Jockey Club Interactive Registration

Head and Neck Cowlicks Help


A cowlick is the center of a hair whorl. They are permanent and cannot be brushed away or clipped out. Cowlicks on the head and neck area are a very useful means of identification and should be described on all horses. Any photos of the face should show the location, shape, and/or outline of the cowlick(s) as much as possible.

There is at least one cowlick in the forehead, not counting the one at the foretop. The foretop cowlick is not useful in identification as it has been found that all horses have a cowlick in this area.

Cowlicks at or near eye level should be described in relation to the eye level (above eye level, at top of eye level, at eye level, at bottom of eye level, below eye level) and also in relation to the midline (left of midline, right of midline, or "median" cowlick ). Cowlicks can also be described in relation to white markings found in the head (for example: median cowlick in star; cowlick to left at bottom of star, etc.).

When two or more cowlicks are found in the forehead they should be described as being a double horizontal cowlick, a double diagonal cowlick or a double vertical cowlick. These cowlicks should also be described in terms of their relation to eye level and to the midline.

The presence of a cowlick on the side of the neck near the mane should always be noted. This becomes even more important on solid-colored horses (horses with no white markings). There is at least one cowlick on each side of the neck nearthe mane. Each neck cowlick should be described in terms of its location on the neck, (behind the poll, high at crest of neck, middle of crest of neck, low at crest of neck), and on which side of the neck they lie (left side, right side, both sides).

Other cowlicks which aid in the identification process can be found at the throat latch, in one or both jugular grooves and on the front of the neck.

Sometimes cowlicks feather outward from the point of origin, and the word "feathered" can be used to describe such a cowlick.