We got to go and spectate a Friesian Keuring at the Oregon Equestrian Center this October 2022. "Keuring" is a Dutch for inspection. Friesians are a breed of horse (light draught) originating from the Netherlands in the province of Friesland. The horses are inspected in terms of conformation and movement to determine who will be allowed in the KFPS (The Koninklijke Vereniging "Het Friesch Paarden-Stamboek" ) studbook. Don't ask me to say any of that out loud, please. The judges were dutch and so were the "runners" who lead the horses through the walk and trot.
I have been at one inspection before at a local breeder wanting her mares inspected. I think I was the only spectator. It was for a different breed of horse and still educational and similar. The Friesian Keuring was bigger as it pulled in different breeders from Oregon and a small crowd of spectators. I was told they were glad they didn't have to go to the California one this year.
It was fun to learn more about the breed and the criteria they need to meet to make it into the books. Their coats have to be all black. I read only a white star of a certain size is allowed otherwise they will not be accepted. If you want to insult a Friesian...and this is a joke. Tell them their head is not noble enough. That was a common thing said during the inspection. I promptly told Carbon his head is noble enough for me when we saw him next.
Have to give props to the runners. Grabbing and running alongside horses you just met is not easy. Especially when you make them excited on purpose with another runner behind them shaking a whip and a tin can with, I assume rocks, in it for noise. Friesians are not small at 15 to 16hh. That is 5 to 5'4"! I knew 2 of the horses in this Keuring and they did so well! I may have taken a lot of pictures of them. One observation I noticed is that it was mostly based on how the horse looks and moves, not necessarily their demeanor or training. I remember growing up everyone wanted Arabian horses and they were very popular. People were crossing purebred Arabians with everything else. It seems now that Friesians are the breed that is coming into popularity. They tend to have a calmer nature which is the opposite of Arabians who are known for being flashy and spirited.