Sunday, June 11, 2023
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Foal Registration and Photo Submission Guide

Foal Registration and Photo Submission Guide

Photo Credit: Cindy Bellis-Jones

Helpful Information for Registering Your Foal at an AHS Inspection Site or By Mail

Registering a foal sired by an AHS or HV licensed stallion and out of an AHS-approved mare can seem a little daunting at first, but really it is a very streamlined process, especially if these important guidelines are followed.

The summer and fall “Inspection Tour Enrollment Form” which is posted online and published in The American Hanoverian magazine is used to initiate AHS foal registrations for those foals that are taken to an inspection site. The appropriate two-page form must be completed and returned to the AHS central office for registration to proceed. If your mare has already been inspected and entered into the AHS studbook as an approved broodmare, you have the choice of registering your foal at one of the inspection sites or completing the process by mail. If registering your foal by mail, visit the Foal Registration Page for more information.

The first option is to bring the foal to a mare inspection site to turn in your registration paperwork, have the foal branded and take part in the foal parade. This provides our inspection teams the opportunity to evaluate the progeny of AHS stallions from a variety of mares, and for the owners to hear informal remarks made about their foals. This is a very educational process and at all sites the “top filly” and “top colt” of the day are named.

Alternatively, if you are located in an area of the country that does not have a site convenient to you, or there are other circumstances that prevent you from bringing your foal to a site for registration and branding, you may initiate the foal’s registration by mail.

Again, however, you will need to visit the Foal Registration Page and submit the proper form for the registration process to proceed. Don’t wait until next year to register your foal as registration fees are increased for the yearling year, and a delay could ultimately result in your not being able to register the foal at all.

In addition, AHS registration now includes lifetime foal recording with USEF at no additional cost to the foal owner. This valuable membership benefit is available only through December 31 of the foal’s calendar year of birth; thereafter the cost reverts to the USEF yearling fee of $85.00 and becomes the direct responsibility of the foal owner. Also, remember that the AHS offers an outreach branding service, and older horses can be brought to mare inspection sites to be branded.

Guidelines for Registering a Foal at an Inspection Site

Once you have completed and sent in the enrollment form and the calculation of fees form, along with the appropriate payment, you will be sent the registration application with accompanying instructions, as well as the DNA hair kit for the foal. Make a notation on the entry form whether you would like to be e-mailed this material or if you prefer regular mail.

The registration application must be completed for each foal. Be sure to fill in all the information requested on the front. On the back, draw and describe as accurately as possible the foal’s white markings and identify the location of face and neck cowlicks. A horse without face and neck cowlicks has yet to be foaled so you should not leave this area of the application form blank or write “none.” Please make every effort to locate them and mark them with an “x” on the form. In describing markings, the AHS follows the Jockey Club’s “A Guide to Thoroughbred Identification and Registration” which may be accessed online at We feel that these standards best enable the AHS to accurately describe the markings with the help of your descriptions, drawings and photographs.

The recorded owner of the dam must sign every registration application. However, in the case of a leased mare, the person leasing the mare may sign the application. A copy of the lease agreement must be on file at the central office. The AHS requires that a minimum of four (4) color photographs of every foal be provided as part of the registration process. This helps ensure accuracy on the registration certificate and streamlines the process of checking markings on inspection day. You must provide four views of the foal: front, rear, right side, and left side. The photographs should clearly show the white markings of the horse. In taking the photographs, be sure to position the foal on a surface where leg markings will not be obscured (e.g. not standing in mud, shadows, or tall grass and not a mile away). Make sure that the subject foal is the only horse in the photo. It is very difficult to decipher group shots and oftentimes results in registration delays. The examples shown here are excellent representations of good registration photos.

These photos will become a part of the horse’s permanent record. Polaroid photographs will not be accepted as they fade with time. Photos printed from digital equipment must be clear and reflect the true color of the foal.

Photos submitted for AHS foal registration should be taken outside in good daylight. The subject foal should be the only horse in the photographs and pictures are best taken with the foal standing on a level surface with its feet not obscured by grass. In this example, the handler has intentionally positioned the foal so that all four of its legs can be seen in each photograph. The owner has additionally provided close up shots of the foal’s white markings and neck cowlicks. Based upon this excellent set of photographs, the foal’s markings would be recorded as follows:
Diamond-shaped star in forehead; RH pastern and part ankle white, extending onto cannon inside and in rear; double horizontal cowlicks above eye level, in star; triple feathered cowlicks, high at crest of neck, both sides.
This is the standard to aim for when sending foal registration photographs to the AHS.

Look at the photographs carefully before you submit them. Do they match the markings that you have described on the registration application? Are all four legs showing? The name of the foal’s dam should be clearly written on the back of each photo (e.g. 2020 EM Ghenoa foal). Do not identify the photographs with your foal’s proposed name, as this information will not be in the AHS database. Occasionally, photographs can be inadvertently separated from the paperwork, especially at a busy inspection site, and the central office ends up with “mystery” photographs. This can result in frustrating delays. Attach the required photographs to the completed foal registration application and give it to the site secretary on the day of the inspection, or send directly to the central office in the case of mail-in registration.

All foals registered with the AHS must be parent-verified. A DNA hair kit is included with the registration application. Follow the instructions for pulling either mane or tail hair. Make sure that a sufficient sized sample is pulled and ensure that the hair roots are included. Hair can be pulled at any time, and the AHS recommends having it done and sent to the lab as soon as the kit is received. It is not necessary to have a vet pull the hair samples. The Genetics Laboratory at UC-Davis in California will compare the foal’s DNA type to that of the purported sire and dam to determine if the foal verifies to both of them. If the AHS does not have the dam’s DNA type (and if the laboratory is unable to make a conversion from stored blood types), the owner will need to purchase an additional DNA kit for the mare. If the mare has DNA on file with another registry, we will request it from them.

And now a word of caution. You would be surprised at the number of members who inadvertently submit hair samples directly to the AHS central office instead of to UC-Davis. This can result in an unavoidable delay while AHS forwards the sample to California. If you are submitting hair samples from more than one horse (e.g. a foal and its dam, or two individual foals), please make sure that you send each sample in the correct envelope. Delays, and possibly increased cost, may result if samples are inadvertently switched.

Another important piece of the registration process is either the Stallion Service Certificate (Breeding Certificate) or, in the case of foals conceived through frozen semen, the Frozen Semen Insemination form.

AHS stallion owners are required to fill out a comprehensive Stallion Service Report listing all mares bred for the season with the dates for each breeding. This report is filed annually with the AHS.

The stallion owner is also required to issue a Stallion Service Certificate for each individual mare bred. This form is in duplicate. The original (top) white copy is sent directly to the AHS office, and the yellow copy is retained for the stallion owner’s records. The stallion owner will only send the Stallion Service Certificate to the central office if all the breeding fees have been satisfied. For foals imported from Germany in-utero, make sure that you have the appropriate paperwork from the HV regarding the breeding. The central office will require the original Abfohlmeldung in order for the foal’s registration to proceed.

If your foal is the product of frozen semen, you will need to request the Frozen Semen Insemination form. After the foal is born this form will be sent to you by the central office pre-filled with the name of the sire and dam of the foal in question. It must be signed by the veterinarian or technician who performed the insemination and all insemination dates must be listed.

Mare dues must be paid for the dam for the year of breeding and the year of foaling. Please check with the AHS central office to determine these fees. Stallion dues must have also been paid for the sire in the year the foal was conceived. If the foal is by a HV-approved stallion standing abroad, the foal registration fees will include a Foreign Sire Fee. These stallions must have been active with the HV in the year of conception for foals to be eligible for registration.

For Mares Being Inspected with a Foal at Foot

A foal whose dam is being inspected will not receive the DNA hair kit until after the dam has been entered into the studbook. This especially applies in the case of foals out of uninspected Thoroughbred, Arab and Anglo-Arab mares. In these cases, whether a DNA kit is or is not subsequently required is contingent upon the outcome of the dam’s inspection. (If the dam has no DNA on file, an additional kit will have to be ordered for the mare, again pending inspection results).

Branding Requirements

  • Foals must be at their dam’s side, or
  • If weaned, the foal must have parent-verification on file at the AHS office, or
  • Photos of the foal at the side of the dam must accompany the registration application to the site. Both the mare and foal must be readily identifiable, or
  • You must have registration papers in the case of foals produced using the frozen semen of foreign (HV-approved) stallions, the foal’s parent verification process must be completed (i.e. results at the AHS central office) for branding to proceed. Therefore pull the foal’s hair sample and mail it to UC-Davis as early as possible.

Certificate of Pedigree Foals

In the event that the mare does not pass inspection, the foal is eligible for a Certificate of Pedigree (CP). This is a document issued to a foal whose sire is an AHS- or HV-approved Hanoverian papered stallion, or whose dam is an AHS Main Studbook Hanoverian papered mare.

Please let the inspection site secretary know whether or not you wish to pursue this option. If you decide to obtain a Certificate of Pedigree, part of your registration fee will be refunded. The Certificate of Pedigree is a legal document attesting to the foal’s ancestry. Horses with Certificate of Pedigrees are eligible to participate in AHS-sponsored jumper, hunter, dressage and eventing awards, but may not compete for DSHB/AHS in-hand awards or Hanoverian Individual Breed classes. [NOTE: Certificate of Pedigree foals sired by foreign HV stallions are required to be partially parent-verified].

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call Sandy Clevenger at (859) 255-4141 or e-mail .

Registration Paperwork Checklist

On inspection day, please bring the following documents and give to the site secretary:

  • Completed AHS Foal registration Application. this is either a two-sided or two-paged document. Please make sure that it is signed and dated.
  • Set of clear color photographs of the foal, clearly showing all white markings, each side, front and back. identify photographs on reverse, e.g. 2010 EM Ghenoa foal.
  • Photocopy of dam’s certificate of registration.

Note: the original Stallion certificate of Service or Frozen Semen insemination form must be on file at the AHS office for foal registration to proceed. in the case of foals conceived in Germany and subsequently imported in-utero, AHS will require the original Abfohlmeldung for registration to proceed.