Sport Horse Cross Question

I just saw a stallion for sale online. He’s a registered Friesian Sport Horse, half Friesian, half Missouri Fox Trotter.

I know a very little bit about sport horse breeding, through friends who have bred sport horses of various crosses, e.g., TB x WB, TB x Trakehner, TB x Morgan. I’ve only known one MFT. I have never seen this particular cross before, so I wanted to ask here. What do you think of this cross? What sort of mares could he be bred to?

The MFT I knew belonged to a friend who bred a few TWHs for gaited trail riding. Her MFT was a gelding.

I wouldn’t breed him to anything, personally. He might be a very nce riding horse or an epic disaster depending on the combination of genes he got and breeding him would be a total grab bag.


I think the Friesian Sport Horse registry is just a Friesian Cross registry. It doesn’t mean that the registered animals are actually English style sport horses bred to excel in jumping, X country or dressage. And they aren’t inspected.

For a long time the Friesian registry didn’t allow members to cross Friesians with other breeds. That has change and now we see many backyard crosses. IME the Friesian characteristics are preponderant in the F1 crosses, likely because the Friesian genetics are so uniform. So a Friesian cross is likely to be black, have an upright neck and a longer back, and hair. Obviously they do come in other colors.

Friesian x Saddlebred is a Thing with a Name, the one I saw was the narrowest 17 hand horse I have ever seen, and quite stiff. He was in a dressage clinic. It didn’t make me want one for dressage.

The MFT is a smaller gaited horse with the typical high neck set of gaited horses. The F1 cross might be cute or might be a disaster. I agree, don’t breed to him. You also don’t want fox trot gaits in a sport horse.

If someone is standing him at stud, that’s the definition of a backyard breeder :slight_smile:

As far as WB x TB, realize that the WB horse was created by adding TB to carriage and cavalry horses, and the registries remain open to adding in more TB blood from approved lines. This is true of all the German and Netherlands registries.

Now in North America you could breed say a registered Oldenberg from an Oldenberg stallion and an approved TB mare and that wouldn’t be considered a “cross.” Or you could breed an Oldenberg stallion to an unapproved TB mare and register the foal in the American Warmblood registry because that’s all the will accept the foal.

TB are often bred to other breeds to increase athleticism. Thus the Appendix Quarter horse, or the Iberian/TB cross, or the draft/TB or Welsh/TB. All nice mixes usually if the parents are good of their kind.

The rationale for crossing TB onto harness horses to create WB was to get more bone, more height, and bigger gaits for dressage. The TB brings athleticism and heart and refinement.


The thing about all the European WB studbooks is that there is careful inspection and selection of animals, records of pedigrees and highly effective records of offspring performance, which has been going on for multiple decades, or even centuries, under the control of the state or an arms-length body working within a legal framework established by the state. Today, the EU requires all horses to have a unique ID and passport. By contrast, in the US anyone can cross anything with anything, invent a fancy name and call it a breed. So a Friesian X MFT becomes a sport horse because it can.


I have a Friesian Sport Horse. It means her breeder paid to get a sheet of thick paper with an embossed seal. The paper doesn’t even have her dam’s parents. She happens to be Friesian x Arab/Hanoverian, but it could have been Friesian x anything. Probably even a donkey (sport mules are a thing, so why not?).

That being said, damn, she is awesome. But that is more or less by accident.


Seems an odd cross, a very trotty horse with a pacy horse. I hope no one wants to canter…


I have a lovely MFT x Paint mare, now 23 and retired and a babsitter. She was a fancy paint at 14.1 and did not pace. I did hunters, jumpers, and eventing with her. Of course I hid the MFT part of her breeding when people asked about her, especially when showing hunters. She had 2 lovely foals, both of whom were nice movers who also did not pace.


Another untested product of somebody’s back yard.


You can breed anything to anything in Europe as well, the question of entry into a studbook is an entirely separate question. A horse does not need to be registered with a breed book to still get chipped and recorded by the state.

Most US studbooks, especially those that are simply wings on European registries, require the same level of scrutiny for recording of breeding and young stock.

Where we differ in the US–in contrast to many European nations–is we don’t require recording of all animals/livestock.

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Thank you, you make good points. However, I suggest, the majority of breeders in Europe don’t breed random anything to unknown anything because they want performance records, pedigrees and registration. And the meat market weeds out ill-conformed or unsound animals. The exception is Britain and Ireland, which are years behind the rest of Europe in sport horse breeding, though the Irish are working hard on it. One still sees ‘unknown breeding’ in competition horses that have to have passports. The recording of all horses in the UK is an uphill battle, even with legislation, and those that are most resistant are precisely the people who breed welfare cases. Indiscriminate breeding is a major welfare issue.

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Completely agree that indiscriminate breeding is a welfare issue for all animals, everywhere.

And I know some very well bred horses throughout Europe who end up as sausage.

Breeding for sure helps ensure a horse’s welfare, but doesn’t guarantee it.


I would never use a Friesian x MFT for breeding but I’ve known a few who where surprisingly good lower level sport horses. Both in combined driving and dressage plus being pleasant easy going horses for their owners. The horses I have known only got pacey if they where tired AND in deep footing, however none had ever been encouraged to gait.

I do have a horse that’s a FHH I do appreciate that the registration seems to encourage genetic testing and results are printed on the papers. I wouldn’t of bothered to reg my gelding but the prior owner had