Microchipping is the gold standard for horse identification, particularly for those horses in competition, and foreign equine organizations all over the world are now requiring it in order for horses to entered sanctioned competitions.

According to writer Jen Roytz, this is true for groups like the International Equestrian Federation (FEI—international governing body of equestrian sports), which mandated microchips for registration of horses way back in 2013; and the US Equestrian Federation and the US Hunter Jumper Association on 31 Dec. 2018.

Roytz said that in 2017 The Jockey Club required the same for US Thoroughbreds, while the Thoroughbred Racing and Protective Bureau announced last December that beginning 2020, T-breds making their first start “will require a digital tattoo as traditional lip tattoos are phased out.”

Lip tattoos are painful and often difficult to carry out, particularly if the horse is fractious. Digital tattoos are issued by The Jockey Club after the horse’s identification is verified through scanning its microchip.

In the Philippines, we do not use lip tattoos. Horse identification is accomplished by external branding (hero) using the cold branding or freeze branding method on the flanks of the horse. 

A microchipping program was begun by Philracom in the mid-00s but was discontinued after the agency’s supplier ran into technical problems. The Commission is studying microchipping again given it is now the global standard for horse ID, and the interesting advances in microchip technology which allow chips to be updated with information such as vaccination records.

I’ve seen both methods done and compared to branding, microchip implantation is quick and painless. With the Philippines being a member of IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities), and as such committed to upholding world standards in race conduct, it’s time to bring microchipping back.  

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Here’s some interesting news. ABS-CBN’s ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’ is producing an episode on horseracing. The team is looking up folks to interview—trainers, jockeys, racecallers, and so on. I don’t know the airing date yet, but do watch out for this. 

And one more thing—Happy Lunar New Year! May it be a wonderful one for all of us.  

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Speak your mind—and ride a fast horse! FB: Gogirl Racing, Twitter: @drhoarsewhsprr, @DrJennyO

Topics: Jen Roytz , International Equestrian Federation , International Federation of Horseracing Authorities
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