Equine Registry To Require DNA Testing

The Arabian Horse Registry of America will use DNA testing via hair roots to verify parentage.

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DNA testing using hair roots will replace blood typing as the Arabian Horse Registry of America’s required tool for parentage verification. This will begin with registration of the 2002 foal crop. This announcement follows a similar one by The Jockey Club, which will require DNA testing in Thoroughbreds beginning with the 2001 foal crop. The American Quarter Horse Association required DNA testing of breeding stallions beginning in 1998, of mares born in 1994 and later (before any of their offspring can be registered), and of mares being bred artificially.

Arabian breeders began DNA testing their stallions and mares Aug. 1. The DNA types of breeding horses must be on record so the lab can compare a sire and dam to the DNA type of their offspring and verify the parentage. Blood types and DNA types are not interchangeable.

The Arabian Registry is offering an incentive to encourage owners to test horses now. Through Dec. 31, 2001, the DNA test fee for a breeding animal which has been blood typed is significantly reduced. Foals born before 2002 can be registered using DNA testing, but only if DNA types of the parents are on permanent record.

Horses which should be typed now include any stallion or mare which currently is breeding or will produce foals in 2002 and beyond. Geldings need not be tested unless their semen has been stored or they produced unregistered offspring prior to castration

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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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