Just how important are those papers?
REALLY important- and they need to stay with the horse!
This is a piece in this weeks Chronicle of the Horse- the bible for the sport horse world- written by a guy who just plain "gets it"- in any discipline. I attended a forum that he gave at Dressage at Devon last Fall- and I am going to another that he is doing on young dressage horses next weekend. This guy is fabulous- and, while this piece is actually about warmbloods, it should resonate for every one of us.
Breed Registration Papers Have Never Been More Important
March 7, 2008 Issue
Registering a horse can open many doors in that horse’s career.
We are in a time of recognition, and breed registration papers are certainly an important part of that. To many this may be a boring subject, but let’s face it, with the world at our fingertips it is becoming a necessity.
We can go to so many websites; we have access to the world. We can readily look up any information we really want. Breed registration papers come into play for many reasons, and this is very important.
Let’s take a case example: a breeder breeds a horse. He doesn’t plan to sell the foal. He loves it; it is his horse for the future. So he decides when it is born not to register it. He says: “Why spend the extra money? I don’t plan on selling him. He is mine, and I love him. It is not important to be recognized.”
This horse grows up and becomes quite an athlete, or the situation changes for the breeder. He decides his life has changed; he needs to sell the horse. Or maybe the horse is even better quality than he thought, and there is a great opportunity for this horse to go to a really good rider with hopes to accomplish great success in sport.
Down the road, as perhaps a 5-year-old, the decision is made to pursue the young horse championships or the hunter futurity or the jumper futurities or any available program. Unfortunately, this horse is not eligible for any of these programs because he is not registered. It’s understandable that often in these cases everyone becomes upset. It goes back to the breeder who must take responsibility.
Registering a horse is extremely important; it is like a birth certificate for a child. The horse needs to be registered, whereby it’s eligible and can bring recognition in so many categories for the breeder, the rider, the owner. Who know what programs will be pursued in the future, so let’s take care of a basic, important and fundamental step: when a foal is born it gets registered, which can open many future doors.
There has been a great movement in this country over the past five years or so to pay more attention to data, especially since we have the world at our fingertips. We need to recognize our strengths in this country, of what we are breeding and building on as well as what is going into sport from our breeding programs.
Now we can compare our results; breeders are getting recognition. There are “Breeder of the Year” awards from many of the national governing bodies. Without a registration paper, again these horses are simply not eligible.
A trainer may also ask, “Why is this important?”
Several months ago, in one of my other columns, I talked about the importance of thanking the breeders. It goes hand-in-hand. We the trainers as well as the breeders need to work together because it takes teamwork to bring the recognition. It is a fundamentally important situation to have registration papers on horses.
Registration handles the important issue of tracking horses, getting breeders and/or owners involved in a registry and horses eligible for all the different programs. As a result of registration, rewards and recognition return to the breeder, the trainer, the rider, the owner, and the breed society with which the horse is registered. Now, everything works hand-in-hand, and let’s face it, we are in a time and age right now of recognition, marketing, acknowledgement—all of these things are needed for the sport.
This leads to rewards, feeling good about our programs and the ability to track how we are progressing. What a shame for a nice horse to be restricted from a program because he is not registered. In many cases again, the end result becomes upsetting to the owner of the horse or the new purchaser of the horse.
Registering your horse is an important decision. Too often it happens too late and you might not have the complete pedigree. We cannot verbally take what the owner says or writes about the pedigree of the horse. The horse needs to have an official paper from a breed registry; this is the culture we live in today.
You cannot simply put yourself down as “breeder” without proof or recognition from a registering group and expect to have the horse eligible for various programs.
The registration of a horse can safeguard the future of that horse. It is a responsibility that must be taken early on. Spend the time; spend the money. It is extremely important for that horse, for his future and for yours.
Scott Hassler, the National Young Horse Dressage Coach, resides in Chesapeake City, Md., and has trained many horses to Grand Prix. The U.S. Dressage Federation Sport Horse Committee chairman since 2001, he helped establish the sport/breeding record-keeping system now active in the USDF and the U.S. Equestrian Federation. He began writing Between Rounds columns in 2005.