Interactive RegistrationTM Help Desk

Thoroughbred Microchipping - Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Thoroughbred Microchipping:

1. Do Thoroughbreds in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico have to be microchipped?

Microchips are a requirement of registration for foals of 2017 and later.

2. How large is the microchip and where is it implanted in the horse?

The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted in the nuchal ligament in the left side of the animal in the middle third of the neck.

3. What is the process of obtaining a microchip and implanting it into a Thoroughbred?

Microchips for registered Thoroughbreds born in 2016 and earlier can be purchased through The Jockey Club, or through your veterinarian or supplier. For foals of 2017, owners will be sent a free microchip with each registration and genetic sampling kit.

The microchip should be implanted before or at the same time the DNA hair sample is collected, markings are recorded, and photos are taken. The horse identifier should always scan for a microchip and record the number when identifying a horse.

Before the microchip is implanted, the horse should be properly identified and checked for an existing microchip with a reader. The microchip to be implanted should be checked with a reader to make sure it is active and readable.

The microchip should be implanted in the nuchal ligament in the left side of the animal in the middle third of the neck. The veterinarian will prepare the site by clipping and scrubbing the area before implanting the microchip.

After the microchip has been implanted, it should be checked again with a reader to verify that it is still readable. Finally, the label from the microchip should be attached to the Registration Application or the information should be recorded to be reported to The Jockey Club.

4. Who implants the microchip?

The Jockey Club recommends that microchips be implanted by a veterinarian or under the supervision of a veterinarian.

5. What are the advantages of microchipping a Thoroughbred?

When used in conjunction with the official markings described on the Certificate of Foal Registration, microchips provide a convenient additional layer of confidence when establishing the identity of a Thoroughbred. Microchips may be helpful in establishing identity of Thoroughbreds involved in breeding operations, domestic or international travel, and in the event a horse is lost or stolen.

6. What type of microchip should I implant in my Thoroughbred, and where should I implant the chip?

The International Stud Book Committee (ISBC) has indicated that ISO 11784/11785 compliant microchips are to be inserted on the left side nuchal ligament of Thoroughbreds. Variations from this standard could result in the implant of another microchip.

7. How do I read the microchip in my Thoroughbred?

Microchips supplied by The Jockey Club can be read with an ISO 11785 compliant microchip reader. A number of other readers are also available from your veterinarian or veterinary supplier. You must ensure the reader you select is ISO 11785 compliant and can detect ISO compliant 11784 134.2 KHz radio frequency identification devices.

8. Can I acquire a microchip reader from The Jockey Club?

Datamars, Pet Travel is offering microchip scanners to Thoroughbred owners and breeders at a preferred price. Datamars manufactures the Datamars Microchip Scanner Compact Max and it is marketed and distributed by Pet Travel. The price for Thoroughbred owners and breeders will be $249.00.

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You may also consult your veterinarian or veterinary supply house to acquire a reader.

9. If the owner of a microchipped Thoroughbred doesn't know its name or pedigree, can The Jockey Club help identify the horse using its microchip number?

If an owner knows the horse's microchip number and the microchip number has been reported to The Jockey Club, limited identification information on record with The Jockey Club about that horse can be obtained through Interactive Registration™ (IR) located at After logging on to IR, click on the Microchip Requesting, Reporting & Lookup banner in the Other Forms section on the right side of the page and follow the simple step-by-step instructions. Help screens are available. Identification information includes the horse's name (if named), year of birth, gender, color and dam's name.

10. Will The Jockey Club provide a horse's microchip number if the horse's name is provided?

No. A microchip number cannot be retrieved based on a horse's name.

11. How much does it cost to microchip a Thoroughbred?

There will be no costs to request a microchip for an unregistered foal born in 2016 or later; however, a fee may be incurred for replacement microchips.

For foals born in 2015 and earlier and registered foals of 2016 that were not microchipped prior to the completion of registration, microchips are available through The Jockey Club for $10.00 per microchip, which includes shipping and handling. Kentucky and New York residents will also be charged applicable sales tax.

There is no fee to report a microchip number to The Jockey Club.

Your veterinarian may charge a fee for their services.

12. Can microchip numbers be reported to The Jockey Club by phone?

No. Microchip numbers can be reported to The Jockey Club only through Interactive Registration™ (IR). If you do not have access to IR, please call the Registry for assistance at (800) 444-8521.

13. What if a mistake was made when reporting a microchip number to The Jockey Club?

If a mistake was made when reporting a microchip number to The Jockey Club, the owner should send a written, signed statement to The Jockey Club indicating the name of the horse and the incorrect microchip number. Once The Jockey Club invalidates the number, the owner can report the correct microchip number via Interactive Registration™. For registered foals whose microchip number has been recorded in the markings section of their Certificate of Foal Registration, a request to correct the certificate must be submitted to The Jockey Club.

14. Are Thoroughbreds microchipped in other countries?

Yes, a number of countries around the world microchip Thoroughbreds, including Great Britain, Ireland, France, Japan, Germany, South Africa, and Australia.

15. What kind of microchips is The Jockey Club selling?

Microchips available from The Jockey Club are ISO 11784-compliant. These microchips contain a unique, 15-character number.

16. Once I have implanted the microchip from The Jockey Club, what other steps are required?

Once the microchip is implanted, you should log on to Interactive Registration™ (IR) and report the microchip number using the online Microchip Requesting, Reporting & Lookup module. Microchip numbers are not associated with a specific horse until reported to The Jockey Club by the owner or breeder. If you do not have access to IR, please call the Registry for assistance at (800) 444-8521.

17. Can I purchase a microchip from The Jockey Club for my non-Thoroughbred horse?

The Jockey Club sells microchips only to customers who have conducted registration-related activity with the Registry. Thoroughbred owners or breeders who have horses of other breeds on the same premises should consult the responsible breed authority for specific information on microchipping those breeds.