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).