AQHA Racing Transitions to Microchip Identification
The American Quarter Horse Association will begin the transition to microchips in place of lip tattoos to identify racing American Quarter Horses effective January 1, 2024.
Any horse that was not previously tattooed as of January 1, 2024, will have their microchip number scanned and used as part of the identification verification done by an approved AQHA-contracted identifier. Horses who were identified by tattoo before January 1, 2024, shall be allowed to continue to utilize their tattoo as a means of identification.
AQHA is currently in the process of building an application named QHChip, and training will be provided for identifiers soon.
Once a horse is microchipped and inspected by an official identifier, the information will be available on the identification platforms, both in InCompass Solutions and the QHChip app.
To be eligible to run, a horse that has already been microchipped must still be presented to an AQHA identifier to have its identification verified and thereby be entered into the QHChip and InCompass Solutions databases. The cost to verify the identity of a racing Quarter Horse will remain $120.00.
Other breed organizations have transitioned to using this technology. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and contains a 15-digit numerical code unique to that horse that can never be altered. There are numerous benefits to microchipping. It validates breed integrity, as the ID number is recorded with the American Quarter Horse Association on the horse’s permanent record. Microchipping can result in increased efficiencies in entering horses in races and can also help recover an animal in case of natural disaster or theft.
Frequently asked questions regarding microchip identification in racing American Quarter Horses can be accessed here.