Registering Your Foal

Congratulations! You have chosen the Anglo European Studbook to register your foal. Here is a useful guide to some of the things you need to know:

1. What type of passport will I get?

By law, all equines born and living in the UK need a passport (identification document). At its most basic level, the passport is there to provide documentation of the horse or pony's identity, including its name, colour, date of birth, a sketch and description of his or her markings, and his or her microchip number (this number will be on the microchip inserted by your vet and noted on the sketch form) and UELN. UELN stands for Unique Equine Life Number, and it is allocated by the studbook. Every horse or pony can only ever have one UELN. This number consists of three parts, the first three numbers (826) tell us that the foal is born in the UK.

The passport should stay with the horse at all times (so you will need to take it with you when travelling), and its purpose is to aid with the identification of the animal. This can be important, for example, for biosecurity: as the passport contains a record of all the vaccinations a horse has received in its lifetime, in the outbreak of a contagious disease, veterinarians can quickly identify whether a horse is at risk. The passport also documents the "food chain status" of a horse. Many horses receive medication throughout their lifetime that renders them unsuitable for consumption. Many breeders and owner also do not like the idea of their horse going to slaughter. Horses can be signed out of the food chain on their passport, which prevents this from happening. 

From a studbook perspective, however, one of the most important elements of information provided by the passport is the pedigree. The Anglo European Studbook is a studbook for performance horses and ponies, i.e. horses and ponies that are bred for the purpose of being competed in one of the three Olympic disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage or Eventing. We allow, and in fact encourage the mixing of different bloodlines from the UK and Europe to promote a diverse gene pool and the use of the very best global breeding lines. 

The type of passport we will issue for your foal depends on his or her breeding.

1.1 Main Studbook (pink) Passport

In order to qualify for inclusion in the main studbook, horses must have a full 3 generations pedigree on the mother's and the father's side. The father must be a graded stallion. We offer our breeders a lot of choice, in that we accept applications for main studbook papers not only for horses and ponies by AES graded stallions, but by stallions from all WBFSH member studbooks, a list of which can be found here: In addition, we will accept applications for foals by some stallions not by WBFSH member studbook graded stallions on an individual basis (but in any case, all stallions have to have undergone a rigorous and suitable grading process). Please contact the office to check in each of these cases.

To qualify for main studbook papers, the mares must be fully passported with the AES, one of the WBFSH member studbooks, or another studbook that renders them suitable for sport horse of pony breeding (for example thoroughbreds, although we will not register pure thoroughbreds).

We strongly encourage all mares to be graded. Click here to find out more about our grading process: At the same time as grading your mare, we can also provide a young stock grading for your foal to give you helpful and interesting feedback!

1.2 Auxiliary Papers

If you have bred from a mare with incomplete breeding, or from an unlicensed stallion, or a stallion not licensed with one of the accepted studbooks, you can still get a passport for your foal, but it won't be "pink". The auxiliary studbook will list the known breeding of our foal, and will leave the rest of it blank. 

This will not affect your horse's ability to compete in the sport. Mares with incomplete breeding can still be evaluated in our grading system, but will not be able to enter the main studbook. 

1.3 Foundation Passport

If you have bred a sports horse or pony but do not know any of the breeding, your foal will get a foundation passport. This will enable you to travel and compete the foal, as it provides the required identification document. The pedigree will remain blank, and this foal will not be eligible for entry into the main studbook.

2. What do I need to apply for a passport?

First of all, you need your vet to insert a microchip in the foal and complete a sketch form describing his or her markings. Click here to download a copy of the form: It is important that your vet does this while he can still identify the foal on its dam, as he or she will confirm on the markings form that the foal is out of a particular mare. 

You will also need a signed covering certificate. This is issued by the stallion owner (or his or her agent) who supplied you with the semen. 

Both the sketch form and the covering certificate together need to be sent to the AES office no later than 31 December of the year of birth of the foal or 6 months after his or her birth, whichever the later date. If your mare is not AES registered or AES graded, please provide full prove of her identity and pedigree. This can be in form of scans of her passport pages. Please note that if we cannot identify the pedigree of the mare, your foal will have to receive auxiliary rather than main studbook papers. 

3. What about DNA testing?

There are multiple purposes of DNA testing. It can be used to very parentage of a foal by checking for a DNA match between the foal and its parents. Please note that this cannot be done "blind", i.e. we cannot send in a hair sample and ask the lab to tell us which stallion this foal is by. We will have to have a name of the sire to check for a simple "yes or no" match. We will carry out parentage checks on all foals whose paperwork is incomplete (for example, a lost covering certificate) or was submitted late, so that the vet was unable to identify the foal on his or her mother. (please note that in the case of missing covering certificates, you must provide evidence that you acquired the semen by legal means). We will always list on the passport if a foal has DNA verified parentage.

Another type of DNA testing is to screen for known genetic conditions, such as WFFS. The WFFS status of every AES horse (tested positive, tested negative or not tested) is listed on the public database. It is important to us to have transparency on these matters to help us control diseases and promote equine welfare.