Case #1: Mary buys a fantastic (and expensive) young mare that she hopes to compete on in dressage and eventually start a breeding program with. The mare comes with no breed society papers but is said to be frozen semen by Weltmeyer. Imagine her dismay when years down the track she has the mare DNA tested only to find it was never by Weltmeyer at all. Moral: Don’t take anyone’s word on the breeding of the horse you buy – get the proof via its papers from a reputable breed association
Case #2: Simon breeds a gorgeous foal and wants to get it registered so he can take it to the Classification Tour to see if the German Assessor rates it highly against the best bred horses in the country. In order to be registered however he needs a Certificate of Service to prove his mare was put to the stallion. Sadly, the stallion owner who was only too eager to bank the stud fee is not so fourth coming with three minutes of their time to fill out the paperwork. Guess who missed out on the tour? Moral: Always get a Certificate of Service from the stallion owner as soon as your mare is in foal – don’t let a stallion owner take your money without the Certificate being received. It’s the least they can do for you!
Case #3: Jane decides to use an unlicensed stallion over her mare and not get the foal registered. When it comes time to sell the foal as an outstanding four year old prospect the buyers want papers for it. Sadly for Jane the stallion is now deceased and with no DNA stored on file there is no hope for registration papers for her horse. Moral: Always ensure the mares and stallions you use have been DNA recorded
Case #4: Kerry owns a very well-known pinto warmblood stallion but doesn’t get it registered with the appropriate breed societies for a horse of his type and colour. Imagine Kerry’s dismay when another stallion is registered with that name because they “got in first” and can now ride on the coat tails of the unregistered but clearly more famous stallion. Moral: Always make sure your horse is registered with all appropriate societies to ensure nobody can take the name that your horse has made famous.
For many years I have been mystified by New Zealand breeders “she’ll be right” attitude. Anywhere else I have travelled with horses around the world the passports and breeding of each and every horse is recorded. It would be unheard of in Germany to buy even a gelding that had no papers. How can you be sure of its date of birth, or that it doesn’t contain bloodlines with characteristics you deem undesirable?
“You can’t ride its papers” is a quip often heard on the show grounds, said by those riders who are in the next breath telling you their horse is indeed by Totilas and out of a daughter of Blue Hors Matine. An old friend once said to me – “if you can’t ride the papers then why the heck are skiting about the breeding?!” Where is the proof? Where indeed….
Is it the cost that puts people off registering their foals? It costs as little as $40 to get your foal registered with a breed society. You may well need a microchip (around $80) and you may need to DNA test the foal if frozen semen is used. The cost of this is $100.
Why bother to register your foals and young horses?
· You have a birth certificate proving when your foal was born and what the pedigree is.
· You are adding value to your horse and making sure that if sold at a later date a purchaser wanting papers will not be disappointed.
· You will be forever recorded as the breeder and no person down the track can change the name of the horse or take away your stud prefix without your express permission.
· You will be eligible to compete in breed classes and for high points awards
· You may get the chance to upgrade your horses into a studbook
· You may even get the chance to have an overseas expert view your stock and give you honest feedback about your mares and the stallions you are choosing.
Riders can do their bit by demanding that any horse they are wanting to buy is sold with papers! You may not think it is important to you – but if you ever try to resell the horse you purchased without papers you may be in for a nasty surprise when the next purchaser wants papers.
Follow these easy steps to register your lovely foals each year
1) Before breeding ensure your mare and the stallion you are using both meet the criteria for whichever breed society you are wishing to register with.
2) As soon as your mare is confirmed in foal get a Certificate of Service from the stallion owner.
3) Once the foal is born fill out the necessary paperwork from the breed society, microchip or brand the foal if required and take any DNA sample needed.
4) Once you receive your papers keep them in a safe place – they are legal documents!
5) When you come to sell the foal please make sure the Papers are sent with it and the Change of Ownership formalities are completed.
If New Zealand is to be taken seriously as a nation producing great sport horses we need to be very proactive in the recording of the births and pedigrees of these animals we put so much time, effort, love and money into.
NB The photos fro this story were taken at www.gestuetbirkhof.de and feature some of their wonderful stallions.