Doghill Farm Stud

Home of Doghill Quarter Horses

Well the babies have arrived safely…

And to say we are over the moon with our first foals sired by Hobbit would be an understatement.

Acorn has had a filly (pictured here at 36 hours old) and Lola has had a fabulous bay dun colt. Both foals are lively and cheeky as you’d hope they would be and we’re looking forward to seeing how they progress.

With the breeding season in full flow, many breeders are taking deposits on foals now, ready for them to go to their new homes at weaning. It therefore seems appropriate to explain how American Quarter Horses are registered and what paperwork you should expect to have when you buy a new registered AQHA foal and take it home.

The first thing we do when one of our mares has a foal, is choose a name. This is the fun part. Huw and I usually do it with the help of plenty of gin as we celebrate the safe arrival of the foal. Depending on the amount of gin consumed, names either become sillier and funnier, or we suddenly decide on a name we both love. Our vets find it hilarious, as both Huw and I change our mind several times before settling on a name and more than once our vets have turned up to do routine stud work on a particular mare and foal and asked “What’s the foal called today?!”

Many breeders (us included) will prefix the foal name with either initials or the name of their stud. At Doghill Quarter Horses, we prefix everything with “HW” which stands for “Huw and Helen Williams”. (Conveniently both Huw and I have names which start with the same letter!).  Other UK studs and breeders have different prefixes such as “GTS” (Golden Triangle Stud), or “Wilden” (Wilden Quarter Horses).

Under the rules of the AQHA, a registered horse can only have 20 letters in his or her name (which includes the prefix). When we started in the AQH breeding business, I thought the rule was due to some historical and traditional reason that had been lost in the mist of time and was carried on because that was the way it always had been. Then one day I was on the phone to the AQHA in the USA and out of curiosity I asked the person I was speaking to why you could only use 20 letters in an AQHA horse name. “Easy!” she said, “20 letters is all that will fit in the computer registration box!”. Now, I have no idea if she was pulling my leg or not, but it seemed a properly valid reason and in that one answer she destroyed the mystery of AQHA historical horse naming!

So we’ve decided on our foal name, notified the AQHA-USA our foal has been born and given them the details of our foal such as sire, dam, date of birth, colour etc. AQHA then issues us with an AQHA registration certificate.

This is the most important piece of paper our horse will own. It is this piece of paper that tells you that our horse is a pedigree American Qaurter Horse and allows the AQHA-UK to issue our foal with a yellow jacket pure bred American Quarter Horse passport. Once we have this, we are able to then make a horse passport application to AQHA-UK. It is they who will issue our foal with the appropriate passport, which it is required to have by law.

So, the breeders have all the registration work in place and are in possession of both a passport and a registration certificate for their foals.

It’s that time… your purebred American Quarter Horse foal has reached weaning and you’re off to collect them and take them home. At this point, the same process applies to any registered American Quarter Horse being sold in the UK regardless of age.

When buying a registered AQH, you should expect certain paperwork to accompany the sale.

The first thing you need to do is check that the USA AQHA Registration Certificate is in the name of the person who is selling it to you. The person who is listed on the USA registration document is the person who has to sign the (USA) AQHA transfer report that you will use to transfer the USA registration certificate into your name.

The second thing you need to do, is check that the AQHA-UK passport is in the same name as the USA Registration certificate.

The third thing you need to do is make sure you also have a AQHA-UK signed transfer report signed by the same person who is in the passport, on the USA registration certificate and who has signed the USA transfer report. I’d also suggest you get a bill of sale for the horse you’ve just bought.

To then register the foal in your name, send the USA Registration certificate and USA transfer report to the AQHA HQ in Amarillo, Texas and send the AQHA-UK passport, the UK transfer report and a photocopy of the USA Registration certificate to the AQHA-UK.

Hopefully with a bit of luck everything will come back quickly and your horse will registered in your name!

As for our own 2020 foals? Well we’ve decided on a name for Lola’s colt (HW Hobbits Fancy Jac) and vetoed “HW Poo-poo head”(no thanks to Charlotte!) as a name for the filly. Our vet is currently running a sweepstake in the practice about how many times we change her name before we register her and so far she’s winning on 6 different names in 48 hours. Watch this space!