News Releases

Monday, June 11, 2001Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326
The Jockey Club Registers First Foal of DNA Era

Beginning a new chapter in its 105-year stewardship of The American Stud Book, The Jockey Club today issued the first Certificate of Foal Registration for the foal crop of 2001, the initial crop to be parentage verified using DNA typing.

The certificate was issued for a bay filly by Eskimo out of Home Together, by Homebuilder. Foaled January 6, the filly was bred in Florida by John Franks, whose farm manager praised the simplicity and convenience of the new technology which involves pulling mane hair roots instead of drawing blood.

“We usually average about 130 babies in our foal crop and this year we had a record number of 191 (226 including clients’ foals),” said Phil Hronec, farm manager of Franks Farm in Ocala, Florida. “To take blood from all those weanlings was a real chore. . .this new system makes it much, much easier on the horses and the people who do it.

“Before, we needed three big boxes just to store the blood kits until we had to use them. Now, it's just a matter of saving an envelope for each one.”

Jockey Club executive vice president and executive director, Gary Carpenter, echoed Hronec’s assessment of the new sampling procedure.

“Although re-typing the breed has been a massive undertaking, the switch to DNA is a sound investment,” said Carpenter. “Not only is integrity of the Stud Book enhanced to a level never before possible, but every breeder will benefit from the simplicity and cost savings associated with pulling a mane hair root sample instead of calling in a veterinarian to draw blood.”

Although breeders have a year from the foaling date to register their foals, The Jockey Club must have a DNA sample on file for the sire and dam in order to parentage verify the foal. Carpenter encourages breeders who have received a DNA hair root sampling kit in the mail for their stallion or mare to use the kit promptly in order to avoid future delays in registering their foals of 2001. Hair samples are to be mailed to the laboratory printed on the return envelope and not to The Jockey Club.