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and inspected here were issued another set of papers and a different registration number, and that horse’s performance was lost to Germany. Nobody needs two birth certificates!” Patricia says, laughing. “Now horses are dual registered and keep their registration number, which is amended into the U.S. books. If approved for the German Holsteiner studbook, the horse is automatically approved in the U.S. too. One UELN stays with the horse for life.” “There are still a lot of Warmblood horses out there with multiple USEF numbers, and a lot of trainers don’t want that changed,” she adds. “The horse community in general here, as opposed to in Germany, is reluctant to have farms and horses permanently and officially ID’d. They think it’s like big brother breathing down their necks.” Ultimately, though, what does having a unique UELN

mean to your Warmblood? First of all, horses registered with a UELN can be identified readily, worldwide, from their registration number and microchip, and their performance records and pedigrees accessed. Second, the UELN will help limit dual registration, which is the bane of

registry databases everywhere. Imagine trying to calculate breeding-value statistics on horses competing under two or three (or more) different registration numbers and names. These horses’ performance results are lost forever to those building a database of information on a sire and dam’s production. And how about researching the background of that fabulous 4th level dressage horse you’ve found for an excellent (or too excellent) price. In the grand scheme of things, the UELN is essentially a common language between all organizations registering horses. There’s hope that with more information on the genetics of performance horses available for comparison and review, breeding can be raised to a higher standard. So while Sherlock himself may not have needed

brands, registration numbers, microchips or colored passports to deduce a Warmblood’s background, we can feel fortunate to have these tools at hand when tracking down our horses’ pasts, as well as moving forward into the future of sport horse breeding.

CONFUSED ABOUT UELNs? The following examples should help.

n EXAMPLE #1: A filly’s UELN number is as follows: 840 023 0347017 03 The American Hanoverian Society issued papers for a black Hanoverian filly (Bugatti Hilltop – EM Highlight/Hohenstein). This

filly, bred and owned by Rachel Ehrlich, was foaled 4/23/03 in Massachusetts. The first six digits (the first element) identify this horse as foaled in the USA (840) with papers issued by the AHS (023). The second element (9 characters) consists of two digits (03) which identify the horse as a Hanoverian foaled in America; the next six digits—47017—were assigned randomly by the AHS database, and the final two digits (03) indicate that this horse was born in 2003.

n EXAMPLE #2: SF Luxembourg The Life Number of an RPSI registered horse: DE 451 516 0258 08

Here is the same horse’s UELN: 276 451 516 0258 08 This number was issued to a bay colt born 5/25/08, by Le Mode out of Chateau Queen, bred and owned by Ann Daum Kustar (the

author). The 276 designates Germany, the 4 shows that this horse was born in the year 2000 or after (this would be a 3 if he were born 1999 or before), the 51 designates a Zweibrücker, the following 516 designates he was born in the U.S. (a German-born Zweibrücker would have a 510 here instead), followed by 0258, a unique number for this horse, and the final two numbers, 08, show he was born in 2008. This horse is also branded with the Zweibrucker brand and the last two digits of his individual registration number (58) are under his brand.

n EXAMPLE #3: Eden RSF A Belgian Warmblood (sBs studbook) UELN for a filly: 056 007000 E 48883 This filly was born in 2010 and bred by

Ronda Stavisky. The 056 designates Belgium, 007000 is for the sBs studbook, E for the year of birth (a foal born in 2011 would have an F here), and then a 5-digit horse number.

Above: The Filly Eden RSF and her sBs registration papers. In this case the registry uses the UELN as the horse’s registry number. Photos courtesy Ronda Stavisky

Warmbloods Today 31

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