Papers to Prove It

Pointers on transferring your American Quarter Horse.

The first thing professional tie-down roper Stran Smith asks when purchasing a horse is if the horse has AQHA papers. "The papers help me verify the bloodlines because a horse's pedigree is one of the things I value," he says. "I have American Quarter Horses, and I have the papers to prove it!" That testimonial was part of a promotion that we ran a few years ago to encourage horse owners to transfer a horse's registration into the new owner's name when the horse is sold.

AQHA processes hundreds of thousands of horse transfers each year. Close to 90 percent of transfers pass through AQHA's registration and transfer department without any problems. Of those that aren't cleared, it's usually because the new owners forgot to include the registration certificate or because the date of sale was altered or omitted.

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A Smooth Transaction

Here are a few tips to make sure your horse's transfer sails through AQHA's offices:

  • The transfer report requires the names of the buyer and seller, along with the seller's signature and the date of the sale. You also need to include basic information about the horse to ensure that the same horse is being transferred as the registration certificate suggests. This, along with the original registration certificate and the fee, is all that needs to be sent to AQHA.
  • If you buy your horse at an auction, chances are the auction company will wait until your check has cleared the bank before it sends the transfer report and registration certificate to AQHA.
  • When buying a horse from an individual, make sure you get the original registration certificate with the signed transfer at the time of payment or be certain the seller mails them to AQHA. Make sure that the horse's age, color and markings match those on the certificate.
  • Make sure the person who signs the transfer is the same person whose name is on the registration certificate as the owner. AQHA rules also require that each owner must be recorded on the horse's certificate. If you buy a horse from someone who is not the last owner listed on the certificate, AQHA has to have transfers from each person who has owned the horse up until that time. This often results in lengthy delays in processing. If you need assistance with this situation, call (806) 376-4811.
  • If the horse is in a ranch or company name, call AQHA to find out who is authorized to sign on behalf of that business. In some cases, we may not have an authorization on file. If that happens, AQHA has to obtain an authorization before the horse can be transferred.
  • If you buy a horse from someone who recently died and you haven't sent in the transfer form, be sure the date of sale was prior to the person's death. Otherwise, AQHA can advise the buyer on what documents are needed to accept an executor's or heir's signature on behalf of the deceased person. These situations can cause lengthy delays in the process.
  • Neither the seller nor the buyer has to be a member of AQHA to transfer a horse. However, if the buyer is not an AQHA member, he will have to pay a nonmember fee of $55, which ends up being the same amount as the cost of a membership and a transfer combined. In this case, AQHA gives the buyer a one-year membership.

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  • The only way you can show a horse in amateur competition is if the horse is in your name or a family member's name.
  • If you own a mare and use her for breeding, it's important to transfer the mare into your name because the name on the mare's certificate at the time of foaling is also considered the owner of the foal. If the mare isn't transferred at the time of foaling, you'll have to get the signature of the previous owner to register the foal.
  • The recorded owner or their authorized agent or lessee is the only person AQHA can recognize when conducting business with regard to any American Quarter Horse.
  • Transferring a horse isn't a hassle if it's done promptly and correctly. Without it, you can't brag that you own an American Quarter Horse and have the papers to prove it.

Call AQHA's customer service department at (806) 376-4811 for assistance in transferring your horse. Click here to download a transfer report.

Special Pricing

For a limited time, AQHA is charging just one transfer fee per horse, no matter how many times the horse has been bought and sold. Get your horse's registration record squared away today for one low price! Membership requirements apply, and transfers must be sent in together. Contact AQHA for more details.