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    Last edited by anneliz; Dec. 10, 2019, 04:15 PM.

  • #2
    Well it depends on how important the registration papers are for you, and your proposed use for the horse. In many cases, lost papers can be replaced by contacting the breed organization, and having the correct documentation. Sometimes they can not.

    For me, personally, registration papers are not important at all, and I don't give a rip whether a horse I buy has any. Since I compete in h/j type competitions, any horse who gets to an A level show gets a passport, which is the important document which allows him to compete. If you are planning on competing in breed shows, then registration papers are a "must have" item. If the horse may become breeding stock at some point, again, possession of the registration papers is often useful, and may or may not be necessary.

    When you are purchasing a horse who has no registration papers, for one reason or another, what you DO need is a signed sales receipt, that proves your ownership of the horse. Make sure it is dated, and describes the horse fully.


    • #3
      It depends on whether the horse having the papers would make or break the deal on your end. To me, I can't ride papers, and I don't do breed shows, so it is not a deal breaker for me. You can always call the breed organization and find out what documentation you would need (bill of sales? Transfers? Who would need to send in for them..last registered owner more than likely?) and then go from there to see if it is possible.


      • #4
        Typically in most breed organizations the current owner of record can request duplicates. I’ve had to do so a number of times since I’m apparently unable to keep track of paper.


        • #5
          Not having registration papers would not necessarily deter me from buying a horse as long as the intended use wasn't for breeding. if the horse is a mare or stud from champion stock say in reining, and you were going to compete and breed the horse, then yes papers might matter for the sale of the offspring, or for stud fees. If the horse is a gelding or a mare then not having papers wouldn't be a deal breaker. And even with a mare that you might want to breed later on, it wouldn't deter me either unless I wanted to establish a breeding program. I would also imagine that as long as you have a bill of sale and the ownership of horse is traceable, the breed organization might be able to re-issue papers?


          • #6
            I adopted a saddlebred who didn't have papers. We suspected she had papers but it wasn't a stopping point in my decision to bring her home as she had all the qualities I was looking for. The intention was to show her as a low level (Tadpole and BN) eventer and dressage, then hopefully do some competitive trails with her so papers weren't necessary.

            After 6 months of owning her curiosity got the best of me and I sent her DNA in to the saddlebred registry and found out she is registered. Once I tracked down her owner on record it was an easy process to get her transferred to me and have a duplicate certificate sent. My recommendation would be to call the registry you think the horse might be associated with and discuss their process for locating horses and replacing papers.


            • #7
              Unless you're showing in breed shows or want to breed the animal, papers aren't a big deal. They used to be when I was showing on the Arabian circuit, but not now.

              My current horse is supposed to be a Walker/Morgan cross who I bought from a trader, and I couldn't care less that I have no idea concerning his pedigree. He's a lovely horse with a good work ethic. That's all I care about.
              Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


              • #8
                Originally posted by anneliz View Post
                How are a horse's papers lost or misplaced?
                Lots of ways. Here are two that I'm personally aware of.

                Person bought a registered horse. Didn't do breed shows so never bothered to join the breed association and have the ownership transferred. Original papers went in a file and were, at some point, misplaced. Owner never noticed because she never needed the papers for anything.

                Owner died. Heirs passed horse along to the person designated to receive it, who didn't ask about papers. Original likely disposed of by heirs who didn't recognize its significance.

                If a horse passes into/through hands of people who don't value the registration, then it's easy for the papers to get lost. I don't do breed shows of any kind and have no interest in doing so, so lack of papers would not be an issue for me.

                Unless the seller was doing the old "$X without papers, $X + $Y if you want the papers," which just pisses me off and I would likely walk away unless I got the horse with papers for $X.

                "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                that's even remotely true."

                Homer Simpson


                • #9
                  My first horse (who is in her mid 20's now) was sold to her previous owner with a "papers are caught up in divorce" story. She never got them - was told her name was Tiger Lilly TAB or something like that, registered with AQHA. I've had her now for about 20 years and it's never been important for what I showed in growing up.

                  This post made me curious, though - came across this: Wish I could find more info!
                  "I'd rather have a horse. A horse is at least human, for god's sake." - J.D. Salinger


                  • #10
                    I don't, because I show at a breed level and want my horses to maintain that option in their lives.

                    Unless they're consistent competitors in a "no-papers" sport like rodeo or jumping or they're good minded enough that kids or husbands can ride them, I feel like horses with papers also maintain more value that your run of the mill, average unpapered stock.

                    My recommendation is to ALWAYS have the seller go through the work of getting the papers. There are several "solid" colts for sale right now within the paint world who are being sold with papers "eligible for regular advancement" (color requirement thing)... but I wouldn't touch them until the seller gets the papers advanced, because it's like anything in life, it's not guaranteed until it's done.

                    My husband bought me an unregistered miniature for my birthday last week; he's adorable and came with all of the paperwork to get him registered - thank god. But my husband isn't very horsey and I'm just lucky that I've been able to track down the breeder and he's willing to fill out a form that I need.

                    You CAN get papers replaced in some cases if you can prove the horse is what he's alleged to be, but it probably won't be quick or cheap. I personally think it's worth it for the reasons stated above, but you'll get various answers depending on who you ask.
                    Veni vidi vici. With a paint pony, nonetheless.


                    • #11
                      My mare is registered but I don't have her papers. I purchased an OTTB mare from a dispersal sale. She was owned by an elderly woman who passed away with a large racing operation under her ownership. The family was able to find some of the JC papers readily, others not so easy to find.

                      In JC's case, I can get the papers replaced if I send them $200 or so and prepare a notarized statement on why I don't have the papers, with detailed photos of all markings and/or tattoos.


                      • #12
                        If you haven't bought the horse yet, make the offer contigent on the papers. No papers, no deal. Or make a lower offer and deal with it after you own the horse. Whatever breed this horse is, you might want to contact the appropriate place and find out what they will want to produce a set once you are owner.


                        • #13
                          It wouldn't matter to me at all -- unless the horse I was hoping to buy was a 12-year-old chestnut QH gelding with very common markings, and I was concerned that he really WAS a 12-year-old QH gelding. I knew of an old horse trader years ago who had a file cabinet full of papers for 12-y-o chestnut QH geldings, and if you wanted papers to go along with your brand new $1,000 first horse, he'd find some papers for you. He had a good eye and he sold a lot of good, solid first horses to a lot of new riders, with and without papers.


                          • #14
                            If it's a stock breed, make sale contingent on a N/N 5 panel test. People "lose" papers to cover up HYPP and other genetic diseases.

                            If you do want to buy, make a nominal cash offer to the last owner of record and I bet those papers magically re-surface.


                            • #15
                              Horse trading can be a very cynical business. Papers do get lost by chance, obviously, but sometimes it is deliberate, to hide incorrect age, injuries, theft etc. I do wonder about the motive of people selling without them.

                              A horse with papers has better chance of retaining value through it's life journey. There is a big value difference between "a nice pony" and a "nice pony that is a registered..." Haflinger, Fjord etc.
                              "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


                              • #16
                                being a snob we only look at registered stock of a specific breed


                                • #17
                                  My only issue with papers is that (if legit) they show the true age of the horse. My current horse that I bought recently without papers was supposed to be "xx" year, but is actually two years older than I was told. Not a problem, but take the age with a grain of salt if you have no proof. Lucky JC is somewhat easy to research. I've had TBs without papers that have been accurately described as far as age, and some that have not been. And who knows where the error started. May not have started with the seller. It may have started with a previous seller. With my boy, I'll never know.


                                  • #18
                                    I am a breeder and every horse I own has papers as do all offspring. As noted above, papers are better for determining age than looking at the teeth. Many breed registries are requiring DNA test and/or microchipping to confirm horse identify so paper switching is harder to do.

                                    As for breed shows, my breed is uncommon enough that there are only a couple of breed shows in the US every year and theyr are small affairs. I show in open competition. In dressage, the All Breed Awards program require papers. Within my home state, my papers qualify many of my horses for the Virginia Bred program.

                                    I think papers add value to a horse. You have evidence that the horse is the genuine article. In my registry, your papers includes a list of all prior owners, so there is the possibility of tracing the horse's history. I think it is worth making the effort to get the papers on a horse.
                                    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule


                                    • #19
                                      If buying to do a specific job and the horse is very good at that job and no breed shows or breeding activity is contemplated? Who cares.

                                      BUT there is a risk it’s 15, not 12, without positive ID.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                        If buying to do a specific job and the horse is very good at that job and no breed shows or breeding activity is contemplated? Who cares.

                                        BUT there is a risk it’s 15, not 12, without positive ID.
                                        And 12 just happens to be one of the "magical" ages traders tend to label horses with if they're long in the tooth.