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Horse Identity established through the TRPB Digital Tattoo

Effective January 1, 2020, any Thoroughbred that has not been previously lip tattooed and is making its first lifetime start in a recognized pari-mutuel race, must have the TRPB Digital Tattoo in order to be correctly identified in the paddock and permitted to race.

The transition to the TRPB Digital Tattoo follows the recent requirement by The Jockey Club for a horse to be microchipped as part of the registration process. All foals from 2017 onward have a listed microchip on their Jockey Club papers.

The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) passed a model rule regarding Digital Tattoos. The model rule states, effective January 1, 2020, the racing secretary shall ensure that the registration certificates for all Thoroughbred horses that were foaled in 2018 or thereafter have a Digital Tattoo prior to entry in a race.

In essence, the Digital Tattoo is an electronic validation of the identity of a horse performed by a trained TRPB technician. The technician will use a scanner to read the horse's microchip and the microchip number will hyperlink to electronic registration information. After fully examining the markings and foal photos contained in the horse's electronic record, the technician will confirm the identity of the horse standing in front of him or her and upload a selection of digital pictures documenting the horse's markings to The Jockey Club's database. The TRPB technician will then place a digital stamp on the electronic certificate of registration. This Digital Tattoo will indicate that the TRPB has verified the identity of the horse and uploaded updated digital photographs to the breed registry's database.

For additional information regarding the Digital Tattoo, please click here for FAQ's or contact TRPB at tattoo@trpb.com.

Digital Tattoo Technicians

The TRPB currently has 30+ tattoo technicians operating throughout the United States and Canada who are fully trained in Digital Tattooing and are prepared to scan, photograph and certify your Thoroughbred for identification purposes.

Until the end of 2019, Thoroughbreds will also be lip tattooed in order to use that identification throughout their racing career. Most technicians are capable of administering both the Digital Tattoos and the lip tattoos.

In order to have your Thoroughbred tattooed, you must possess a valid Certificate of Foal Registration issued by The Jockey Club with the horse's microchip number on the papers. There is a US$80/CA$100 (plus tax) charge for each horse identified, plus any expenses for a technician's travel exceeding reasonable and customary practice. Any thoroughbred whose markings are at variance with its Jockey Club Certificate of Foal Registration, or if the microchip does not read correctly, will be rejected for tattooing. In 2020, all fees still apply. Any Thoroughbred rejected for tattooing must receive a corrected certificate before receiving a Digital Tattoo and may have to be re-DNA typed for verification.

Note: The current practice of branding horses on the inside lip will be discontinued at the end of 2019.

To arrange to have your Thoroughbred tattooed, please contact TRPB at Phone: +410-398-2261 or via email at tattoo@trpb.com

Horse Identity Research

Attention Thoroughbred owners!

Do you own a lip-tattooed Thoroughbred but don't know its registered name, pedigree, and racing history? Or have you scanned the horse to find it has a microchip number and you don't know the identity of the horse? The TRPB is the source for this information.

For further information, please contact TRPB at Phone: +410-398-2261, via email at tattoo@trpb.com, or download the pdf application form.

There will be no research fee, however there is a $10.00 fee for a racing history.