6 year old mares, older mares, geldings and so forth); then, in classes of several horses, all horses within the category return to be placed in class order. Identification coding, taking genetic samples for parentage verification and measuring horses entering the studbooks typically follow the completion of judging activities.

5.6.2. Presentation of Horses- All horses are to be presented in hand. The handler may have an assistant who encourages the horse to be attentive while standing and to move forward vigorously at the walk and trot. Presentation will require that the horse stand squarely for evaluation of conformation and then walk and trot a triangular pattern for evaluation of movement. Foals should be presented with their dams and may be turned loose during the evaluation of their movement. Emphasis is placed on uninhibited forward movement; handlers should walk and trot their horses in an unrestrictive manner, as steadily and quickly as possible, to demonstrate the best movement of the horse.

5.6.3. Equipment for Presentation - Foals and yearlings should be presented in a halter and lead, with or without a chain. Horses 2 years and older should be presented in a bridle with a jointed snaffle bit. White halters, bridles and leads are traditional but are not necessary. The assistant may carry a whip and/or a noisemaker to encourage the horse to move forward.

5.6.4. Grooming for Presentation - Horses are to be clean and well groomed with full and unbraided manes and tails. Additional grooming, such as clipping a small bridle path, polishing hooves or removing superfluous hair on the muzzle or ears, is optional.

5.6.5. Dress of the Handler - It is traditional for the handler to wear white trousers and a white shirt, either with or without a necktie. Shoes must be suitable for running. The assistant traditionally dresses in white also. While white clothing is not required, it is respectful and an effort should be made to have at least the shirt or trousers be white.

5.6.6. Presentation in the Triangular Arena - Horses are to be judged in a triangular arena. The far side of the triangle is to be approximately 40 meters (132 ½ feet), if possible, and the other two sides are to be approximately 45 meters (150 feet). The horse will be judged first at the halt and then at the walk. Only half the length of the arena’s long sides is used for the walk. After the walk, the horse will proceed to the trot. The trot will use the entire triangular arena. The horse will then be presented again at the halt.

5.6.7 Shoeing for Inspections - Horses aged two years and older may be presented with shoes, provided the following requirements are met.  Only standard horseshoes may be used.  Maximum thickness of the shoes is limited to 8mm (5/16 inch), and width of the shoes is limited to 25 mm (1 inch).  No wedges, pads, or other additions to the shoes are allowed.  Judges may exclude horses presented with shoes not in compliance with these rules or allow the horses to be presented only after the shoes are removed.  Excessive foot length may also result in exclusion.


The annual judging of Friesian horses is a subjective attempt to evaluate a horse against the standards for the ideal Friesian which are listed in Section 2.1. Movement is 60% of the evaluation and conformation is 40%.

5.7.1. Linear Scores – Mares and geldings entering the adult studbooks are evaluated on a number of points which include various aspects of conformation, breed characteristics and movement. The horses are scored on each point based on their positive or negative deviation from the average for the Friesian horse population. The linear scores are used to inform the horses’ owners of their animals’ strong and weak points and to obtain data on the stallions’ influence on their offspring. Horse owners receive a copy of the linear score sheet along with the studbook registration certificate. The linear score sheet should be given to the buyer when a horse is sold.