The GB studbook for Icelandic horses is governed by the studbook rules (pdf). For a practical guide to registering changes with the studbook, such as imports, transfers of ownership or foal registrations, please see the “How To” Guide.
IHSGB Studbook Rules
1.1 IHSGB Ltd (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Society’) shall, in accordance with its Memorandum of Association, maintain a record of the breeding and registration of all pure-bred Icelandic horses in United Kingdom. This document sets down the rules, which regulate the registration of Icelandic horses by the Society, and is called “The Icelandic Horse Society of Great Britain, Rules for Registration of Icelandic Horses” (hereinafter referred to as ‘The Studbook Rules’).
1.2 Questions or disputes over interpretation shall be referred to the Studbook Registrar. If a member is not satisfied with the decision of the Studbook Registrar, he/she may apply to the Trustees for a ruling, which shall be binding.
1.3 If a member considers that the Trustees have not applied legislation or governmental guidance correctly, they may seek clarification from the appropriate government agency and must copy all correspondence to the IHSGB Company Secretary.
1.4 Members are required, not only to follow the letter of the Studbook Rules, but also their spirit in ensuring the integrity of pure breeding of Icelandic horses in the United Kingdom.
1.5 In order to comply with Commission Decision 92/353/EEC the Society declares that there will be no discrimination between members of the Society.
1.6 Every member of the Society undertakes by membership of the Society to register with the Society all pure-bred Icelandic horses owned by that member (or under his control) and which are in the United Kingdom and satisfy the requirements of the Rules. Members may register their horses with more than one equestrian organisation but must comply with the Horse Passport Regulations and only hold one passport for each horse.
1.7 Members of the Society may receive a discount upon registering horses with the Society, as decided by the Trustees.
1.8 The Society declares that The Studbook Rules and the maintenance of the studbook shall be in accordance with the principles laid down by the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations (FEIF).
1.9 The Society is bound to comply with The Equine Identification (England) Regulations 2018 and analogous legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. The Society is bound by legislation passed by the European Union, in particular Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262. Nothing in these rules shall override such legislation. The Society shall also comply with amendments and interpretations on such legislation notified to it by HM Government and will advise members as soon as practicable.
2. Registration of Horses
2.1 Definition of a pure-bred Icelandic horse
The Society recognises that when Icelandic horses were first imported into the United Kingdom, there was no national or state registration system available for Icelandic horses in the United Kingdom. In respect of applications to register horses submitted prior to 1st January, 1989, the Society retained discretion as to how it satisfied itself that a horse is pure-bred, taking into account all circumstances and evidence. With effect from 1st January 1989 a horse is only be considered to be pure-bred and thus eligible for registration with the Society if it satisfies at least one of the following categories: –
a) The Horse is registered with another FEIF affiliated organization or an organization recognized under Commission Decision 92/353/EEC AND certificate of registration.
b) The Horse is born in The United Kingdom and both parents of the Horse are registered with the Society or are registered with another FEIF affiliated organization or an organization recognized under Commission Decision 92/353/EEC AND the certificates of registration.
c) If neither requirement for a) or b) is fulfilled, proof of pedigree must be provided allowing all elements of the pedigree of the horse in question to be traced to horses born in Iceland.
2.2 Confirmation of parentage
2.2.1 For the protection of its members, the Society reserves the right to confirm the pedigree of any horse by use of DNA evidence and declares the following:
Where there are reasonable grounds to doubt the pedigree of a horse, the Society may require that the horse’s pedigree be investigated by 3-way DNA analysis. Such investigation shall be paid for by the Society. Following such investigation, if the committee of the Society is not satisfied that a horse is pure-bred, the horse shall be removed from the Studbook and the owner is liable to pay the Society’s costs. Any owner found by the committee of the Society to have deliberately made a false entry on an application to register a horse shall be expelled from the Society (see Article 2.5) If an owner wishes to prove the pedigree of a particular horse this may be carried out by presenting the results of 3-way DNA analysis to the Studbook Registrar. In this instance no costs will accrue to the Society.
2.2.2 All stallions born during or after 2003, and those presented for breeding assessment, must have proof of parentage by three way DNA.
2.3 Visiting Stallions
A stallion temporarily located in The United Kingdom for the purpose of serving mares for a breeding season does not require to be registered, but the owner, or the person responsible for the said stallion shall submit to the Studbook Office such papers as would have been required under these Rules to register the horse. In addition a Stallion Serving record shall be provided to the Society before the end of the calendar year. Failure to comply with this Rule will render the progeny of that stallion born as a result of that period of service in The United Kingdom unregisterable until such time as proof of parentage has been submitted and the member will lose any members discount.
3. Requirements for Registration
A Horse, which satisfies one or more of the requirements stated at 2.1 a, b or c is accepted as a pure-bred Horse. In addition owners must comply with the following sections as appropriate:
3.1 Horses imported into The United Kingdom
3.2 Horses born in The United Kingdom
3.3 Horses born outside The United Kingdom
4 Additional requirements for Stallions
5 Additional requirements for Mares and Foals
6 Identification of Horses
7 Registration procedures to be followed by horse owners and the Studbook Office of IHSGB Ltd
3.1 Horses Imported into The United Kingdom
A Horse imported into The United Kingdom and fulfilling the requirements of Section 2.1 of these Rules shall be accepted into the register of IHSGB as a pure-bred Horse providing that
a) The owner who imported the horse or the member having control of the horse on arrival in The United Kingdom, shall apply to the Studbook Office for registration no later than 30 days from the date of importation. This shall not apply in relation to a horse, which remains in the UK for less than 90 days.
b) A horse that has been imported for longer than 30 days upon application for registration and satisfies the requirements of Section 2.1 may be accepted into the register upon payment of an additional premium equal to 50% of the standard registration fee.
c) The Horse is individually marked before import or has been individually marked since import, in accordance with a method approval by the Society (see section 6).
d) The owner must provide the Studbook Office with a Passport from a competent Authority, a completed Import of an Icelandic Horse form and the registration fee as determined by the Trustees.
3.2 Horses born in The United Kingdom
When a Horse is born in The United Kingdom the mare owner shall notify the Studbook Office in accordance with Section 7.4 not later than within 6 months of birth or by 30th November of the year of birth, whichever is the later. The date of foaling must align with a Stallion Serving Record supplied in the previous year by the stallion owner. Failure to comply with all conditions will render a requirement for proof of parentage by DNA analysis.
4. Additional requirements for Stallions
4.1 Progeny of Stallions born since 1992
Before progeny of any stallion born in the United Kingdom since 1992, or of any other stallion which has started serving in the United Kingdom, can be registered, the Studbook Office must receive a Certificate issued by a Veterinary Surgeon qualified to practice. This veterinary certificate is not required if the stallion has had a full FIZO breeding assessment with its accompanying veterinary checks. This certificate must certify that the stallion does not suffer from any congenital defect, which is likely to affect the performance by that horse of basic functions such as sight, mastication, support, locomotion and reproduction. This certificate should be received by the Studbook Office prior to the stallion serving any mares and certainly prior to receipt of the stallion’s first annual serving certificate. Progeny from stallions that do not receive a satisfactory certification may still be registered as pure-bred Icelandic horses, but will be placed in a separate section of the Studbook denoted by the Area of Birth Code ‘99’ and will not be eligible to represent the Society in any International Breeding Competition. Registration will be at twice the non-member rate. (See Section 7.6.2-7.6.3)
4.2 Stallions used for breeding in The United Kingdom from 2001
All Stallions used for breeding from 1 January 2001 must have a sample of DNA material taken. This sample must be forwarded to the Studbook Office, not later than the end of the calendar year of first service, together with any fee as decided by the Trustees. The Studbook Registrar shall arrange for a laboratory test and report. A Copy of the DNA profile will be returned to the stallion owner and a copy kept for Society records.
4.3 Stallions born since 2003
4.3.1 All stallions born in the year 2003 and thereafter must have proof of parentage by DNA analysis. Samples of DNA material must be obtained from colt, father and mother. This sample must be forwarded to the Studbook Office, preferably before but not later than the end of the calendar year of first service, together with any fee as decided by the Trustees. The Studbook Registrar shall arrange for a laboratory test and report. A copy of the DNA profile will be returned to the stallion owner and a copy kept for Society records.
4.3.2 In situations where it is not possible to provide proof of parentage, the stallion owner may apply to the Trustees for a dispensation. The Trustees may request a ruling from FEIF.
4.3.3 Progeny from the stallion may still be registered as pure-bred Icelandic horses, but if the Trustees have not granted a dispensation, it will be placed in a separate section of the Studbook denoted by the Area of Birth Code ‘99’ and will not be eligible to represent the Society in any International Breeding Competition. Registration will be at twice the standard rate. (See Section 7.6.2-7.6.3)
5. Additional requirements for Mares and Foals
5.1 DNA samples must be taken from all Foals born in the year 2003 and thereafter, and also from their mothers (if no such sample already is held). These samples must be forwarded to the Studbook Office. These samples will be stored for use should any query be raised on the pedigree of a horse or to comply with any other Society Studbook rule. A fee will only be payable if the sample is processed by a laboratory. These samples form part of the registration requirements (detailed at Section 7.4).
6. Identification of Horses
6.1 Icelandic Horses as specified in Section 2 of The Studbook Rules shall be marked in accordance with at least one of the following systems:
i) Freeze Branding
ii) Microchipping (mandatory for all horses born in the European Union from 2009 onwards)
6.2 Microchipping is an IHSGB requirement for all pure-bred Icelandic horses born in 1996 and later. Microchipping is mandatory for all horses born in the European Union from 2009 onwards.
6.3 In the event of failure to comply with The Rules, the horse shall not be registered by the Society or in the case of a registered horse, such registration shall be suspended.
7. Registration procedures to be followed by horse owners and the Studbook Office of IHSGB Ltd
This section covers the registration process, including serving, foaling, marking, gelding and registration. It also covers regulations regarding the naming of horses and studs and the Studbook number/s issued to the horse by the Society.
7.1.1 The Studbook Registrar shall provide each member that has a male horse registered as entire in its second year, and meets the requirements as specified in Section 4, with a Stallion Serving Record. The stallion owner or keeper shall maintain this Stallion Service Record for each of his stallions recording the mares served by each stallion. Before the end of each calendar year the stallion owner or keeper shall submit the Stallion Service Record for each of his stallions to the Studbook Office.
7.1.2 If the male horse is not used as a stallion and/or has been gelded, the member shall return the Stallion Serving Record to the Studbook Office, annotated accordingly.
7.1.3 In the event that the owner of the stallion is not the keeper of the stallion. , the keeper having control or responsibility for the stallion shall fulfil the obligations of the owner under these Rules.
7.1.4 The Studbook Registrar shall make available to the stallion owner copies of the ‘Application form for foal registration & issue of passport’.
7.1.5 When a mare is served, the stallion owner shall complete their part of an Application form for foal registration & issue of passport to certify that his stallion on the date/s served the mare named and hand the form to the mare owner.
7.2 Artificial Insemination
7.2.1 The stallion owner shall complete their part of an Application form for foal registration & issue of passport amended to certify that semen was collected from the stallion named on the form and transferred into the control of the owner of the mare. A veterinary certificate shall be sufficient evidence that the mare was inseminated and the date of the insemination shall be recorded. Both documents shall be forwarded to the Studbook Office.
7.3.1 When the mare foals, or the outcome of the service is otherwise determined, the owner of the mare, or the person in possession of the mare on loan at the date of the foal’s birth, shall complete the Application form for foal registration & issue of passport and forward it to the Studbook Office together with the Registration fee, as determined by the Trustees in accordance with Section 7.4 – Requirements for Registration.
7.3.2 In the case of a foal born in The United Kingdom to a mare served abroad by a stallion registered with another FEIF affiliated Society or an organization recognized under Commission Decision 92/353/EEC, the mare owner must obtain either a serving certificate issued by the recognized authority in that country or require the stallion owner to complete the IHSGB Application form for foal registration & issue of passport.
7.4 Requirements for Registration
7.4.1 The owner of the horse must submit a written application for registration within 6 months of birth or by 30th November of the year of birth, whichever is the later. This application must include:
a) The completed Application form for foal registration & issue of passport which includes:
b) The completed Description form. This must be completed by a veterinary surgeon. The description must include all significant markings e.g. Star, snip, blaze, socks.
c) A microchip number. A bar code sticker should be affixed to the Serving and Foaling and a second bar code sticker should be forwarded for use in the passport.
d) Name to be given to the horse.
e) Stud name requested.
f) Sample of DNA material (hair follicles) from the foal and from the mother if not previously forwarded and already held by the Society.
g) The registration fee.
7.4.2 If a member fails to comply with all the requirements for registration within the statutory time limits, an additional premium shall be payable as determined by the Trustees.
7.5.1 To retain the character of the Icelandic horse, members should use an Icelandic name when registering a horse.
7.5.2 The Studbook Registrar may at his discretion refuse to register any name of a horse, which is unacceptable, or any location as a stud name, which is inappropriate. From 2016, only approved names which are on an agreed positive list of Icelandic horse names can be automatically accepted; the approved list can be accessed through WorldFengur. New names can be added to the list by application.
7.5.3 The applicant must designate the stud name from which the horse originated. This name should be the name of the place or area in which the horse is foaled. The Studbook Registrar will advise if the Stud name chosen is not available. Stud names are issued to owners and are not transferable. An owner may have more than one stud name. In the case of a partnership, where such partnership is dissolved, the partners must agree whether the stud is to be retained by one partner or cease to be used. The partner/s must advise the Studbook Registrar accordingly.
7.5.4 Should a member purchase the property of a vendor that historically has a Stud name attached to it, or wishes to use a generic area stud name that has already been allocated, then the new breeder shall be offered the stud name with a suffix “2” e.g. “Butterworth 2” or “Newbury 2”.
7.5.5 When a breeder anticipates that the horse’s location is not permanent, then the name of the area should be chosen.
7.5.6 Following the Icelandic tradition a horse shall be known as being ‘from’ followed by the stud name location (except as specified in paragraph 7.5.7). Generic names such as “Farm” and adjectives such as “White” are not normally permitted as in stud names.
A horse foaled at Butterworth Farm would be known as ‘X from Butterworth’.
A horse foaled near the town of Newbury could be known as “Y from Newbury”.
If a horse was foaled on, for example, rented grazing the location of which varies from year to year, then the name of the nearest town or surrounding area should be used.
7.5.7 Names and locations of horses registered with a FEIF affiliated Society, or organization recognized under Commission Decision 92/353/EEC satisfy these requirements.
7.6 FEIF identification number and Universal Equine Life Number
7.6.1 European commission Decision 93/623/EEC required each horse to be allocated a unique life identification number.
7.6.2 The Society allocates FEIF identification numbers for horses born in The United Kingdom, in accordance with the protocols in operation by FEIF.
The FEIF identification number shall denote
a) Great Britain as the country of registration
b) Year of Birth
c) Sex of the horse
d) Area of Birth (since 2002)
e) Individual Horse Number
7.6.3 Progeny of stallions that do not receive satisfactory certification of veterinary health (see section 4.1) will be entered into a lower section of the studbook. Such horses will be denoted by the use of the Area of Birth code “99”.
7.6.4 Since 2009, horses must have a Universal Equine Life Number (UELN) in the 15-digit format defined by Commission Regulation (EC) No 504/2008 and subsequent Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262. All passports issued by the IHSGB since 2009 are therefore issued with a UELN in addition to the FEIF identification number. For pre-existing passports, UELNs have been added to the electronic records in WorldFengur.
For those cases where the IHSGB issued the passport, the 15-digit UELN commences with the six-digit EU identifier for IHSGB, which is 826032; followed by the last nine digits of the FEIF identification number.
Example: FEIF ID: GB2009269001 equates to UELN: 826032009269001
7.7 Registration Fees
7.7.1 The fee to register a new born foal will depend on breeding assessment marks awarded to the parents. Such awards must be attained at Breeding Assessments approved by the Trustees. For the purposes of this rule a minimum standard will be declared by the Trustees annually.
7.7.2 A foal from a mating between parents who have both been assessed up to the required standard will carry a discount, as determined by the trustees.
7.7.3 The fee to register a new foal from a mating between one assessed parent up to the required standard and one not assessed parent (or parent assessed to be below the required standard) will carry no discount.
7.7.4 The fee to register a foal from a mating when neither parent has been assessed to the required standard will carry a surcharge to be decided by the Breeding Team and ratified by the trustees. For the purposes of this rule the assessment may be for conformation only.
8.1 If any male horse, which has been registered as entire, has subsequently been gelded, the Studbook Office must be notified in writing immediately, giving the date on which the horse was gelded.
9 Transfer of Ownership
9.1 The Vendor shall complete a Transfer of Ownership and give it and the Passport to the buyer. The new owner shall, within 30 days of the purchase, submit the Transfer of Ownership form and the Equine Passport to the Studbook Office, together with the Transfer of Ownership fee, as determined by the Trustees. The Studbook Registrar shall amend the Society records and Passport and return it to the new owner within 10 working days of receipt. If this is not possible, in accordance with Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262, the Studbook Office can issue a Temporary Identification Document, which shall be valid for 45 days.
9.2 Where the Passport was issued by an organization other than IHSGB, the Studbook Office will ensure that the Passport Issuing Organisation is informed of the ownership change through all appropriate databases.
10. Death of a horse
10.1 On the death of a registered horse, the owner must forward the horse’s Passport to the Studbook Office within 30 days advising the date of death. The Studbook Office will record the death of the horse in all appropriate databases and return the passport if requested.
11 Export of a horse
11.1 When a horse is permanently exported the UK owner should notify the studbook office of the export. Such notification must be traceable e.g. letter or email. The Studbook Office will record the movement of the horse in all appropriate databases.
12 Health Control of Breeding Horses from 2009
12.1 Breeding Shows
12.1.1 At Breeding shows recognised by the Society there shall be a general health examination for all horses and some additional checks for stallions.
12.1.2 Every breeding horse that enters a breeding show must be presented for and pass a veterinary examination prior to commencing the assessment. The aim of the veterinary control is to encourage that only healthy horses are presented at breeding shows and consequently used for breeding. If a horse appears to the veterinary surgeon to be unfit to be shown (lameness, lack of fitness, doping etc.), the horse will be excluded. The Chief Judge may call for a further veterinary examination at any time during the presentation.
12.2 General health control for all horses
The health control includes: the body condition, teeth and oral status, auscultation of heart and lungs, examination of the skin, lameness evaluation and palpation of the distal limbs.
12.3 Additional health control for stallions
12.3.1 For stallions, additional health checks are required for defects to the testicles.
a) Testicles are to be palpated and measured. The size of the testicles (scrotal width) is measured and in the case of visible difference in the size of the testicles, they are measured separately. Torsion of the testicles is noted as well as abnormalities in the consistency of the testicles.
b) The presence of cryptorchidism (abdominal retention or inguinal retention), scrotal width with less than 8 cm and difference in the testicle size (mm3) which is equal or more than 50 % is regarded as unsound.
12.3.2 Stallion to be X-rayed for Bone Spavin prior to its first Breeding Assessment:
12.3.3 Radiographic examination of the distal tarsus is required for stallions before entering the first breeding show after attaining the age of 5 years.
a) The examination must take place in the same calendar year as the Breeding Assessment.
b) A complete radiographic examination is requested including four different projections of each hock.
c) The radiographs must be sent to the Breeding Leader prior to the date of the Breeding Assessment, together with the service charge, as notified by the Trustees.
d) The radiographs will be forwarded by the Society to an approved specialist.
e) Information about the radiographic diagnosis will be recorded in WorldFengur for information of breeders.
12.4 Stallions DNA
All stallions presented for assessment must have proof of parentage by three way DNA analysis.
13.1 Any member may propose an amendment to The Rules at a General Meeting provided a written proposal has been sent to both the Secretary and the Breeding Leader in time for inclusion in the agenda. The amendment shall be incorporated into these Rules if it is approved by the General Meeting, provided that not less than two thirds of the members present shall have voted in favour of the alteration and that details of all proposed alterations have been included in the notice of the meeting sent to all members.