Breed associations register horses to document bloodlines and track ownership and performance records of horses. A horse's registration papers reveal his lineage and allow any foals the horse has to be eligible for registration. Registration papers also track horse ownership and can help provide information to help recover a stolen horse.
Owners are not required to register a horse and may opt against it if the horse is not used for breeding, showing or racing.
If you lose the originals or purchase a registered horse, you can get a copy of your horse's registration papers by submitting the required paperwork and fee to the association your horse is registered with.
Registries Vary by Breed
Registering a Foal
Foal registry may vary from one association to another. Check your breed association's requirements.
To register a thoroughbred foal with the Jockey Club, the foal's parentage must be verified and the foal must have genetic testing. When breeders report to the Jockey Club that a mare was bred, they receive a pre-printed live foal/no foal report that must be submitted within 30 days of birth. After genetic typing is completed, the Jockey Club provides a Certificate of Foal Registration.
The American Quarter Horse Association sends a foal registration application to stallion owners who report a breeding. Owners must be members of the American Quarter Horse Association. After the birth of the foal, the owner can submit the application, which includes the date of foaling, five photos of the foal, and six name choices. Once the application is processed and accepted, the owner receives a Certificate of Registration.
Registering an Older Horse
Some associations allow owners to register adult horses. For example, quarter horse owners can register a horse at any age by submitting an application to the American Quarter Horse Association; however, the registration fee increases the older the horse is. As of 2014, the highest fee charged is $500 to register a horse 4 years old or older.
Registering an older horse can be difficult, as some owners have trouble getting the required signatures from the breeders to prove the horses' lineage. DNA typing may also be required as additional verification of a horse's bloodlines.
Obtaining a Copy of Registration
If you lose your registration papers, apply for a duplicate copy by submitting an application to the appropriate breed association.
The American Quarter Horse Association offers two ways to obtain a copy of your registration forms. If you have your old registration form but it is damaged, you can request a replacement registration form. You need to submit the old form, which must have your horse's name and registration number visible. As of 2014, the fee for a replacement copy was $15.
If you do not have the old form, you must request a duplicate certificate by completing the application. You must submit a diagram and description of your horse's markings, five photographs and a $30 fee.
Transfer of Ownership
When you purchase a horse, you can transfer him into your name and receive a copy of his registration papers. In most cases, you must submit an application and a bill of sale to complete the transfer. Some registries, such as the Jockey Club, will not accept a bill of sale and require you to complete a transfer-of-ownership form.
After the association verifies the transfer and identity of your horse, you will receive a copy of his registration papers.