Foal registration guide

Choosing a studbook for your foal can be a confusing process, and we often get asked which one is the best. In truth, there is no right or wrong answer, as long as you choose the studbook that is right for you.

Important things to note

  • By law, all foals must be issued with a passport within six months of birth, or 31st December in the year of birth, whichever is the latest. Since 2009, foals must also be micropchipped.
  • The passport should accompany the foal whenever it travels, and should be kept where the foal lives.
  • If you lose the passport, it is an offence to apply for a new one; you must obtain a duplicate instead.
  • Foals may only have a passport from one studbook, although this may be overstamped by other societies to show that the foal is also recognised by them.

If your foal is selected for the World Breeding Championships for Sport Horses, it may represent the country of the studbook of registration rather than the country of the rider or owner, depending on discipline and FEI rules. We advise that you familiarise yourself with these rules prior to choosing a studbook. Full details are available on the WBFSH website.


British Hanoverian inc. British Rhineland (BHHS)

The British Hanoverian & British Rhineland studbooks are daughter societies of the main studbooks in Germany, and following the integration of the Rhineland studbook, they now operate under one umbrella. The registration for each studbook is the same, but the Rhineland studbook accepts mares and stallions from most major studbooks, so there are many cases where it will be possible to register foals with the Rhineland studbook who are by stallions not approved by the Hanoverian studbook. Rhineland horses are eligible to participate at all of the Hanoverian events, including stallion licensing, mare shows, and auctions.

To register your foal with the BHHS, you will need to become a member of the society, and register your mares, for which the cost is £50 for an annual membership, plus £15 per registered mare. You will need to complete a foal notification form, available from the BHHS, within 28 days of the birth of your foal. You will then need an identification form and DNA test, for your foal, and possibly the mare, to be completed by your vet, at a cost of £30 per test, plus your vet’s charges.

Non-Hanoverian mares may be accepted into the studbook if they fulfil certain requirements; as a minimum, they must have at least four generations of recorded breeding and pass an inspection from the BHHS, which can be completed while the foal is on the mare. Each mare is considered on an individual basis – to check your mare’s eligibility for grading with the BHHS please send a copy of the pedigree and passport number to Kate Eaton (

Once the DNA test and ID chart have been submitted, you can take your foal to a regional show for branding, and if necessary, mare inspection; if your mare is accepted in to the BHHS studbook then the foal can be accepted for full papers. The cost of branding is £75 which includes the cost of the passport. After 1st November, the cost will rise to £150. Branding is compulsory in England, Ireland and Wales; if you choose not to have your foal branded, the foal will only be awarded part-bred papers.

If your mare is not registered, or not eligible for registration, with the Hanoverian studbook, but is by a Hanoverian stallion, you can obtain a BHHS Part Bred passport, for which the cost is £35 plus £30 for DNA testing until November 1st, after which the cost for the passport is £70.

Foal names must start with the same first letter of the stallion (e.g. all Fürst Romancier foals must start with 'F'). From 2017, prefixes can be used for horses registered British Hanoverian.


Anglo European Studbook (AES)

The AES offers a quick online registration tool, and boasts one of the most technologically secure passports in the world, with several security measures in place to prevent duplication.

Registration is £25, or free for foals sired by an AES Elite Stallion. Foals or horses that are registered late will require a DNA test at a cost of £54, or £132 including the passport.

The AES will register any foal into the main studbook that is sired by a stallion licensed with a studbook recognised by the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH), as long as it is also out of a mare with three generations of registered parentage. Foals will not require a DNA test if they are still on the mare at the time of registration.

There are no naming restrictions for foals registered with the AES.


Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain (SHB(GB))

Any horse can be passported with SHB(GB), but entry into the main studbook is restricted to foals by an SHB(GB) graded stallion and out of an SHB(GB) graded mare. 

The registration fee for entry into the main studbook is £40 (£70 if after 1st December in the year of their birth), plus a DNA fee of £60 and a parentage verification fee of £50.

All breeding will be recorded as unknown unless a covering certificate issued by an official breed society is provided together with a copy of the dam’s passport showing her breeding, unless she is registered with SHB(GB). A copy of the sire’s breeding obtained from a breed society (if not registered with SHB(GB)) should also be submitted at the time of registration. Only breeding shown on the passport/registration documents can be recorded.


Breeders Elite/Studbook for Irish and European Sport Horses (SIES)

Foals should be registered in the year of birth and prior to being weaned from the dam. The foal must have a markings form completed by your vet and at the same time a microchip inserted. If the dam of the foal is not registered with SIES, then a copy of the pedigree is required to be sent along with the completed covering certificate.

Foal registration is currently £50 – foals do not need to be DNA tested for a normal registration. For late registrations, if the markings of the foal were completed by your vet before weaning and the covering certificate is present and completed correctly with a microchip then foals do not need to be DNA tested. However, if the markings of the foal were not done prior to weaning, then the foal must be DNA tested. This involves a DNA test being purchased from Breeders Elite, for which the current cost is £54. Once you have received the DNA kit you will be required for your vet to take a hair sample from the foal and also to re-do the markings for verification.

If your foal qualifies for the Breeders Elite section – check with Breeders Elite directly for eligibility - then two DNA tests could be required, as tests are required for the mare and the foal. If the mare has already been DNA tested, then only a DNA test for the foal is required. The DNA tests are £54 each, therefore if your mare has not already been tested, the total cost is £108 plus £50 for the passport.

Irish Horse Board (Horse Sport Ireland)

Before registering a foal in the Irish Sport Horse studbook, both the sire and the dam of the foal must be registered in the Irish Horse Register and the foal must be eligible to be included in the studbook. On receipt of a covering certificate, Horse Sport Ireland will automatically issue a foal kit to the registered owner of the dam.

The foal kit will contain a marking chart, DNA hair sample bag, and return envelopes. Your vet will need to complete the marking chart and insert an official HSI microchip (issued to vets), and take a DNA hair sample. Where the dam of the foal has not been previously DNA typed, the foal kit will also contain a hair sample bag for the dam.

Passports cost £90 (£56 for HSI members) up until the 31st October in the year of the foal's birth, after which time the fees will increase. 

Horse Sport Ireland also operate an urgent same day passport service - see their website for details.


German Hanoverian

Please see details for British Hanoverian (BHHS) above.



The Oldenburg Studbook is divided into two sections: OS (for jumping horses) and OL (for dressage horses), although the two sections run together for several aspects, such as mare performance tests and licensings. British-bred foals registered with the Oldenburg Verband are eligible to go forward for licensing in Germany, and mares can be performance tested in the UK. To register a foal with the Oldenburg studbook, it must be inspected at one of several foal shows that take place in the UK each year.

The owner must become a member of the Oldenburg Studbook, for a one-off charge of €100, followed by an annual charge of €60 if you wish to remain a member. Mares must be registered at an annual cost of €30, and the branding and registration of the foal costs €125.

To obtain full papers, the mare must also be registered into the Oldenburg studbook. Non-Oldenburg mares may be accepted into the studbook if they fulfil certain requirements; as a minimum, they must have at least four generations of recorded breeding and pass an inspection from the Oldenburg assessors, which can be completed while the foal is on the mare. Each mare is considered on an individual basis – to check your mare’s eligibility for grading with Oldenburg, please send a copy of the pedigree and passport number to Nora (

At the foal show, a hair sample will be taken for DNA analysis and the foal will be microchipped and can be branded, but branding is not compulsory. Foals whose dams are accepted into the main Oldenburg Studbook will be eligible to receive a premium or Elite premium award if they are of particularly good quality, awarded at the discretion of the Oldenburg inspectors.

Names of colt foals must start with the same first letter of the stallion (e.g. all Fürst Romancier foals must start with 'F'), but names for fillies may use the first letter of either the sire or dam.



The KWPN is divided into three sections; the Veulenboek (Foalbook), and the studbook, which is divided into register A and register B.

Foals that are by KWPN-approved stallions and out of either KWPN or Erkend mares are registered into the Foalbook (VB). These foals are then eligible for inspections, entry into the studbook (Register A), and licensing.

Foals that are by stallions who are not KWPN-approved, but are approved by an Erkend studbook, are also eligible for register A, and can be eligible for studbook inspection and licensing at maturity, but may be required to fulfill additional criteria. 

Foals by stallions who are not approved by the KWPN or any Erkend studbook are only eligible for register B. Register B horses cannot compete in KWPN licensings or events, but they can compete in the PAVO Cup.

For a list of KWPN Erkend (recognised) studbooks, click here

Foal inspections are not mandatory with the KWPN, but the registration documents and DNA testing can be done at an inspection. The KWPN do not offer microchipping, so the microchipping must be done independently by your vet under UK legislation. KWPN horses are not branded. DNA testing is mandatory for KWPN registration. This can be done at a KWPN inspection, or alternatively you can send a hair sample to the KWPN accompanied by extensive photographs of the foal and dam. Your vet must pull out the hairs and write a letter certifying that the hairs came from the correct foal and dam, and send this together with details of the microchip to the KWPN. 

The KWPN no longer use paper covering certificates – all coverings are recorded electronically. For 2017, the joining fee and registration fee for your first foal is €150, with any subsequent foals charged at €250 (including the DNA testing). 

All foals born in the same year must have a name starting with the same letter. For 2017-born foals the letter was 'M', and for foals born in 2018 the letter is 'N'.



The Westfalen studbook (sometimes referred to as Westphalian) is the only non-British studbook to offer online foal registration - full details will be sent to the breeder on receipt of the covering certificate, and the whole process can then be completed online. Foal registration costs €85.60, with a price increase if the foal is registered late or if it is by a non-Westfalen stallion.

When completing the online registration, you can choose a date for the inspectors to visit your foal in order to complete the branding and microchipping of the foal. 

For full details on Westfalen registration, contact the UK representative, Dietmar Reher ( 



Horses registered with the Zangersheide studbook are instantly recognisable by their 'Z' suffix, and the studbook is also home to their stallion station, synonymous with top class show jumping.

Foal registration can be done online, and names must start with the same letter as the sire, and be no more than 16 characters including the 'Z'. Foals must be sired by a Zangersheide-licensed stallion to be eligible for registration, but can be out of any mare, with no additional fees for outside mares - foal registration is a flat rate of €150. Foals must be DNA tested, and if the dam is not already known to the studbook then she will need to be DNA tested as well.

If you have used a Zangersheide stallion, it is important to be aware that they stipulate than some of their stallions' offspring (e.g. foals by Dominator Z) must be registered with the Zangersheide studbook, or they will incur additional fees of up to €1000.

Zangersheide horses can compete in the Z-Festival and can also qualify for the prestigious Zangersheide Quality Auctions.


Sports Pony Studbook Society (SPSS)

A progressive UK studbook focused on the breeding, production, evaluation & licensing of competition ponies for FEI disciplines.  Licensing stallions, grading mares & evaluating youngstock with the purpose of supporting breeders in the UK with a collective aim of producing truly world-class ponies.

As the only studbook in the UK specialising in the registration of sports ponies and small sports horses, in principal, the SPSS will issue passports to:
(a) The progeny of an SPSS graded stallion and/or SPSS graded mare
(b) The progeny of an SPSS passported or overstamped mare (height no more than 158cm) and a sire graded/licenced (by a WBFSH member studbook or a recognised foreign sports pony studbook) or passported/overstamped with a PIO listed with Defra
(c) The progeny of any mare over 158cm and a stallion of 148cm or less who is licenced/graded (by a WBFSH member studbook or a recognised foreign sports pony studbook or a PIO listed with Defra) where the breeder’s intention is to breed a sports pony
The SPSS will NOT issue a passport to any pure-bred British Native Pony (but will overstamp their breed society passport)
DNA parentage testing is required before an SPSS passport can be issued for ALL late applications and/or where the vet completing the Identification Form section is not able to carry out foal ID whilst on its genetic dam, e.g. if the foal has already been weaned, or is an embryo transfer foal seen with the recipient mare. DNA parentage testing is optional for all other passports.
There are no naming restrictions with the SPSS apart from prefixes needing to be registered (if used) and there is no restriction on the expected adult height of youngstock eligible for SPSS passports.
To apply for an SPSS passport, the owner/breeder and their vet need to complete & sign the SPSS Passport Application Form (available on the SPSS website passports page) and send to the SPSS Studbook Office along with a DNA hair sample from the foal and dam; covering certificate; pedigree information for any non-SPSS parent; membership application (unless already a member) and all applicable fees (see appropriate forms).