REGISTRATION OF HORSES
AND THE STUD BOOK
BY J.D. COZIER
The Thoroughbred as we know him has evolved around Three Arabian Stallions imported into the United Kingdom some three centuries ago.
The Byerley Turk, earliest of the three (3) male line ancestors of the Thoroughbred, in 1689.
The Darley Arabian-ancestor of over 90% of the modern Thoroughbred, around 1704
The Godolphin Arabian-in 1730.
With Thoroughbred breeding becoming very fashionable at the time, James Weatherby published the first volume of the General Stud Book in 1791, being the start of a permanent bible of accurately recording the ancestry of the Thoroughbred.
The responsibility of the Stud Book, now over 200 years old, is still held by the firm of Weatherbys and which has grown considerably from those early days. 43 Volumes have been published up to 1996 inclusive.
In Trinidad and Tobago, horse-racing has existed on an organised basis since 1853, and under the Rules of Racing with the establishment of the Trinidad Turf Club in 1897; and from 1976 by the Trinidad and Tobago Racing Authority.
It was not until 1972, however that Volume I of the Trinidad and Tobago Stud Back was published, through the combined efforts of the four Race Clubs, Arima Race Club, Trinidad Turf Club, Union Park Turf Club and Tobago Race Club, which set up a committee and gave to it this responsibility.
To date five Volumes have been published, covering the period up to 1993 Volume VI (1994-2000) will be published during 2001. It is to be noted that the Stud Book, is the responsibility of the Trinidad and Tobago Racing Authority. The Trinidad and Tobago Stud Book presently enjoys "approved" status by the International Stud Book Committee, on par with the major racing and breeding jurisdictions world-wide.
To be eligible for inclusion in the Trinidad and Tobago Stud Book; a horse must trace in all removes of its pedigree
a) To horses entered in the General Stud Book or to horses whose ancestors were duly accepted by the Trinidad Turf Club for registration in accordance with the Rules of Racing, and in addition, trace in all removes of their pedigree to horses entered in the General Stud Book, or
b) To horses entered in the Official Stud Book of such other countries as the proprietors of the Trinidad and Tobago 'Stud Book from time to time shall accept.
The Trinidad and Tobago Racing Authority maintains strict requirements for registration of horses either born in Trinidad and Tobago or imported into Trinidad and Tobago, and which will eventually find themselves into the Stud Book, once eligible.
There are requirements that all horses to be used as Stallions, or Mares going off to be bred, must be registered for the purposes of Stud Duties.
Mares covered by Stallions during the breeding season, which would normally encompass the period February 15-July 15 of each year, must be reported to the Authority by the owner of the Stallion, giving the first and last dates of covering.
The following year, the Breeder must submit a Return of Mares form-showing the outcome of the previous year's covering of the mare by a Stallion, which could result in: -
a) The mare having a live healthy foal
b) The mare having a dead foal
c) The mare unfortunately did not conceive and was barren.
d) The mare was not covered during that year.
If a foal was born, it must be examined by a Veterinary Officer within four months of birth; and an Identification Form completed by the Vet showing the coat markings (Colour / distinctive marks). This form along with the Stallion Covering Certificate, which will contain the actual dates of service, must be lodged with the Authority.
The age of all Thoroughbreds irrespective of its actual birth date is January 1, such is considered as born to Northern Hemisphere time- all countries north of the Equator, while September 1, is the official birth date of horses bred south of the Equator - to Southern Hemisphere time. (e.g. - Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc). The cut off date for lodging of returns for stallions and mares with the Authority is September 30 each year.
Over the last twenty five (25) years with the great advances made in science and technology, several other means of properly identifying the Thoroughbred have emerged.
Among these include: -
a) Photographs showing the profile of horse on both its left and right side - head and rear views.
b) Lip tattooing
c) Blood Typing and Parental verification.
d) Night eye photographs.
In 1982, the Authority took a major decision to implement Blood Typing of all thoroughbred stock at stud in Trinidad and Tobago. A rule was also introduced that all horses imported into the country from outside the Caribbean must first be blood-typed prior to import and registration.
Locally bred horses, as well as horses imported prior to 1982 were blood-typed locally-an exercise involving all mares/stallions then at stud. By late 1985 the exercise was completed.
To date over 1400 horses have been blood-typed (yearlings, mares, sires, foals) up to the end of 1999. In 2000, DNA replaced blood – typing as the official method for parentage verification
Night eye identification is one of the techniques U.S.A and which is supposedly foolproof, as the Night Eye of a horse is comparable to the fingerprint in the human.
Lip Tattoos, for long a common means of I.D. in the USA has had its drawbacks, indeed experiences have indicated that such can be removed with new laser technology without leaving scars, however the lip tattoo is principally the form used in the USA
A has therefore, at the present time become the worldwide method of identification and is accepted by all major racing jurisdictions. At a meeting of the International Stud Book Conference held in 1999, the conditions for approval of a Stud Book internationally were amended, to include that a commitment must be made by that country to have all stallions and mares at stud during the 2000 season DNA typed, and thereafter all foal crops from 2001.
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