The Frederiksborg horse is the oldest recorded horse breed in Denmark and although modern Frederiksborg horses may not be able to directly trace their lineage back to the Royal Frederiksborg Stud that is located near Copenhagen. The foundation of the breed is still in evidence however in the shape and athletic ability of these beautiful horses.
The Frederiksborg was the most popular breed of horse at the haute ecole or dressage type training centers throughout the 19th century before the Lipizzaners, Andalusians and Lusitanos became the more popular horses in dressage and haute ecole disciplines.
The first breeding programs for the Frederiksborg were developed under the command of King Frederik II to supply the military with strong, athletic horses for officer's chargers, to compete in haute ecole disciplines and to be used as the official carriage horses for the royal family on state occasions.
Poor breeding practices and overselling the best breeding stock to other countries and private breeders caused a dramatic decline in the number of Frederiksborgs at the stud, ultimately resulting in the stud switching to the breeding of Thoroughbreds. Private owners were able to preserve the breed, but it wasn't until approximately 1939 that the breed again reached a large enough number to maintain a stud book.
To re-establish the Frederiksborg limited crossing with Oldenburgs, Thoroughbreds, Arabians and Friesians were implemented to maintain the breed while producing a slightly lighter and more refined competitive horse that was ideal for dressage, show jumping and cross country. The emphasis in breeding was in a slightly lighter body that the heavier military charger that was more tradition in the earlier years of the breed.
Although not as popular as many of the warmbloods, the recent infusion of more modern style Thoroughbred into the Frederiksborg line has lead to an increase in this breed as a competitive warmblood type horse. They are also ideal for driving and make outstanding competitive carriage and driving horses.
The Frederiksborg is always chestnut in color, but the mane can vary from flaxen to the same color as the body. White markings on the lower legs and the head are permitted.
The reason that all Frederiksborg were bred to a color standard was to ensure that matching teams of six or eight horses could always be found to pull the Royal carriage in official types of processions. A breed that did not have a standard color would result in a mismatched team, something that was not considered appropriate for Royalty.
All Frederiksborg horses, no matter which country they are bred in or exported to must pass a rigorous performance test to be registered with the stud book. They can also be registered in warmblood registries and in sport horse associations and are recognized in almost all of these associations and registries.