|Interactive RegistrationTM Extras|
|Tattoo Identification Services - General Information
Tattoo Lookup and Research
The Jockey Club Registry offers a free tattoo lookup and research service to help customers identify their Thoroughbred horses using the tattoo located on the horse’s upper lip.
Tattoo Lookup (for completely legible tattoos) and Tattoo Research (based on markings and the partial tattoo) are free and available to all Interactive RegistrationTM customers. For particularly difficult or unreadable tattoos, customers may submit to the Registry, a Tattoo Research Email to attempt identification using information contained in The Jockey Club's database, including color, markings, and photographs.
Thoroughbred horses are required by most state racing commission rules to be lip tattooed in order to participate in an official Thoroughbred race. The tattoo serves as an additional means of identification for the Thoroughbred while racing. As a service to all Thoroughbred racetracks to enable their compliance with these rules, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau applies the tattoo brand to Thoroughbreds stabled at all Thoroughbred Racing Association member tracks as well as non-member tracks and farms throughout the United States and Canada.
The Thoroughbred’s tattoo consists of a letter, corresponding to the horse’s year of birth, and four or five numbers. Tattoo Identification Services assists owners and agents in the identification of Thoroughbreds based upon what The Jockey Club records indicate to be the correct tattoo for a particular horse. In cases of tattooer error or international horses, The Jockey Club records might not reflect the actual tattoo present on the horse in question.
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Need help with a difficult tattoo?
Click here to complete and submit a Tattoo Research Form to Registration Services. Please allow 3-5 days for research and processing.
For further inquiries or questions about your horse's tattoo or Tattoo Identification Services, please contact Registration Services at (800) 444-8521 for assistance.
Tips for Reading Lip Tattoos
A Thoroughbred tattoo is a letter followed by four or five numbers. The letter represents the year of foaling (see chart). Note: In tattoos that contain five numbers after the letter, the first number will be from zero to five.
The only exception to the letter is a foreign-born horse that was imported into North America. It will have an asterisk (*) in front of its tattoo.
- Use a cloth to blot the lip to reduce shine and massage the area.
- Take the horse into a dim area and shine a flashlight, blacklight, or colored LED light on the tattoo from below the lip, then try the light at different angles.
- Take a digital picture of the tattoo and enhance the contrast. Note: Do not use a flash and take the picture on an overcast day or out of direct sunlight.
|Codes for Tattoos of Thoroughbreds|
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Please click here to fill out a form and our Registration Services will assist you in researching the horse’s tattoo.
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