Stal­lion rides to so­cial me­dia star­dom

China Daily (USA) - - WORLD - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in New York

His name is Fred­erik the Great and he is decked out in black, with hair coifed in long manly locks that he shakes in the wind, turn­ing heads ashe walks through New York.

He is de­bonair, known first and fore­most for his dev­il­ishly good looks and the fact that as a con­sum­mate stud — a stal­lion — he makes more money and has more fans than most hu­man coun­ter­parts.

Some­times called the “Kar­dashian of horses,” this well-known Friesian, who earns close to $20,000 a month ac­cord­ing to owner Stacy Nazario, was re­cently in New York for a pres­ti­gious horse show and latenight TV ap­pear­ance.

With his en­vi­able so­cial me­dia pres­ence and soon sham­poo line and TV series, the equine star has be­come a ver­i­ta­ble cash cow.

It wasn’t al­ways all glit­ter and glam for Fred­erik, how­ever, whose stel­lar ca­reer has just as much to do with Nazario’s mar­ket­ing skills as the horse’s re­sem­blance to Black Beauty of lit­er­ary fame.

Af­ter view­ing thou­sands of pic­tures of Friesians — a breed that comes from the Fries­land re­gion of the Nether­lands — Nazario, a for­mer con­struc­tion com­pany owner, bought Fred­erik in 2007, bring­ing him from Europe to the ru­ral US state of Arkansas.

Af­ter invit­ing a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher to a photo shoot she quickly re­al­ized her new stal­lion was ex­tremely pho­to­genic.

“Right from the start he was per­form­ing like a true model, look­ing straight into the cam­era, a true show­man,” said Nazario dur­ing the horse’s re­cent visit to NewYork.

“He is a gen­tle gi­ant, he can put his nose down on a new­born with­out hurt­ing him,” she said.

Soon she cre­ated an online pres­ence for the horse — post­ing his pho­tos on the in­ter­net, build­ing a web­site and start­ing a Facebook page and Twit­ter ac­count.

And lit­tle by lit­tle, the in­ter­net—with its in­sa­tiable ap­petite for an­i­mal pho­tos and videos— took no­tice.

With many bap­tiz­ing the crea­ture “the world’s most beau­ti­ful horse,” the YouTube clicks mul­ti­plied, climb­ing all the way to 15 mil­lion views.

And Nazario, who now man­ages Fred­erik’s busy ca­reer full-time, knows how to feed the ma­chine, sched­ul­ing photo and video ses­sion ev­ery two to three months to re­fresh his online pres­ence.

Fred­erik’s num­ber one as­set, his mane, is sub­ject to the most care, re­quir­ing daily comb­ing and braid­ing ses­sions.

AFP

Fred­erik the Great, a show horse that has gained in­ter­net fame, per­forms dur­ing the 2016 Rolex Cen­tral Park Horse Show in New York.

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