Gentry is half thoroughbred, half clydesdale. When I bought him he was unregistered. A lot of horses like him go unregistered and are just called "grade". Those horses end up in a kill pen far too often. No matter what my horse's breeding is I think it is really important to have some sort of registration papers for the animal. Despite my best intentions for a fairytale life for my animals, one never knows what will happen in the future. So I think it is the responsible thing to do, to register them. Even if the breed registry doesn't have all that high of standards or that great of a reputation. At the very least the animal has proof of age and lineage, which may be just enough to keep it out of a kill pen. Sometimes the only thing that saves OTTB's are their lip tattoos.
When I first started looking at my options for Gentry, the American Warmblood Society (AWS) seemed to be my only option. Side note: I think the AWS would do themselves a huge favor by changing the name to the American Sporthorse Registry, which is what they really seem to be. Then less people would have such a poor opinion of the registry. For those of you wondering what the difference is between the two...the American Warmblood Registry (AWR) does not allow draft crosses. The AWR does have a better reputation than the AWS, I think because they are really trying to develop an american warmblood breed. That is the reason they don't allow draft crosses. Still even the AWR doesn't have a great reputation.
I more or less resigned to the idea of going with AWS, and told myself I really didn't care so long as I got him registered somewhere to prove age/lineage. However, I couldn't swallow it easily and desperately continued to debate my options. Mostly because the AWS does not have an inspection (required) anywhere near us. I didn't want to have to drive that far to get him registered just for registrations sake. I started to have a glimmer of hope that I had more options when I found out that there is a Draft Cross Registry of America (DCROA), which he would qualify for. They seemed a little easier to register with than the AWS. Still, I had never heard of them and that made me question the reputation of the registry.
I discovered the Performance Horse Registry (PHR) which is run by the USEF. That I decided was my ticket. The registration is open to any horse of any breeding (or lack there of) and is affordable at $75. All you need to do is give them as much info on the pedigree as you have, birthday (use January 1 if you only know the year), your horses breed registration (if it is registered), USEF, USDF, etc. numbers. Then BAM! Your horse is registered, has paperwork, and even qualifies for year end silver stirrup awards through the PHR which of course are tracked by the USEF without any extra effort on one's behalf. Best yet, you can optionally pay more for DNA registration if you have a mare or stallion. I suppose you could do it for a gelding if you wanted to, but I felt that the DNA part was a bit pointless on a gelding that is microchipped.
So there we have it folks. As of this morning my USEF membership is renewed, Gentry has a lifetime USEF card and USHJA membership, and his PHR paperwork is in the mail. It feels good to have it all taken care of. Merry Christmas to Gentry...too bad he doesn't know just how much he should appreciate the security blanket I just concocted for him.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!