Photo Credit: © Alicia Frese
Foals are often presented at AHS inspections for registration and branding, but it isn't a requirement. Outreach branding and mail-in registration options are also available for foals unable to attend a scheduled inspection.
For a foal to be presented at an inspection, it must be pre-enrolled prior to inspection day. An inspection enrollment form and appropriate fees must be sent to the AHS office by the deadline listed for the site you plan to use. (See Step by Step: Registering a Foal.) Entries that are not accompanied by the appropriate fees will not be processed.
Owners who choose NOT to attend an inspection, but to register their foal "by mail" use the same form, checking the appropriate box at the top of the page. Once the enrollment form and fees have been received by the AHS office, a foal registration kit will be mailed to the owner. All foal paperwork--DNA results and microchip certificate--must be returned to the AHS office by December 31 of the foal’s year of birth to receive the complimentary USEF life number. All foals should be registered by the end of their yearling year.
The foal’s name must begin with the first letter of the sire’s registered name. The only exception to this rule of registration involves the W-line. Offspring of certain W-line stallions whose pedigrees contain Feiner Kerl and Ferdinand must be named beginning with the letter F. AHS stallions whose foals are affected by this ruling include Walk On Top, Walldorf, Wertherson and Wodan. The name cannot exceed 20 letters including spaces and punctuation. The name cannot have been previously used.
DNA Kits For Parentage Verification For:
1) Foals out of previously inspected mares.
All foals must be parent-verified through DNA typing before the registration papers are issued. A DNA kit is included as part of the comprehensive foal registration fee and a kit will be sent to you upon receipt of your initial enrollment and fees for the inspection. Read the instructions before pulling the hair. Do not cut the hair; make sure that the hair sample includes the roots. Hair samples can be taken as soon as the kit is received. The foal does not have to be a specific age.
If the dam of the foal has not previously been DNA typed and the office cannot get a DNA case number from another registry, the mare must be DNA typed as well. You should order a kit for the mare at the time you begin foal registration whether through an inspection or by mail, so both kits can be sent at once. (Note: mares having AHS-registered foals from 1994 on have already been typed; call the AHS Office to check on other mares’ status.)
All foals awaiting DNA parentage verification may participate in the registration/branding process at the inspection site, provided the foal is still at the dam’s side. Do not delay in submitting the hair samples to UC-Davis, as weaned foals can be branded only if their parentage verification through DNA has been completed (i.e., results from UC-Davis on file at AHS office). In the case of weaned foals, AHS also will require that a photograph of the foal with its dam be available at the inspection site.
2) Foals out of mares being inspected in the current year.
As above, all foals whose dams are accepted into the AHS studbooks must be DNA typed for parentage verification before the registration papers will be issued. A DNA kit will be sent to you upon the conclusion of the inspection tour, provided the dam has been accepted. If the dam of the foal has not previously been DNA typed through the AHS or another breed registry, she must be DNA typed as well. Foals out of mares that are not accepted may be eligible for Rhineland papers or a Certificate of Pedigree (CP) from the AHS.
In 2017, the AHS Board voted that all registrations (AHS, ARS, and Certificate of Pedigree horses) now require microchipping as part of their registration process. The AHS office sends a microchip and microchip certificate with each registration kit. The owner's veterinarian injects the microchip and signs the microchip certificate. The certificate must be returned to the AHS office with the rest of the registration requirements. The certificate must be received prior to papers being issued. AHS microchips are USEF compliant and we can search our database by microchip numbers. We are pleased to include microchips as part of our registration as it will be an additional method for horse verification.
For foals being registered by mail and NOT attending an inspection site, the AHS requires a minimum of four-color photographs, taken outdoors in good light as part of the registration process. This helps ensure accurate markings on the registration certificate. 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. If the horse has unusual white markings, e.g. on the face, belly spot, etc., it would be helpful to provide additional photos. Photos may be e-mailed directly to the AHS office (prints are no longer required but remain optional). However, it is critical that photos submitted online be of good quality and truly reflect the actual color of the horse.
Presenting a Foal at Inspection and Branding
The foal is presented in hand for an evaluation of its conformation and is shown free at the side of the dam for an assessment of its gaits. When showing a foal, it is important to keep the mare positioned to the outside so that the inspectors have a clear, unobstructed view of the foal. Take care to regulate the mare’s speed to best show the foal’s trot movement. Recognizing that foals are presented at various stages of age and development, the AHS does not officially grade them during inspections. Consequently, no scores will be given and the judges' comments are not in writing even for Gold Medal Foal awards.
Once the paperwork has been completed, the appropriate fees have been received by the AHS office, and the foal has been microchipped and parentage verified through DNA analysis, its registration papers will be issued and mailed. All fillies, colts and gelded weanlings are entered into the registry. Final studbook placements are made when the mares and stallions are presented for inspection at three years of age or older to enter the breeding program.
Complimentary USEF Lifetime Recording
In agreement with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), AHS/ARS-registered foals, who have returned all registration requirements to the AHS office by December 31 of the foal's birth year will automatically become USEF life recorded. This date has been determined by contractual agreement with USEF.
The AHS is pleased to offer this added value to our membership at no additional cost. This partnership between the AHS and USEF will allow both organizations access to accurate data for both pedigree and performance. The AHS will provide USEF with full breeding data on each foal and, in return, the USEF will provide the AHS with a USEF life recording number for each foal that will be noted on AHS/ARS registration papers. In addition, the owner will receive a life recording certificate from the USEF.
Gold Medal Foals
Begun in 2019, the Gold Medal Foal program is offered by Hannoveraner International, the organization for Hanoverian societies outside of Germany.
Judged on type, conformation, walk, and trot, the AHS will award this medal to foals of dressage pedigree and the unofficial score of 8.0 or higher. Foals with a jumping pedigree will be judged on type, conformation, basic gaits, and need a score of 7.5 or higher. This is not a foal competition nor automatically awarded to the Top Foal of the inspection day but an independent international Hanoverian award for high-quality foals. Judges will internally score foals at the inspection to determine the top dressage foals and jumping foals but those scores will not be recorded or given to foal owners.