Meet our breeds: Urzela W and Sjouckje Van De Elsenerhof the Friesians
We continue our Meet our Breeds series with two equine models who look like they belong in shampoo ads. Meet Urzela W and Sjouckje Van De Elsenerhof, the Friesians!
The Friesian breed is known for its black color, light draft build, silky mane, tail, and feathers, Spanish style conformation, and its nimble movements. The average Friesian stands between 14.2 and 17 hands tall.
It was originally dubbed “Frisian” but the ‘e’ was added to distinguish the horses from the Holstein Friesian cattle. The breed was developed in Friesland, Netherlands and was a favorite for use in war in the Middle Ages throughout Europe since their size enabled them to carry a knight in full armor while still moving quickly. Friesians were being imported into the United States as soon as 1625 with the Dutch and later gave rise to the Morgan breed here.
The breed’s studbook was founded in the 1879 and since the breed has nearly become extinct several times, although it is coming back into popularity for driving and dressage. It has also been a favorite for circus work.
Their flashy appearance has made Friesians extremely popular in film. They have been featured in Ladyhawke, The Mask of Zorro, Eragon, Alexander, The Chronicles of Narnia, Clash of the Titans, and Conan the Barbarian.
Read more about the history of the Friesians here.
Both of our models posed for us courtesy of Leandra Friesians,
where they are broodmares. Urzela W joined the Leandra band in 2011 and has eight total foals on the ground. Sjouckje Van De Elsenerhof was imported from the Netherlands in 2009 and is known for her excellent movement and affectionate nature.