DNA Kits Vs. Parentage Verification


Have you ever found yourself at the end of the registering process for your new AQHA foals of the year, wondering which kit you should order to complete the task? I have.

If you do find yourself in this scenario registering your foals online, you will eventually come to the page where it gives you a choice between DNA kits and parentage verification kits, etc.

And you may ask yourself, \”What\’s the difference between these kits exactly?\”

Or, \”Why do some foals need parentage verification but others only need the DNA kit?\”

And finally, \”When you are given the choice (between a DNA Kit and a parentage verification kit) what\’s best?\”


I\’ve always hated coming to that page and being unsure of what to order. So I decided to explore the subject a little further. I contacted the AQHA and the following is what a representative shared with me:


\”Eventually every foal will need to be parentage verified.  Parentage verified means we need DNA types on file for the sire, dam and foal. The lab compares these types to prove the foal is actually out of those set of parents.

\”However, DNA means only putting a DNA type on file for that one horse. We [the AQHA] only require just the DNA if the mare of a foal was born in 1989 or after. If the mare was born in 1989 or after and we request DNA, then we also require DNA on the sire as well. But, the foal will not need to be tested unless one the following applies:

• We require parentage verification on a foal, if the foal was produced by: Embryo transfer, frozen semen, cooled semen, if the foal is 48 months or older at time of registration, or if the mare was exposed to 2 stallions less than 30 days, or some type of rule violation.

\”If none of the above apply and you request just DNA on the foal but the sire and dam are already typed, we will go ahead and have the lab do parentage verification on the foal. If one of the parents aren’t DNA typed and you request only DNA on the foal and none of the above apply, then we will just put a DNA on file for the foal only.\”

And according to AQHA Rule 202. Registration Procedure:

(i) Parentage must be verified through genetic testing before a foal can be registered if:
(1) Either of the parents was less than 2 years of age at time of conception.
(2) It was the result of an embryo/oocyte transfer.
(3) It was conceived by the use of cooled transported semen.
(4) It was conceived by the use of frozen semen.
(5) It was more than 48 months of age at time application for registration is made.
(6) Its dam was exposed to more than one stallion within a 30 day time period.
(7) It has white markings exceeding the limitations specified in rule 205(d).
(8) It is foaled January 1, 2007, or after and is a descendant of Impressive 0767246 as required in rule 205(c).
(9) The Executive Committee has justifiable cause to question its parentage.

(j) A genetic type must be on file with AQHA for any mare foaled on or after January 1, 1989, prior to the registration of any foal.
(1) Proper fees as per rule 222 must be remitted.
(2) Refer to rules 209(f ), 212(a)(2) and 304(c).

This status means a foal and its sire and dam have been DNA typed and the foal has been confirmed to qualify as an offspring of that particular mating.

And if you still need further explanation,  you may want to call the AQHA and a rep will do their best to explain what kit is best for your situation.

The number to customer service at the American Quarter Horse Association is:

(806) 376-4811

Tomorrow on My Stable Life, we\’ll tackle the process of actually sending equine DNA to be tested and how to get your samples across the border correctly.


2 thoughts on “DNA Kits Vs. Parentage Verification”

  1. angelica moline

    I registered 2 foals last year and was pretty sure you also need the foal parentage verified if you plan to race it.

  2. Karen Joshua

    I have sent in my 14 yr old mares hair sample as she is with foal to Special Effort bloodline. I bought her from a horse breeders widow 14 years ago. Their kids sold me the filly, now my dna shows the dam doesn’t match AQHA listing, and the breeders kids just laugh when I ask how to fix this mess, I think they pulled a switcheroo on both me and their widowed mother. How do I get this mess fixed if they breeders family won’t help?

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