Microchipping Guideline, Policy and Regulation

Standardbred Canada (“SC”) is the breed registry for all standardbred horses in Canada and is incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act.


English FAQ -- QF en français


Promoting and protecting the Standardbred breed and the persons who breed, own or race Standardbred horses through:

a) the registration and identification of Standardbred horses and the keeping of pedigrees;

b) the maintenance, preservation and dissemination of records regarding the breeding and racing of Standardbred horses;

c) the promotion of harness racing and Standardbred horses.


• In order to be registered, standardbred horses must be properly identified by a SC identification technician. Currently this includes physical identification, including notation of colour and markings, parentage verification by DNA testing, and freeze branding;

• The present practise is for SC technicians to simultaneously collect a DNA sample, note colour and markings, and apply a freeze brand;

• Canadian equine organizations, as well as the international standardbred industry, are moving to a system of identifying horses by microchip rather than freeze branding. SC’s board of directors has now approved the use of microchipping in place of freeze-branding for horses that are to be registered.


• To maintain the integrity of the SC breed registry by improving the identification and traceability of standardbred horses with new technology.

• Tracking of animal disease for the welfare of the animal

• Easy identification for importing and exporting overseas

• Maximum verification and recovery in the event of the animal being lost or going across the border

• Procedure is quick, easy and non dramatic for the animal.


• SC identification technicians are fully trained to microchip horses;

• SC will provide to its trained technicians the Home Again Universal World Scan Reader Plus by Merck Animal Health, with Bluetooth availability;

• The Home Again TempScan microchip will be purchased and distributed to its technicians by SC;

• The microchip will be implanted in the nuchal ligament, at the middle of the left side of the neck just below the mane;

• Steps for microchipping and identification:

- Scan the nose and neck of the horse to ensure that a microchip was not previously implanted
- clip the horse's hair, clean the area with alcohol, and then insert the microchip into the ligament;
- Scan the neck of the horse to ensure that the microchip was implanted;
- Pull hair sample out of the tale or mane of the horse and apply to DNA kit
- Complete the identification report with colour, sex and markings of the horse.


Standardbred Canada By-Laws are approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada pursuant to the Animal Pedigree Act. By-Law # 2 and Regulation # 2 refer to the Canadian Standardbred Stud Book.


The following must be received by the Association before a horse will be granted registration:

(a) An application on the prescribed form completed by the owner or authorized agent with the registration fee

(b) The Confirmation of Service provided by the stallion owner/lessee

(c) An identification report from an identification technician approved by the Association

(d) Confirmation of parentage verification from the testing facility approved by the Association

The Standardbred Canada technician who identifies the horse shall, at that time, draw the sample required for DNA testing and shall submit that sample to the approved testing facility for parentage verification.


The Breeders Committee shall establish regulations for the proper identification of a horse by physical identification and genetic identification.

(a) In the case of physical identification, the Committee shall have regard to lip tattooing, freeze branding, microchipping, and distinguishing marks, as well as such other physical characteristics that are consistent with positive identification.

(b) In the case of genetic identification, the Committee shall have regard to blood typing, DNA segregation and other proven genetic tests that are consistent with positive identification. No person, other than a technician authorized by the Association, shall place or attempt to place a permanent identification on a horse to be registered by the Association.

If it is determined that a horse is not properly identified, the horse shall not be permitted to race at a meet sanctioned by the Association and its progeny shall not be registered by the Association.


2. Identification of Horses

(a) All horses shall be identified by a permanent mark in the form of a lip tattoo or freeze brand with registration numbers that have been assigned by the Association or the United States Trotting Association; provided that, effective in 2019 and thereafter, all horses shall be identified with a microchip applied by a Standardbred Canada identification technician.

(b) By 2022, all horses racing in Canada will require to be microchipped.

(c) The identity of a horse to be freeze branded or microchipped shall be certified by the owner or his authorized agent on the Association’s prescribed form. At the time that a horse is freeze branded or microchipped, the technician shall take a sample of the horse’s hair or other material for DNA testing.The technician may refuse to freeze-brand or microchip a horse if he/she is not able to positively identify it.

(d) When an appointment has been made with the Standardbred Canada technician, the owner or the person caring for a horse to be identified shall assist the technician by providing a well lit working area, and the assistance of such attendants as may be required. An administration fee will be assessed for appointments cancelled without good cause with less than 48 hours notice.

(e) An administration fee maybe assessed when an appointment to have the technician identify a foal is cancelled at the last minute without good cause.

(f) The Registrar may rescind the registration of a horse if DNA testing of the sample taken by the technician does not result in DNA positive identification.

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.