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Genetic Test Available for Hydrocephalus & Dwarfism in Friesian Horses

After eleven months filled with great expectations, what can be more devastating than to witness the delivery of a grotesquely deformed hydrocephalus foal or a dwarf foal whose future, if any, will be seriously compromised? This used to be the gamble every Friesian breeder was faced with.

Thankfully, in the spring of 2014, genetic tests were introduced to determine the carriers of these two genetic flaws. Both of these tests are extremely accurate and are available to breeders around the world. Unfortunately, according to the February KFPS Newsletter, only around 1000 mares have been tested to learn their status. With this availability of this information, it begs the question; Why hasn’t the status of every mare been determined to ensure safe, sound breeding?

With the breeding season upon us, the Fenway Foundation has taken this opportunity to strongly encourage every Friesian breeder to have their mares tested. We also encourage all breeders to determine the status of the stallions they have chosen with which to breed. Additionally, we strongly suggest that when purchasing a Friesian mare, buyers determine the genetic status of the mare prior to finalizing the sale. In this way, educated breeding decisions can be made, ensuring a successful outcome for every foal.


KFPS Article:


For DNA test submission:


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