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Looking for more information on a horse for sale, or one you've brought home? Over the last several years, The Jockey Club and other sources of Thoroughbred information have become accessible to the general public. Here's how to find out as much as you can about your Thoroughbred's past.
Researching a tattoo to get a horse's name and pedigree can now be done for free by anyone with internet access. Simply go to the following link:
Scroll to the animated button with the bay horse on it labelled "Tattoo Identification Services." This will bring you to a login/register screen (registration is free). From there, if you know the complete tattoo number, you can enter it to get the horse's name. If you do not have a complete tattoo, or some of the numbers in question are difficult to read, you can use the enhanced search. For this, you need the letter at the beginning of the tattoo, and at least two digits. Then, add identifying information (color, gender, and white markings). Keep in mind that even a few scattered white hairs can count as a white marking, so look carefully. Also note any whorls or cowlicks. Once you enter that information, any matches will be returned, so you will have to read the description to match it to your horse.
If you do not know the Letter in the front of the tattoo, but know your horse's approximate age, you can try several letters that correspond to his age:
Once you have your horse's name, there are several sources for finding pedigrees. The easiest is to go to the Pedigree Query website. However, this is a sort of "wikipedia" of horse pedigrees and can be edited by anyone. Often there are small mistakes in pedigree, or the information at the top of each horse's page is incorrect. To find a verifiable pedigree, the best source is Equineline.
To find a pedigree at Equineline, go to the main site, then "Thoroughbred Reports." This will bring you to a page of all the reports offered at the site. The free five generation pedigree is near the top of the page, number "10N." Click "Order PDF," which will bring you to a page where you can enter your horse's name.
The Equineline pedigree will also include the breeder's name.
Full charts of each race your horse ever contested are available at the Equibase website. You must be a registered user to access "historical" charts, and though this is free, that registration will require a credit card number. Once registered, you can also subscribe to video, and watch videos of many of your horse's races as well.
To find your horse's race records, simply enter his or her name into the "horse search" box on the left side of the Equibase home page. A page will come up displaying his total race record, earnings, and a list of charts from each race. A video camera icon on the right side of the chart listing indicates that there is video available of that race. The charts include the finishing order, information on where each horse was in the order at different points in the race, and comments at the bottom describing how the race was run.
Sometimes it's interesting to look at sales records - many a six figure yearling has never earned a dime racing, and some who were sold for next to nothing turn out to do quite well. If you are interested in seeing if your horse has ever been sold at a Thoroughbred sale, and how much he or she sold for, the Bloodhorse website offers an auction tool that makes it quick and easy. You must be registered to use this link (it will redirect you to the main site if you are not).
To find the auction search tool from the main Bloodhorse page, scroll down to the section labelled "Thoroughbred Sales" - the link is labelled "Thoroughbred Auctions Database."
When searching, remember to select "Search By Horse," and then select "Name of Selling Horse" from the drop down list before entering your horse's name.
Looking for win pictures or old photographs of your horse?
If you have found wins in your horse's race record, chances are that you can obtain photos from the track photographer. To contact the track photographer, call the racetrack where your horse won, and ask for the racing office. They should be able to give you contact information to get in touch with the track photographer.
You may also be able to find yearling/sale pictures of your horse. Generally there are photographers at the major sales, and while finding photos from older sales can be difficult, a new website called Foaltrack keeps photos from the major sales, and has some photographs of horses as far back as the early 2000s. The easiest way to find pictures of horses here is to browse by sire. Once you've selected your horse's sire, you can look through the list that comes up until you find a match, or you can select the year your horse was born from a drop down box, then look through the pictures that come up.
Not every horse's sale picture is available, but this is a fun tool and more horses' foal/yearling photos are being added every day.
Last Updated (Friday, 15 October 2010 09:48)