Microchips Will Be Required For U.S. Foal Registration Beginning In 2017

by | 08.09.2015 | 1:32pm
Matt Iuliano, executive director of The Jockey Club

The Jockey Club's Board of Stewards voted Saturday to change certain provisions of the Principal Rules and Requirements of the American Stud Book and, as a result, microchips will become a requirement for registration for foals of 2017 and later.

The microchips will be used in conjunction with official markings to provide an effective means of confirming the identity of Thoroughbreds for the duration of their lives.

Beginning with foals born in 2017, a microchip will be provided with all registration application and genetic sampling kits. In 2016, owners will have the option to request free microchips with registration and genetic sampling kits when they report the birth of a live foal. There will be no increase in registration fees.

Microchips are a compulsory component of Thoroughbred registration in several countries including Great Britain, France, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Italy, and New Zealand.

“Microchips are a fast, safe and effective measure for enhancing the identification of Thoroughbred racehorses and have proven successful in other countries around the world,” said Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director, The Jockey Club. “When coupled with official written markings, the use of microchips will improve the efficiency and reliability of the identification process throughout the life of every Thoroughbred.”

“We have microchipped Juddmonte's U.S.-bred foals that are bound to race in Europe for years and it is both easy and safe,” said Garrett O'Rourke, manager of Juddmonte Farms in Lexington, Ky. “The practicality that microchipping can bring to Thoroughbred identification makes it an essential. The possibilities it may open up to better manage our horses is very exciting.”

  • G. Rarick

    It’s about time! Lip tattoos are really horribly outdated, painful and illegible after a few years.

    • esbee

      and the info on microchips can be changed by nefarious characters.

  • MA

    These are better than tattoos, but can be removed.

    • Meg Hiers

      Yeah, but if one was removed, a scar would likely be easily detected. Also, if they sequence the numbers according to year of birth and at least state of birth, then it would mean the ones trying to cheat the system would at least have to work a little harder to not get caught, as they could easily check the database for duplicate numbers and questionable matches. Say, require the breeders/sales companies to keep the numbers on file so horses can be easily be followed.

      This is the first necessary step for bio passports which, knowing the Jockey Club, might happen sometime in the next century.

    • Ben van den Brink

      Welcome to the modern world

  • Dick Francis would have gotten a trilogy of racing mystery novels going with this premise!

  • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

    We have been advocating for this for a long time. Thankfully it will finally be put in place.

    • Lyle P Logan

      so… You’ve done your research on the increased cancer rates for micro-chipped household pets, right?? and… You are “thankful” that more thoroughbred horses will be subjected to that in the future!!
      great work there, R.A.C.E.

      • Ben van den Brink

        Interesting were can I read them articles.

      • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

        Based on the AMVA report the studies that have been done, many of the tumors that were reported were on laboratory mice and rats and many were already being used for cancer studies so it was not conclusive that the micro-chips were the cause of their tumors. In addition, their small size also played a factor. Horses are much bigger than mice. Is anything a 100% safe in this world, probably not. Tattoos are very hard to read on some horses as they fade over time. At least micro-chipping will provide a better form of identification and keeping track of thoroughbreds which is another safety net for them.

      • CaliforniaGirl2

        My four cats, dog, mule and TB mare have all been microchipped for years. They are all and have been just fine.

  • Gail Hirt

    So will they be doing both tattoos and microchips

  • Rachel

    What will be really fun is when the chips migrate in the body from the injection site!
    All my dogs are chipped, one of them twice because the shelter she ended up in missed the fact she was already chipped (it’s along her side) so they chipped her again for us. My vet caught it. When I called Home Again to make sure they knew she had two chips, they then told me the wandering chip was already in use….to a cat!
    My little dog’s chip has wandered down his shoulder.

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