There’s often mention of a horse’s foal papers. But what, exactly, are they?
Each Thoroughbred is registered as a foal with The Jockey Club. It is the official Thoroughbred breed registry (many other breeds have similar organizations, i.e. American Quarter Horse Association, Arabian Horse Association, etc).
The papers are the horse’s official record, a birth certificate of sorts. It also includes a description of the horse’s markings.
From Archie’s registration, we can see that his marks are noted as:
Medium star and connected bordered stripe, becoming flesh colored on bridge of nose, widening above nostrils, ending between nostrils, into left nostril; flesh colored lower lip.
Median cowlick at top of eye level.
Left hind: three quarters irregular stocking, higher to a point in front, lower on outside and in back.
Cowlick behind poll on both sides; cowlick at throat latch, cowlick in jugular groove on left side.
Patches of white hairs throughout coat.
Archie’s connected medium star and stripe.
Once the horse comes into the track with the intent to race, they will also get a tattoo on the inside of their upper lip.
The markings and tattoo are used by the identifier to verify each runner prior to coming to the paddock to race. This is done at the test barn where the horses queue up prior to walking over to the paddock.
Cowlicks (swirls of hair) are as unique as fingerprints to a horse and are formed as the horse develops in the womb. So you could have two identical black horses, with no white markings, but distinguish between the two by cowlicks. This is why they are noted along with the white markings.
Example of a cowlick
In horse racing, the horse’s papers accompany the horse to each track it races at. If a horse is a two-year old and it is their first time at the track, they cannot enter a race until their papers are on file with the race office.
In Archie’s case, when we talk about him being “in jail” that means that Golden Gate is holding his papers until the 45 day period is up. Once it is up, the physical papers will be mailed to the Emerald Downs racing office, making him eligible to enter a race.
The back of the foal papers keep a record of the horse’s wins.
Additional documentation continues with the record of the transfer of ownership when the horse is claimed or sold.
And finally, any nominations of the foal accompany the horse. You may be surprised to learn that Archie was nominated to the Breeders’ Cup as a foal!
Archie had a good 5/8 work on Saturday, getting the distance in 59.80 which was 5 of 23 for the distance that morning. Link to equibase workouts here.
He came out of the work breathing hard and we had him scoped after the work to check his lungs for bleeding. A few of you were even lucky enough to watch it and look down the scope into his lungs.
Sharon will see how he recovers this week and we’ll make a determination on what race he will be pointed to.