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USDF All Breeds Registries - can anyone explain the overlapping registries?

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  • USDF All Breeds Registries - can anyone explain the overlapping registries?

    Reading through the USDF 2019 Year Book and finally getting through the W's, the next page has all of the participating registries listed. I'm not even sure why I started to read through it but I did and then started to see breeds repeat themselves.
    American WB has 2
    Canada has Canadian Horse Breeders and Canadian Sport Horse - not exact but close
    Friesians - I counted 6 different registries
    Gypsy Horse and Gypsy Vanner
    Arabian Shagya has 2 different registries
    And that's not all of them
    I understand how a horse can be registered under multiple registries where each breed gets recognition. We had a pony here a few years back that was triple registered - 1/2 Arab and 1/2 Welsh. I don't remember the other half. She was gray so maybe it was Cute Gray Pony registry.
    We had a High Pt Friesian award at one of our shows last year. Turns out of the 6 registered Friesians at the show, none were registered with that particular Friesian registry. Even the Friesian owners were confused so I didn't feel bad when I got my hand slapped by the High Pt hosting registry for awarding High Pts to horses registered under a different flag.

    So my question: How do so many registries representing the same breed get created and recognized? And why the redundancy?

  • #2
    Anyone can start a registry.

    Typically an established registry especially the European ones has stricter requirements. The European WB registries even have inspections. I believe the original Friesian registry does as well. And for a while at least they had a rule that you couldn't crossbreed Friesian.

    The competing registries sprung up to accomodate horses that can't be registered in the "official" registry.

    For instance I understand that Canadian Sport Horse allows a grade dam but Canadian Warmblood does not. CWB allows any TB mare as dam, she doesn't need to be inspected. I could be wrong, this was told me by someone trying to sell a CSH.

    Right now I am being spammed on FB by an upstsrt Quarter Horse registry accepting horses that can't be accepted into the AQHA.

    There are all sorts of very tiny registries and people who create their own breed or cross breed. Of course they all want to be listed for dressage awards because if there are only 25 horses in the Walkaloosa Sport Horse Draft registry then they can get a year end award.

    Also the smaller more marginal and more craycray the individual registries then the more likely people are to break off and start competing registries.

    It's like churches in small Southern cities. You have your major denominations and your mega churches. Then you have a whole page of listings for tiny splinter groups. Church of God in Christ. Church of Christ in God. The Christ in God Church. Etc. Obviously real splinter groups with real doctrinal and interpersonal differences.


    • #3
      I have had horses in SEVERAL of the Friesian registries - I could give you a quick overview...

      There were TWO main purebred registries - one was Dutch based (FHANA which is the North American secretarial arm of the FPS which is Holland). Then there was a German based registry, and the American branch was FPZV. Kind of like Warmbloods - each region/country had its own registry... VERY different registration requirements, and VERY different stallion testing requirements. I actually had one horse with each of those registries, so was kind of forced into learning about them... One allowed cross breeding, the other did not.

      Over time, the German registry kind of faded out, but the American branch morphed into its own separate registry.

      Meanwhile, there was NO place for Friesian crosses (although the German registry did allow it, AND there were plenty of horses that were cross bred in spite of the rules), so many decades ago, one person started up a cross breed registry, which grew like crazy, and developed a strong core of volunteers as well as a registry director (that was the Friesian Sport Horse Registry, NOT to be confused with the Friesian Sporthorse Association). It was really best when we only had ONE cross breed registry - a few started up and failed over the years, or maintained with just a handful of horses. Then...

      Things fell part with that FSHR registry about 20 years ago (really related to the husband of the founder of the registry - another of those gory stories with criminal acts that has nothing to do with the actual registry, but caused a lot of collateral damage), and the volunteers all left and started up a new registry called Friesian Heritage Horse. I was part of that original volunteer base, and eventually moved over to the FHH as a volunteer too. Most of the horses followed that registry, since it came with the committed group of volunteers that they all knew and appreciated.

      Meanwhile, a few members of the original FSHR started up THEIR own registries as well for cross bred Friesians, instead of joining the bigger FHH - they wanted their own rules, their own standards, perhaps a way to set themselves apart as "better" or "different". AND the original registry is still in business, but run by a single person, and really not adding many horses to the pool, but still around with the original horses. So there you go, several cross breed registries. Way too many!

      Clear as mud? It is a bit like figuring out all the Warmblood registries - there are just a lot, with different rules, different fees, different administrations.

      There are also several Andalusian registries - but they don't all start with "A" so they are spread out and it isn't as obvious. And of course, several Warmblood registries.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Snow Mass View Post
        Canada has Canadian Horse Breeders and Canadian Sport Horse - not exact but close
        I think the Canadian Horse Breeder is actually Le Cheval Canadien or in English The Canadian Horse, a very old breed in Canada, and our National horse. Google Canadian Horse Breeders and that is the first thing that comes up. . So nothing close to the Canadian Sport Horse which is more of a typical warmblood or warmblood cross type registry. and there is also the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association .
        Last edited by jvanrens; Mar. 25, 2020, 06:00 PM. Reason: Edited to add more info
        ~~Some days are a total waste of makeup.~~


        • #5
          Two horse people, three opinions.

          The main reason for relatively stable European stud books is either there is government regulation e.g. if your horse is born in this place it must go into the register for this place or the main stud book has been around for long enough for people to recognise the name and so it has value e.g.Shire horse society founded 1870.

          Zangerheid is one person
          "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


          • #6
            Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
            Two horse people, three opinions.

            Zangerheid is one person
            But one person with a lot of money, drive, and motivation. There is nobody who doesn't respect that brand now, and given how quickly that happened, really remarkable.
            Let me apologize in advance.


            • #7
              True ^^^^
              "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths