Certificate of Service to be Eliminated for Morgans
RELEASE: April 2, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the American Morgan Horse Association
The Certificate of Service has long been part of the process used to register a Morgan horse. The purpose of the Certificate of Service has always been for the stallion owner to certify the mating that produced the foal. This certification was used as an additional tool to verify the accuracy of the pedigree represented on the registration. As such, the Morgan Horse Registry was based on the mare and stallion owner’s certification that the pedigree was accurate as presented.
In the 1980s, the use of random blood testing to verify pedigrees began on a very limited basis. Throughout the next 15 years this program evolved from a random program to a program where all horses being registered were blood tested to verify the pedigree. In 2000, the blood-based program evolved into the DNA-based program currently being used. The Morgan Horse Registry has moved from a certification-based registry to a scientific-based registry.
As times change and the Registry adopts technology that it feels will benefit owners and breeders, the AMHA Registry Rules occasionally need to be updated to accommodate that technology. For that reason, the Registry Committee has been reviewing all of the rules and requirements for registration over the past couple of years. It was during that review that the committee recognized that the Certificate of Service no longer serves the purpose for which it was created.
Although the Certificate of Service was created to add integrity to Registry records by having the stallion owner certify details about the breeding activity that created the foal being registered, the DNA-based parentage verification program we now have proves that as often as 125 times a year the details the stallion owner has certified on the Certificate of Service are not accurate. DNA testing has proven that it is far superior to the Certificate of Service for insuring the integrity of the Registry.
It was logical and practical to ask stallion owners to complete and sign the Certificate of Service when live cover was the only method of breeding, but with the breeding technology that is available today, frequently the stallion owner cannot certify the details of the breeding. Many times all the stallion owner can certify is that semen was shipped, but if an agent handled the collection and shipment of the semen, the stallion owner can't even certify the shipment information.
Advancements in breeding technology have caused the Certificate of Service to become obsolete and for the Registry to continue to ask stallion owners, lessees of stallions or owners of frozen semen to sign the Certificate of Service certifying details that they may not have knowledge of is not appropriate.
Through the years, the Certificate of Service has also been used by stallion owners as a way to collect payment of breeding fees even though this was not the purpose for which the Certificate was created. When the AMHA Board met during the National Convention in Sacramento, CA, in February 2009, they voted to eliminate the Certificate of Service from the Registry requirements for registration. However, they recognized that the 2009 breeding season is already under way, therefore they made this change effective with January 1, 2010. Postponing the implementation of this change will allow stallion owners to develop appropriate breeding contracts to assist them in the collection of breeding fees. If you are a stallion owner and need assistance developing a breeding contract, watch future articles from the Registry for possible sources of examples of contracts that you could use.