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The New Zealand Stud Book is the official record of New Zealand Thoroughbred bloodlines, premierships, and stallions standing.  

This page is designed to provide you with general guidelines on the Stud Book requirements and procedures.

NZTR manage the studbook in New Zealand and if you require more detailed information, please contact the Stud Book team at or (04) 576 6264

Breeders Service Centre

The Breeders Service Centre (BSC) is an online portal that handles the registration of foals and returns of mares and stallions. 

The BSC is accessed through by using your individual login to the portal.

If you need help accessing the Breeders Service Centre, email or call (04) 576 6240. 

For instructions on the use of the BSC please download the below link:

Horse ID

Thoroughbred foals are eligible for registration only after they have 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.

Below you will find a guide to finding out more information about your thoroughbred:

Broodmares & Foals

A mare must be registered as a broodmare in the Stud Book so that her foals are eligible for racing or breeding.

Owners are responsible for registering their mare as a broodmare after she is covered for the first time (by completing an initial entry form) and maintaining her registration in the Stud Book until she is retired from breeding or is sold or leased out.  Owners must notify Stud Book of the birth of a foal within 30 days of the birth, and must lodge a mare return every season, even if the mare does not produce a live foal or isn’t covered.

The return can be done online (through the Breeders Service Centre). If you need help accessing the Breeders Service Centre, email or call (04) 576 6240 

Mare returns are due by 28 February of each year. The following fees apply:

  • $75.00 – annual entry fee per mare

  • $120.00– DNA laboratory fee for the foal

  • A penalty of $120.00 per season per mare for late lodgement

  • Fees are discounted for returns completed online or by phone and paid with a credit card.

A return will not be accepted unless it is completed correctly and all fees paid.

A return is the first part of foal registration. The second part is branding/microchipping and parentage verification. You must complete both stages before the foal is eligible for registration.


A stallion must be registered annually for his foals to be eligible for entry in the Stud Book. The fee for this is $75.00.

The stallion manager is responsible for lodging a Certificate of Service every season. This form lists the mares covered during the season, and the first and last dates of service. The fee for this varies according to the number of mares covered. Once again, this can be done online or over the phone.

Under Stud Book regulations, a foal must be conceived by natural service. Artificial insemination and embryo transplant are prohibited. See Rule 407 of the NZ Rules of Racing.

The covering season begins on 1 September each year. 

Foal Identification

Branding/Microchipping/DNA Parentage Testing

Every foal must be branded, microchipped, and parentage tested by 31 July of the season in which it was born.

A veterinarian will brand, microchip and take a mane hair sample for DNA testing. The veterinarian will also complete a Brand Identification Certificate at the time of branding and send a copy of this to NZTR.

Only microchips issued by NZTR are to be implanted in thoroughbred foals. A foal will need to be re-chipped and the DNA test repeated if a non-NZTR microchip is used. 

DNA for the parentage test is extracted from the bulbs of mane hair. DNA from both the sire and dam of the foal is needed to complete the test. If the laboratory does not hold DNA from the mare, her owner will be asked to supply a mane hair sample so that the test can be completed. If DNA from the mare cannot be provided, i.e. she has died or been given away, the foal cannot be registered. Blood typing is no longer available as a means to confirm parentage.

How a Foal's age is determined

Thoroughbreds in New Zealand and Australia are aged according to the date of the mare’s first cover. For example, the foal of a mare covered on or after 1 September 2020 will be deemed to commence its first year of life on 1 August 2021 regardless of its date of birth, provided that date of birth is consistent with such covering. However, the foal of a mare covered before 1 September 2020 will be deemed to have started its second year of life on 1 August 2021 regardless of when it is born (i.e. it will become a yearling on the day it is born).

Breeding Ownership

A foal is recorded as being bred and owned by the person, partnership or entity who is the registered owner of the mare on the day the foal is born. The change of ownership or lease form needs to be completed accurately so that the correct breeder/owner of the foal is recorded in the Stud Book.

The criteria for ownership of breeding stock are set out in the Rules of Racing.

If a mare is purchased or leased for breeding, the SR20 Change of ownership or SR3 Lease for stud purpose forms must be lodged with the Stud Book within 7 days of the transfer. A mare will not appear on your return if you are not the NZTR registered owner.

A late penalty will be charged if your return is not lodged by the due date. If the transfer of ownership has not been completed, you will be unable to lodge the return and will incur the late penalty.

If a previous owner has outstanding mare returns due, a new change of ownership or lease will not be recorded until the outstanding returns are lodged and paid for. Purchasers are urged to check the status of any mare they are considering buying, either on the website or by contacting the Stud Book.  


Any horses entering New Zealand must be registered under our Rules of Racing and integrated into our Stud Book/Racing databases.

An Import Application must be completed for every imported horse. It is the owner’s responsibility to lodge the Import Application. The fee is $250.00 including GST, if lodged within 30 days of the horse’s arrival, or $330 if lodged after 30 days. The shipping agent will not do this for you. 

Use the appropriate import application form:

  • SR36A Import application - named racehorse

  • SR36B Import application - broodmare or stallion

  • SR36C Import application - un-named horse

The following horses must also complete an Import Application, however, there is no fee charged in these circumstances.

  • Foals arriving at foot with their dam

  • A visiting racehorse, where the period of stay is less than 3 months.

Owners/trainers must also ensure that a racehorse entering NZ has a clearance issued from the Stewards/Authority where the horse last raced. 

Broodmare owners must ensure that all documentation required by the overseas Stud Book is completed prior to export so that a clearance can be issued to the NZ Stud Book. 

The overseas registration document, i.e. passport or Foal/Thoroughbred Identification Card, must be returned to the Stud Book if the horse is re-exported, or given to the purchaser if it is sold.


The shipping agent will send an export application to the Stud Book when your horse is exported. The Stud Book fee to issue a clearance is included in your payment to the shipping agent:

  • $450.00 incl. GST – first departure

  • $150.00 incl. GST – horse leaving NZ second or subsequent times

If a broodmare is being exported, all returns must be up to date before a clearance can be issued. The Document of Description/Passport is endorsed by the Stud Book and sent to the authorities in the country of destination. 

In the case of a racehorse, a clearance is also sent to the Stewards/Authority in the destination country to confirm the horse is free from embargo, and to advise the race record and any gear worn.

For racehorses visiting Australia, the person responsible for the horse must take the NZ Certificate of Registration with them and present it to the Registrar or Stewards for endorsement as soon after arrival as possible.

More information is available at:

Clearances for un-named horses are sent to the Stud Book or Racing Authority in the destination country.

Breeders Forms


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