information contained on theses pages age TRUE!
People often ask why one registry
is better than another and what the difference is between the
Friesian Heritage Horse Registry and the “other Friesian based
|A STORY of
DNA VERIFICATION AND WHY IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT
None of the names
or dates used below are real, but the story is true!
We have a story to tell…
A transfer came in to us and a person named Rick wanted to trade in
his colt’s papers, from a different Friesian-based registry, and
re-register and DNA test with the HH. (smart man!)
Rick had purchased a yearling colt named Rebel, from a man named
Victor, who buys and sells horses. Victor had registered Rebel with
a different Friesian-based registry, before selling him to Rick.
According to the registration certificate, issued by the other
registry that does not require DNA and does not do parent
verification, Rebel was born on April 20, 2011 (this date will
become important later in the story). Rebel was registered as being
sired by a stallion named Xion and out of a mare named Flora.
In an effort to get a hair sample from the ½ Friesian dam, so that
we could parent verify, we contacted the “recorded breeder” of
Rebel, who was listed on the “other registries” papers as being the
owner of the dam, Flora. The recorded breeder told us that Flora had
a colt in 2011, but that he was NOT sired by the stallion Xion, and
that she had never even heard of Xion. WORSE YET, Flora’s colt was
never even sold by her – he was still on her farm!! Wow! So, how did
Flora's name get on Rebel's papers as being his dam?
So, we called Rick to tell him the news that, according to the
“recorded breeder”, Rebel could not possibly be out of the dam
listed on his certificate from the other registry! Rick was upset by
this news and said he was going to call Victor and get the correct
name of the sire and dam. Some days later, Rick called us back and
said that he was told that the real dam's name was a horse named
Blackie. Blackie was registered with us and she had DNA on file too!
Okay, this was good news! So, we ran the DNA of Rebel and asked for
parent verification to Xion and Blackie. The DNA results said that
Rebel was out of the dam, Blackie, but WAS NOT sired by Xion! This
is the important part - because we COMPARED the DNA to the sire, we
found out that Rebel's sire was completely false!
At that point, we decided to call the owner of Blackie and ask her
who she had bred the mare to. In the conversation, Blackie's owner
said that Xion was not the stallion she had bred her mare to and
that she had never heard of Xion either! Good grief!! It was
starting to feel like the Maury Povich "You are NOT the father"
show! LOL! However, she did confirm that she had sold the colt,
Rebel, to a man named Victor. She said the colt was born on June 15,
2011! Why did it say April 20th on the papers from the other
registry??!! Furthermore, she had offered to register the colt with
HH, for Victor, since the dam was already registered with us. He
told her not to bother and that he would "take care of it". He sure
did! He registered the colt with an inferior registry, that did not
require DNA, that apparently could not get information straight and
registered the colt with the WRONG sire, WRONG dam, WRONG breeder,
WRONG date of birth and, as if that were not enough, they even
spelled the wrong dam’s name WRONG!! WOW!
Now, turns out, Blackie's owner was a smart lady and had pulled a
hair sample from Rebel, before Victor came to pick him up. Awesome!
(always a good idea to keep hair from any horse you own or sell!)
She sent us part of that hair sample, and that very well could have
come in handy to confirm that Rebel was the same horse that she
originally sold. Blackie's owner also told us that the stallion she
had bred her mare to was named Falken. WHAT?? Who is Falken? With
some more investigation, we found out that Falken was imported to
the USA and his DNA was maybe in Holland, or maybe he had never been
DNA tested at all. But, the good news was, that we happened to know
the owner of Falken. So, we thought, “this will be easy”....we
called the owner of Falken, aiming to get a hair sample. Turns out,
Falken’s owner had sold him, and she did not have his hair or his
DNA. So, we had to go on anohter quest to track down Falken and his
new owner. Took a while, but we finally found them. Thankfully, the
new owner said she was willing to have his DNA done. YEAH! Took over
6 months to sort everything out, but the mystery was all finally
solved and Rebel now has an accurate set of papers, VERIFIED by DNA.
Here is the distressing part…we just found out that Victor has newly
purchased a group of purebred colts. I am sure he plans to re-sell
them. The seller furnished him with temporary papers, issued from HH,
at the time of the sale. What will Victor do? Register them with a
different registry that is “easier” and does not require DNA with
parent verification? That way, if the wrong papers get sent with the
wrong colt, who could prove it and who would know to care? Does
Victor care which black colt gets which set of papers? Maybe? Maybe
not. But in the case of Rebel, he failed to notice that the papers
he gave the buyer were COMPLETELY wrong. He must have had the
information somewhere, otherwise, he would not have been able to
tell Rick who the “real dam” was. (BTW: he buys and sells crossbreds
and purebreds, but he only buys black ones, so…crosses and purebreds
could be switching pedigrees too!)
This is but one story…there are many others we could tell, but this
one took the cake! This colt was eligible for valid registration,
had two registered parents, had a breeder willing to register him HH
(she just did not do it quite quick enough) and he ends up
registered with BOTH parents and his date of birth wrong, by a
registry that does no research and no DNA verification! Sad! Rick is
so happy he decided to switch his colt over to the HH! At least we
were able to straighten THIS one out!
So the moral of this story is this.................we don’t know if
Victor submitted the wrong information and the “other” registry just
took it without checking, or if the “other” registry just completely
messed everything up and Victor did not bother to check to see if
the papers were accurate. But, either way, if Rick had not traded in
those papers and the Friesian Heritage Horse did not put the extra
time and effort into DNA testing WITH parent verification and
thorough investigation of papers and background, this colt would
have grown into a stallion and would have possibly been in-bred to
mares with his same bloodlines and there would have been no way to
PLEASE REGISTER YOUR FOALS WITH THE HH, BEFORE YOU SELL THEM!
OR, insist that they are registered and DNA tested BEFORE you buy
(SIDE NOTE: Currently, we have at least 10 registrations "pending",
because the DNA does not match the heritage of what was represented
to the buyer at the time of sale. In three of the cases, the horses
were foals, purchased directly from the breeder. As it turns out,
the horses are NOT sired by the purebred Friesian stallion that they
were reported to be by. It looks as though they are probably sired
by a 50% Friesian colt that the owners were not aware was breeding.
BUT, now, that colt has been sold - AND HE WAS NOT REGISTERED - and
now he can not be located to get a hair sample! So, these three poor
people have purchased horses who were supposed to be 50% Friesian
and now, even though suspected to be 25% Friesian, can NOT even be
PLEASE DO NOT
REGISTER WITH REGISTRIES THAT DO NOT REQUIRE DNA WITH PARENT
VERIFICATION!! It is a dis-service to the horses and
devalues the breed!
And, please do not make the mistake of thinking that DNA markers
alone prove anything – they don’t! DNA with parent verification will
have a “parentage analysis” along with the markers and will say if
the horse tested qualifies as the offspring of the parent(s). The
Photo below is a sample of DNA markers WITH parent verification.
This particular filly was an "accident" and 2 different sires were
possible. Therefore, the parentage note references the fact that she
was actually compared to two different possible sires, but only one
of the two matched. When you DNA test through the Friesian Heritage,
a laminated copy of these markers are mailed to you, for your
permanent record. Be aware that many registries, although they
charge you for DNA, will NOT give you - or another registry - a copy
of the markers for your own horse! We want people to stay with the
HH because we are doing our job well, NOT because we are holding
your DNA markers "hostage". If at any time you are unhappy with our
services, you can take your DNA elsewhere and not have to pay for it
again!! It is YOUR horse and YOUR DNA!
Buyers...this is long, but worth the read, if you are in the market
for a Friesian or Friesian cross!
This is true for any breed of horse, but for some reason in the
Friesian world, it has become acceptable practice to allow sellers
to sell horses without papers-or without proof of papers, in this
particular case. Buyers have the power to stop this sloppy practice!
Please DEMAND to see registration papers and DNA reports BEFORE
paying for horses in full! Please do not ever accept the seller
saying “horse is eligible” for registration or “can be registered”
or “I’ll show you the papers later”! If the horse has papers and for
some reason you can’t see the papers (like they are still in process
at the registry), call the registry and ask questions-also, make
sure it is actually a credible registry that researches things and
does lots of DNA verification! If the horse is not yet registered,
write it into the sales agreement as a “condition of the sale” that
the horse is not to be paid in full, until the registry can confirm
registration is complete, with no issues or problems! If the seller
is reputable, they will agree to this!
We were just contacted by a man who bought a purebred Friesian mare
back in 2010. He told the seller he wanted breed the mare and agreed
to buy the mare, if she was registered, but, he did not find out any
of the details as to how she was registered or where. He asked the
seller if the mare had any known problems and was told she had no
problems, by the seller – more than once. He went ahead and paid
THOUSANDS for the mare and was assured that he would receive the
papers by mail.
The seller HAD in fact registered and DNA tested the mare through
FHH (in December of 2009), and the mare DNA qualified to both of her
purebred Friesian parents, HOWEVER, during the DNA testing, the
results from sex-linked markers, showed evidence of chromosomal
abnormality (very likely of the form XY female). The DNA report
listed these findings and also stated, “This horse is likely to be
infertile. Our [UC Davis] findings should be confirmed by
When FHH generated her registration certificate, the XY abnormality
was clearly noted on the papers, as well as the fact that she was
likely infertile. So….after DNA testing was completed, the seller
was notified, by phone, of the mare’s problem and was also sent all
of the paperwork with the notes of the abnormality and “likely
infertility”. She said nothing to the buyer about any of it!
In May of 2010, the buyer was still requesting that the mare’s
papers be mailed to him and the seller said she had mailed them
(must have been lost in the mail – NOT! I bet she did not want him
to see the papers and never sent them, as they would disclose the
problem the mare had and would show that the seller KNEW about it).
Eventually, the seller quit communicating with the buyer and he was
left with no papers. He then spent 3 years PAYING to breed the mare,
to no avail. Finally, in 2014, his vet did additional testing and
found the XY abnormality! He paid a good price for the mare and then
spent a small fortune trying to breed the mare that was already
known and documented to have an issue! Sad!
By chance, the story of this mare’s sale came to our attention in
the last few days, through a friend of a friend who told us that his
friend bought a mare, but never received papers. He was wondering if
we could help identify the mare, so that she could “be registered”.
With a little research, we found that the mare was ALREADY
registered – and with FHH! (they did not know where she was
registered, just that the papers would be mailed to them).
If this buyer had insisted on seeing the papers, before paying, OR,
had asked where the mare was registered and called us, he could have
saved himself a lot of time and money! If he had insisted on papers
WITH DNA, or let the seller know that he was going to “research”
things and contact the registry, I bet the seller would have changed
her tune and tried to find an “easier victim” to pass the mare off
onto. He now has a mare who cannot be bred and worse yet – spent
tons trying to get her in foal! All of this was avoidable!
Unfortunately, the buyer was not aware of what to expect and demand
of the situation-did not know his rights as a buyer and did not know
that all registries are not equal. It is a shame!
Also, in the email correspondence between the seller and buyer, a
“2nd set” of papers was mentioned. Did she maybe try to re-register
with another registry that did not require DNA, and therefore would
not find and NOTE the abnormality? We think maybe she started to do
just that and then decided it was easier to just “drop off the
earth” instead, and quit communicating with the buyer. We have since
found out that she got married and is now going by a different name
(and probably moved too).
As buyers, to protect yourselves, please INSIST on registration and
DNA from a credible registry, BEFORE paying for the horse! Please
feel free to call the FHH and ask questions BEFORE you commit to
purchase! We are happy to help any way that we can, and, at a
minimum, we can usually help people determine if and where there are
“red flags” in a situation. Also, ALWAYS get a bill of sale and make
sure it is signed by the seller and specifically says the horse was
“paid in full”. Also, make sure the bill of sale contains all
details about who is responsible for what, such as veterinary fees,
trailering fees, board, etc. - and include specific date ranges. If
there is any dispute between seller and buyer during the sale, these
kinds of details can be invaluable.
We had another case that turned out very differently:
We had another case a while back, with a 2 year old mare who was
62.5% Friesian (and was registered and DNA tested). She was sold as
62.5% WITH papers, but the new buyer decided to immediately turn
around and try to sell her as 100% for $15,000! When the potential
2nd buyer asked to see the papers, the new seller said that he had
just purchased the horse and the papers had been sent in "for
transfer". They had NOT been, but it sounded like a plausible
explanation. So, the new potential buyer then asked "what registry?"
The new seller, not thinking the buyer would actually look into it,
told him that the papers were from FHH. The new potential buyer went
online, found our number, called us and asked questions! And....he
found out that the transfer had not yet been received by us. He also
asked and found out that the mare was NOT purebred, as he had been
told! This saved him from buying a horse who was badly being
misrepresented, as he wanted a purebred! In the end, he found out
that the "new seller" had not even finished paying for the mare yet!
He did not buy her (saved himself!), and she ended up going back to
the original seller. Eventually, the mare was sold for a fair price
and got a good home with people who knew that she was not a purebred
Friesian. But, if he had not called and asked questions, he would
have really been taken!