Horse Permanent Id and Parentage Verification

Specifications for Horses’ Permanent Identification and Parentage Verification


Horses entered in the Foal Book through 1996 received tattoos on the lower left side of the tongue. The tongue tattoo code is shown on the horse’s registration certificate. In some rare cases older horses did not receive a tongue tattoo.

Some horses foaled in North America also received an interim tongue tattoo for identification until they could be tattooed by the FPS. This was usually done in cases where the foal was weaned before judging by the FPS. The interim tattoos were placed on the lower right side of the tongue. These horses have two tongue tattoos.

The tongue tattoo can be read by grasping the horse’s tongue and pulling it to the left side of the mouth.


Horses entered in the Foal Book in 1997 and later received electronic identification codes. The electronic chip was implanted in the horse’s upper left neck approximately mid way between the withers and poll. The electronic ID code is shown on the horse’s registration certificate.

An electronic reading device is required to “read” the implanted chip. Many veterinarians have the reader devices or the device can be rented from the FHANA office.

ID chips that were implanted in Europe use a different electronic format than chips implanted in North America. European-implanted chips cannot be read by the reader devices commonly used in North America and will probably require the use of a FHANA reader. The FHANA readers can read chips in both the North American and European format.


Friesian horses entered in the adult studbooks usually have received brands. The brand mark, if any, is shown on the horse’s registration certificate. The FPS expects to discontinue branding in the near future.

Horses have been branded on the upper left neck. It can be difficult to read some horse’s brands, particularly if the hair coat is long. It may be necessary to wet or shave the hair in order to clearly see a brand.

These are the brands of the Friesian Horse Studbook:

FAdult mare, gelding or Approved Stallion registered in the main Studbook or in B-Book I

FS Studbook or B-Book I mare or gelding who has been designated as Star

FSM Studbook Star mare who has been designated as Model

crown Mare or Approved Stallion who has been designated as Preferent

/ \ Mare entered in the Auxiliary Studbook for Mares (Hulp Studbook)


Beginning in 1992 all fillies foaled in North America had to be blood type tested in order to be registered. Beginning in 1993 the fillies’ dams also had to be blood type tested. Blood type testing was discontinued in 1997 and DNA testing was adopted on a random+ basis.

Blood typing test results are maintained in storage at FHANA. In some cases testable blood samples are still in storage at the laboratory. This would be useful in the event DNA testing were needed for a deceased horse.


Beginning in 1997 DNA testing replaced blood type testing because of its greater reliability. FHANA members voted to adopt DNA testing on a random+ basis at FHANA’s expense. However many situations still require parentage verification at owner expense and those are specified in the Rules & Regulations.

DNA testing requires a veterinarian to pull hairs out of the horse’s mane and send them to the laboratory utilizing a kit the owner obtains from FHANA. Note: three horses must be tested in order to verify parentage—the horse in question and its sire and dam. A DNA test is automatically performed for each Approved Stallion. Thus horse owners are responsible for providing DNA tests on only the horse in question and its dam.

The FHANA Resource Book

THE FHANA Resource Book is now available for order. This publication is good for all NEW and SEASONED members alike. Contact FHANA to obtain your copy today.