Tattoos and Tattooers

Why are horses tattooed?

Tattoos are an additional means of identification of a race horse. 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 all 1992 foals, American Quarter Horses must be DNA genotyped and parentage verified before it can be tattooed.

I received a DNA genotype sticker to attach to my horses 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 the words, "Parentage Verified" printed across the front on existing papers. AQHA new registration papers print the Parentage Verification center bottom on front of papers. You will need to return any certificate that has been issued prior to the verification to AQHA before the papers will be reissued.

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 which 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 on the front of the registration papers the tattoo number, the date of tattooing and his name on the registration certificate. The tattoo information will be recorded on the back side of the new registration papers. Tattoo numbers are also recorded on AQHA's AS/400 computer system as a part of each horse's permanent record. Should a horse be lost or stolen, it can be identified and the last recorded owner notified from the cross-references on the AQHA computer.

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 this Web site under the Calendars/Schedules heading. Some of the tattooers will make appointments to meet the customer at a farm or ranch, providing there are enough horses available to be tattooed. Travel time, distance and the expense of setting up and cleaning his equipment will determine if the tattooer will decide to meet the customer at a location other than the racetrack where he normally tattoos.  Tattooers set thier own schedules and are not required to be available daily. You may also contact the AQHA Racing Department at (806)378-4713.  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 race horses 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 computer for this type of tattoo.

Who can I contact if I have a complaint with a tattooer?

You may direct any complaints to the competition department at AQHA by calling (806)378-4713.


Following is the 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 7 days a week.If you have any questions or concerns, call the AQHA Competition Department at (806) 378-4713.

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


Rillito Park / Yavapai Downs / Turf Paradise  - By appointment

Area Farms - By appointment

Lee Peterson 
(602) 882-7593



Fairplex and Northern Fair meets - By appointment 

Gary Greiner
(707) 291-7578

Los Alamitos and farms -By appointment
Jason L Hart
(714) 357-4278



Arapahoe Park - By appointment

Moe Nye
(402) 880-0758



Tampa Bay - By appointment

Patrick Bovenzi
(813) 240-0132

Available November thru April only

Hialeah Park / Area Farms

David Reinshuttle
(954) 290-2545

Available during Quarter Horse meet



Fair Meets/Pocatello/

Gem County Fair/Rupert - By appointment

Dave Wheeler 
(208) 538-7170



Arlington Park/Fairmount Park - By appointment

Contact AQHA at 806-378-4713


Indiana Downs/Area Farms - By appointment

Patrick Davis

(618) 340-5905



Prairie Meadows - By appointment

Travis Skarpness
(515) 490-3580



Fair Grounds /Delta Downs / Evangeline Downs - By appointment

Justin Carrier
(337) 274-6201

Louisiana Downs - By appointment

Jerry Engle 
(318) 949-8560


Hazel Park / Area Farms  -  By appointment

David Bryan


Canterbury Park/ Area Farms - By appointment

Victor Hanson


Montana Fairs/ Yellowstone Downs - By appointment

Contact AQHA at (806) 378-4713


Elko County Fair, White Pine Raceway - By appointment

Area Farms - By appointment

Jerry Richins -
(435) 232-4333



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 Horse Park / Chippewa Downs -  By appointment

Contact AQHA at (806) 378-4713



Beulah Park/River Downs - By appointment 

contact AQHA for tattoo information



Oklahoma Farms - Joel Cusimano  (405) 714-6505

Area Farms - Josh VanOort - (515) 418-0101

Fair Meadows / Remington Park / Will Rogers Downs - By appointment

Jerry Banks 
(918) 224-6506



Portland Meadows / Grants Pass Downs / Fair Meets - By appointment

Vernon Baze
(253) 670-6214



County Fair Meets/Ft. Pierre - By appointment

Skip Moody
(605) 999-2303



Gillespie Co. Fair 

Lone Star Park / Manor Downs / Sam Houston Race Park - By appointment

John Tally
(817) 304-0672

Retama Park and Area Farms - By appointment

Amber Doege
(210) 363-7428

Odessa, Lubbock, Area Farms - By appointment

Marty Wells
(325) 656-5680



Laurel Brown/Dixie Downs/Weber Downs /Area Farms - By appointment

Jerry Richins
(435) 232-4333



Fair Meets / Sun Downs / Emerald Downs - By appointment

Vern Baze
(253) 670-6214



Wyoming Downs - By appointment 

Jim Stoker 
(307) 887-2688




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
(306) 554-7720

Ontario - Ajax Downs - By appointment

Sean Slater 
(905) 953-5423



HIpodromo De Los Americas - By appointment

Daniel Hernandez