Are Friesians the New Palominos?

"My contract says I get baby carrots and apples, but only Red Delicious. "/Photo by Rhonda Lane

They’re baa-aack. As if they ever went away.

Those ubiquitous movie Friesians have been all over the latest premium cable costume dramas.

The Borgias?” Check. “Game of Thrones?” Yup. “Camelot?” What do you think? 😉

Nothing says money, power and intimidation like riding up on a Friesian horse.

Or a rise in status than upgrading to a Friesian saddle horse.

Or a sign that a character might be full of himself, maybe even over-mounted. Let alone, over-estimating his skill.

Choice of mounts as storytelling device? Who knew! Let’s see more.

The gent in the armor might have the tactical advantage, but the lady is riding the Friesian horse. Still photo from "The Borgias" courtesy of Showtime

And Now, A Warning

If you’re one of my child readers? You shouldn’t watch these shows, all of which feature gore, skin, swearing and mayhem of all varieties. Come to think of it, if you have delicate sensitivities, you might not enjoy them at all.

That said, even for those of us who can handle watching the tougher stuff, there’s an absolute shocker involving a Friesian horse in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” The incident happens fast, thank goodness, and there’s no lingering on the event. 

But it’s is a clear “show-don’t-tell” demonstration that a character is an impulsive, ruthless SOB.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. No one is “safe” in “Game of Thrones,” which is based on the series of novels by George R. R. Martin.

In case you haven’t figured it out, the Starz network series “Camelot” is about King Arthur, and Showtime’s “The Borgias” is about the family that included a Pope and a lady legendary for her skill with poisons.

Horse shows

If you want to see fine horses on TV in other than sporting events, costume dramas are where they’re at. “Game of Thrones” and “The Borgias” are full of fine horses. I’ve seen some nice Spanish-looking horses on “Game of Thrones.”

Movie poster for "Blazing Saddles" (1974)

Theatrical release poster by John Alvin/Courtesy Wikipedia

I have to say that the horses ridding by Arthur’s knights don’t look like expensive bloodstock. This season happens in the early days of Arthur’s reign. Currently, he and his knights are scruffy, upstart idealists with crazy notions about justice and unity.

However, I also think that when Camelot gains more money and power, Arthur’s destrier will turn out to be a Friesian. Or maybe his sister Morgan might end up on a big, inky black steed?

I can’t embed the photo, but click on the link and tell me which dude in this still photo from “Game of Thrones” you think is the real lead dude? (Can you identify the clan by the helmets? Which one do you think would have the money to own a big black destrier?? Hint: As rich as a L_________.”)

Even back when cowboys and western sheriffs westerns ruled TV, the hero always rode a nicer horse than anyone else. Bad guys rode dusty bays, especially ones with dusty tan muzzles.

Roy Rogers’s Trigger is a palomino. And so is the sheriff’s horse in “Blazing Saddles.”

Do you think Friesians are the new palominos? Have you seen Friesians looking regal in other movies or TV shows? Leave a Reply to let us know.




  • Leslie Sexton
    June 4, 2011

    I agree, you see them in all of the movies. The new wolfman movie had Friesians all over it. Break my heart. I have an 8 year old Friesian/Percheron and I adore him. His name is KnightShade. As a fan of Game of Thrones, I’m glad that awful moment was very quick, I could not watch it again. I just signed up with your blog. This is a great site. Cheers.

  • Rhonda Lane
    June 5, 2011

    Hi, Leslie. Thank you so much for stopping by and saying “hello.” KnightShade is a GREAT name for a modern companion destrier. Please give him some scritches in his favorite spot for me. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *