How to identify your New Zealand-bred thoroughbred horse
Please note that the NZTBA cannot help you identify your New Zealand-born thoroughbred horse, because it does not hold or maintain any horse registration records. The following is a guide to the best sources of information that will allow you to identify New Zealand-bred thoroughbreds.
Firstly, confirm what the brands on your horse's shoulders are, and what they mean
A foal is now eligible for registration as a thoroughbred in New Zealand only after it has been branded, micro-chipped, parentage verified and an official identification certificate has been completed by a vet. Micro-chipping was introduced in 2004; horses born before that were only required to be branded.
The brands comprise:
- On the near shoulder, a registered cipher brand (a letter or combination of letters, or symbol). Examples are Cambridge Stud's S inside a C and The Oaks' acorn brand.
- On the off shoulder, two numerical brands, one beneath the other. The bottom number is the last digit of the year in which the foal was born. The top number indicates the individual horse registered by the cipher brand owner in that particular year. So, for instance, a horse carrying the numerical brands 28 over 5 was Horse No. 28 branded by the cipher brand owner in the year 1985, 1995 or 2005. It's usually not too difficult (with the help of a vet if necessary), to determine if a horse was born in 1985, 1995 or 2005.
Branding will become optional as the micro-chipping identification procedure is phased in.
Now, you can start the process of identifying your horse
There are two ways to identify your New Zealand-bred thoroughbred with the assistance of NZ Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) and the NZ Stud Book (which is managed by NZTR). The starting-point you choose will depend on the information you already have:
1. NZTR BRAND SEARCH
When you have only your horse's shoulder brands (and you don't know his/her registered racing name or any pedigree information) you can initiate a Brand Search at New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing's Information Centre.
This is the best way to identify your horse with one inquiry.
NZ Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) is the statutory controlling body for the sport in New Zealand, and is responsible for maintaining all thoroughbred horse registration records. An application form can be downloaded from the Information Centre. Otherwise the form can be posted, emailed or faxed to you for completion and return to NZ Thoroughbred Racing, P.O. Box 38 386, Wellington Mail Centre, Fax No: (04) 568 8866, with a search fee of $25.
It is important to check the brands to ensure that your horse can be correctly identfied. NZTR will notify you within two working days of the application being received, and provide you with a general summary of your horse, along with a pedigree and race performance. If the search is unsuccessful, your $25 payment will be refunded.
3. NZTR ONLINE HORSE SEARCH
When you have the registered racing name of your thoroughbred horse, the sire, dam or microchip number, and want to know about his/her racing career, owner, trainer, breeder, sire & dam, visit NZTR's Horse Search page to access online records.
Records are available for all current and some previously registered racehorses in New Zealand. Information includes each horse's NZ racing record, colours, owner, trainer, breeder, sire & dam.
Stud Book information (eg the NZ breeding record of broodmares) can be accessed from this Horse Search facility, from the New Zealand Stud Book. Free online registration gives access to the records of all thoroughbred broodmares currently registered in New Zealand (includes sex, birthdate, sire and breeder of each foal). Brand information is given for horses currently registered in the Stud Book.
Some information about some deceased broodmares is also available.
Quick Tip: Searches by Sire will usually produce large numbers of results; searches by Horse or Dam will be much easier. Make sure you register (this is free); log in; click Breeding, then click Stud Book on the navigation panel.
EVEN MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR HORSE
Sometimes, when you've identified your thoroughbred horse, you'll want more detailed pedigree and race record information. At this point Arion Pedigrees can help you.
Register as a Member (for fee-payable services) or a Guest (for free services only); then visit the Services Page for the menu of services available from Arion's website. Free services include 4 x 4 pedigrees and last five starts. Other services, e.g. catalogue-style pedigrees and full race records, are available at reasonable fees.
Finally, the NZTBA's online Studs & Stallions Database may help you find more information about the sire and/or breeder of your horse.