Tattoos and Tattooers

Prior to race entry, all American Quarter Horses must be tattooed by an AQHA representative.

text size

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are horses tattooed?
Tattoos are an additional means of identification of a racehorse. They are used along with the horse's markings, color, age and sex. The horse identifier at the racetrack verifies that each horse entered in a race matches this information as recorded on its official AQHA registration certificate.

Which horses are required to be tattooed?
Prior to race entry, all American Quarter Horses must be tattooed by an AQHA representative.

Are there any requirements that must be met before I can have my horse tattooed?
Beginning with American Quarter Horses foaled in 1992, all foals must be DNA genotyped and parentage verified before they can be tattooed.

I received a DNA genotype sticker to attach to my horse's registration papers. Is that all I need to do before having it tattooed?
No, the DNA genotyping is only the first step. You must also have requested that AQHA parentage verify the horse. In this second step, the foal's genotype is compared at the lab with the genotypes of the sire and dam. Once it is determined that they are a match, the registration papers will be reissued with "Parentage Verified" printed across the front on existing papers. On new AQHA registration certificates, "Parentage Verified" is printed center bottom on the front of the certificate. If a registration certificate was issued prior to parentage verification, you need to return the original certificate before an updated certificate is issued.

What will it cost to tattoo my horse?
The fee for tattooing the American Quarter Horse is $100, of which $25 is reimbursed to the tattooer.  (On January 1, 2015, this fee was increased) Checks or money orders should be made payable to AQHA.  AQHA is not responsible for checks that are made payable to the tattooers.

What if a tattooer tells me I owe more than $100?
The tattooer is not authorized by AQHA to charge any additional charges other than the $100 tattoo fee.

Where are the tattoo numbers recorded?
The tattooer will record the tattoo number, the tattoo date and his name on the horse's registration certificate. On AQHA's new registration certificates, the tattoo information will be recorded on the back. Tattoo numbers are also recorded in AQHA's database as a part of each horse's permanent record. Should a horse be lost or stolen, it can be identified via the tattoo and the last recorded owner can be notified by cross-references in the AQHA database.

How do I find or contact a tattooer?
Many of the tattooers provide the racetracks with a schedule of when and where they will be tattooing. A tentative schedule is also available on AQHA's website under the Calendars/Schedules heading. Some of the tattooers will make appointments to meet the customer at a farm or ranch, if there are enough horses available to be tattooed. Tattooers set their own schedules and are not required to be available daily. You may also contact the AQHA Racing Department at (806) 378-4365.  Below is a current list of tattooers.

Can a horse that is not going to race be tattooed?
Yes. This can be arranged with the tattooer. It can be done in the same manner as the racehorses if the horse is parentage verified. If the horse is not parentage verified, it may still be tattooed. However, the number used should be different from the numbers included in the AQHA-issued tattoo report books. The tattooing may be done by the AQHA tattooer or by a veterinarian chosen by the customer. The number may be selected by the customer, tattooer or veterinarian. In these cases, the number can be recorded on the AQHA registration certificate as an additional marking such as when a brand is recorded. There will not be a cross reference in the AQHA database for this type of tattoo.

Who can I contact if I have a complaint with a tattooer?
Direct complaints about a tattooer to the AQHA Racing Department at (806) 378-4365. 

Schedule of AQHA Tattooers and Identifiers

Because the schedule is subject to change, please call the tattooer/identifier at each racetrack to ensure the correct dates and times. Remember, tattooers may tattoo according to their own schedules and are not required to be available seven days a week.If you have any questions or concerns, call the AQHA Racing Department at (806) 378-4365.

REMINDER: All foals born in 1992 or later must be DNA genotyped and parentage verified prior to being tattooed.

ARIZONA
Rillito Park / Yavapai Downs / Turf Paradise 
By appointment
Area Farms - By appointment
Lee Peterson - (602) 882-7593

CALIFORNIA
Fairplex / Northern Fair meets 
By appointment 
Gary Greiner - (707) 291-7578

Los Alamitos / Area Farms
By appointment
Eric Najduch - (714) 833-3532

COLORADO
Arapahoe Park
By appointment
Trevor Rushton - (719) 691-4543

Richard Nye - (402) 880-0758

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay
By appointment
Patrick Bovenzi - (813) 240-0132
Available November through April only

Hialeah Park / Area Farms
By appointment
David Reinshuttle - (954) 290-2545

IDAHO

Fair Meets/Pocatello 
Gem County Fair / Les Bois Park / Rupert 
By appointment
Dave Wheeler  - (208) 538-7170

ILLINOIS
Arlington Park / Fairmount Park 
By appointment
Contact AQHA at 806-378-4365

INDIANA
Indiana Downs  / Area Farms 
By appointment
Mandy Green - (859) 309-4227

IOWA
Prairie Meadows 
By appointment
Travis Skarpness - (515) 490-3580

KANSAS
Eureka Downs / The Woodlands  
By appointment
Jerry Banks - (918) 224-6506

LOUISIANA
Fair Grounds / Delta Downs / Evangeline Downs
By appointment
Justin Carrier - (337) 274-6201

Contact Louisiana Downs - (318) 742-5555
By appointment
Fred Carrier 

MICHIGAN

Hazel Park / Area Farms 
By appointment
David Bryan - 419-670-3691

MINNESOTA
Canterbury Park / Area Farms 
By appointment
Victor Hanson - (605) 222-9698

MONTANA
Montana Fairs / Yellowstone Downs 
By appointment
Contact AQHA at (806) 378-4365

NEVADA
Elko County Fair / White Pine Raceway / Area Farms 
By appointment
Jerry Richins - (435) 232-4333

NEW MEXICO
The Downs at Albuquerque / Sunray Park 
By appointment
Jesus Garcia - (915) 727-4036

Ruidoso Downs / Sunland Park / Zia Park  
By appointment
Cenobio Sainz - (915) 490-1335

NORTH DAKOTA
North Dakota Horse Park / Chippewa Downs 
By appointment
Contact AQHA at (806) 378-4365

OHIO
Beulah Park / River Downs 
By appointment 
Contact AQHA at (806) 378-4365

OKLAHOMA
Blue Ribbon Downs / Will Rogers Downs
Oklahoma Farms
By appointment
Joel Cusimano -  (405) 714-6505

Area Farms
Josh VanOort - (515) 418-0101

Fair Meadows / Remington Park / Ross Meadows
By appointment
Jerry Banks  - (918) 224-6506

OREGON
Portland Meadows / Grants Pass Downs / Fair Meets 
By appointment
Vernon Baze - (253) 670-6214

Mike Twiggs - (503) 576-0108

SOUTH DAKOTA
County Fair Meets / Ft. Pierre
By appointment
Skip Moody - (605) 999-2303

TEXAS
Gillespie Co. Fair

Contact AQHA - (806) 378-4365

Retama Park and Area Farms
By appointment
Amber Doege - (210) 363-7428

Lone Star Park
Contact AQHA - (806) 378-4365

Odessa / Lubbock / Area Farms
By appointment
Marty Wells - (325) 656-5680

UTAH
Laurel Brown / Dixie Downs / Weber Downs / Area Farms 

By appointment
Jerry Richins - (435) 232-4333

WASHINGTON
Fair Meets / Sun Downs / Emerald Downs 
By appointment
Vern Baze - (253) 670-6214

WYOMING
Wyoming Downs 
By appointment
Jim Stoker - (307) 887-2688

CANADA

ALBERTA
Lethbridge / Grande Prairie 
By appointment  
Howard Jesse - (403) 795-1850

BRITISH COLUMBIA
Kamloops
By appointment
Butch McDonald  - (250) 377-0098

Manitoba / Saskatchewan
Rossburn Parkland Downs / Assiniboia Downs / Queensbury Downs / Yorkton Exhibition / Marquis Downs
 
By appointment
Blair Anderson - (306) 554-5510 or (306) 554-7720

ONTARIO
Ajax Downs 
By appointment
Sean Slater - (905) 953-5423

MEXICO

Hipodromo De Las Americas 
By appointment
Daniel Hernandez - 011-5255-5397-8845