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Before the Reformation, he was selectively bred in monasteries to be a versatile, all-around horse for the people of his native Friesland. He flourished in his small corner of the world for centuries but in the 20th century he almost became extinct due to world wars and mechanization. Fortunately, he was 're-discovered' before he disappeared entirely and today this distinctive horse enjoys a celebrity unrivaled by other breeds. The Friesian is truly a horse from distant past who has enormous appeal in modern times.