Jockey Club to Require Microchips Starting in 2017

Jockey Club to Require Microchips Starting in 2017

The microchips will be used in conjunction with official markings to provide an effective means of confirming the identity of Thoroughbreds for the duration of their lives.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

The Jockey Club’s Board of Stewards voted Saturday (Aug. 8) to change certain provisions of the Principal Rules and Requirements of the American Stud Book and, as a result, microchips will become a requirement for registration for foals of 2017 and later.

The microchips will be used in conjunction with official markings to provide an effective means of confirming the identity of Thoroughbreds for the duration of their lives.

Beginning with foals born in 2017, a microchip will be provided with all registration application and genetic sampling kits. In 2016, owners will have the option to request free microchips with registration and genetic sampling kits when they report the birth of a live foal. There will be no increase in registration fees.

Microchips are a compulsory component of Thoroughbred registration in several countries including Great Britain, France, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Italy, and New Zealand.

“Microchips are a fast, safe and effective measure for enhancing the identification of Thoroughbred racehorses and have proven successful in other countries around the world,” said Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. “When coupled with official written markings, the use of microchips will improve the efficiency and reliability of the identification process throughout the life of every Thoroughbred.”

Garrett O’Rourke, manager of Juddmonte Farms in Lexington, Kentucky, added, “We have microchipped Juddmonte’s U.S.-bred foals that are bound to race in Europe for years and it is both easy and safe. The practicality that microchipping can bring to Thoroughbred identification makes it an essential. The possibilities it may open up to better manage our horses is very exciting.”

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