The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Communications Department has issued a reminder that a modification to the veterinary regulations affecting first-time horse registrations was approved at the 2011 Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) General Assembly held in Buenos Aires.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, all horses newly-registered with the FEI must be microchipped (2012 FEI Article 1011.1.2.3). The microchip must be compatible with ISO 11784 and ISO 11785, and all microchip information must be entered in the horse’s passport and reported to the USEF. This requirement applies to initial FEI registration only.

The standard microchip number consists of 15 digits: the first three identify the manufacturer or country code and the remaining numbers are unique and nonduplicated. The technical concept of animal identification described is based on the principle of radio-frequency identification. These numbers represent the unique identifier that will be associated with a specific horse from date of implant until the animal’s death.

Check with your veterinarian on how to get a microchip for your horse. ISO 11784 and ISO 11785 compliant microchips for implant in U.S. horses are commonly available and include the following 134.2-kHz microchips:

  • Bayer ResQ
  • HomeAgain/Digital Angel

The USEF recommends that all horses initially registering with the FEI after December 31, 2012, be scanned for existing microchips prior to a new microchip being implanted.