The Friesian Sporthorse is a Friesian crossbred of sport horse type. The ideal Friesian Sporthorse is specifically bred to excel in FEI-recognized sport horse disciplines. Thus, "sporthorse" refers to both the phenotype, breeding, and intended use of these horses. While the Friesian Sporthorse is considered a breed, with specific guidelines for registration and breeding approval, others use the term "Friesian Sport Horse" as a generic all-inclusive term to describe any Friesian crossbred.
Friesian Sporthorses are generally Friesians crossed with warmbloods and Thoroughbreds, although percentages of American Saddlebred, draft, Arabian, Morgan, and Paint (with an acceptable percentage of Thoroughbred) breeding are also acceptable. These crosses are used to produce animals suitable for the sport disciplines of dressage, eventing, show jumping, and combined driving. Friesian Sporthorses also must be at least 25% Friesian.
Crossbreeding of Friesians with other breeds is also popular, although the resulting offspring are not always considered Friesian Sporthorses.
Friesian Sporthorses can come in a variety of colors and sizes. They tend to have the gentle temperament and striking appearance of the Friesian, but with an increased athleticism, stamina, and hybrid vigor, when responsibly crossbred. They are most commonly used for dressage and carriage driving, but have also been successful as jumpers and eventing horses, as well as for all-around riding. They are also valued as pleasure and trail horses.