Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Who is the Westfalen Verband NA?

The Westfalen Verband NA is the official North American extension of the German Verband, the Westfälisches Pferdestammbuch e.V.. For more information about the history of our registry visit our History page. The Westfalen Verband NA is open to horses from all German-recognized Warmblood registries, as well as Thoroughbreds and Anglo-Arabians, and as the largest registry for German Riding Ponies in the world, also has books for ponies! Westfalen NA horses receive official passport-style registration papers from Germany, Microchip, Life Number and Westfalen brand, (if eligible for a brand by pedigree), and are entered into the German database of sport horses (VIT). Previously registered/inspected RPSI (Deutsches Sportpferd and Zweibrucker) mares and stallions are eligible for entry in the equivalent books with the Westfalen registry.

Why should I choose to register Westfalen Verband NA?

The Westfalen Verband NA is one of the few registries operating in North America as a direct extension of its German counterpart. This means the Westfalen Verband NA follows German rules, and foals born here are issued German Westfalen passports, just like foals born in Germany. So North American horses registered Westfalen are eligible to compete and breed in Germany, under the same rules as horses born in Germany, and breeders here get input and advice from the same German judges and officials who oversee the direction of sport horse breeding in Germany. Registered horses are also fully up-to-date and compliant with the new USEF Horse Identification rules, and all foals registered in their year of birth receive lifetime USEF numbers as well. North-American-bred horses and ponies are succeeding in sport and breeding both in N.A. as well as overseas. We are looking forward to the future successes of these N.A. bred Westfalens!

What brand will my foal get?

Foals born in North America and registered with the Westfalen NA will receive the W brand of the Westfalen Verband. Eligibility for the W brand depends on your foal’s pedigree.

I'm registering my horse with USDF and USEF. Which breed do I select on their forms?

Remember all foals whose registration is completed by the Westfalen Verband NA in their Year of Birth will receive a complimentary USEF number! For USDF or for older horses registered Westfalen choose Westfalen or Westphalian as breed. For ponies choose German Riding Pony or Deutsches Reitpony. For information on horses branded/registered RPSI as Zweibrucker, Deutsches Sportpferd or Deutsches Reitpony - prior to 2017 visit the website.

Why should I become a member?

In order to register your horse Westfalen Verband, or have your mare, stallion or foal inspected, you must become a member of Westfalen Verband NA. In order to be eligible for USDF All Breeds Awards or USEF Performance Awards for your Westfalen horse you must become a member as well. Classified Ads and other services are cheaper for members. To learn more about benefits of membership, visit our Membership Page.

How do I become a member?

Fill out an online Membership Application, or Download a Printable Membership Form and fax it to the office at (605) 734-8060, or call the Westfalen NA headquarters at (605) 669-2200 to apply over the phone.

Will I be eligible for USEF and USDF year end awards?

Yes, though you must be an active member of both the Westfalen Verband NA and USDF/USEF in order to qualify for year-end awards. For All-Breeds awards, officially declare your horse's breed (Westfalen or Westphalian) with USDF by sending them copy of your horse’s registration papers and selecting Westfalen NA as your Participating Organization. For more information on declaring and awards programs for RPSI registered horses visit the Also, to be eligible for Hunter, Jumper or Eventing Awards through USEF you must fill out and send in our USEF Performance Awards Application. For more information and the downloadable form please visit our Awards page.

Inspection/Registration Questions

Which breeds of horses do you accept for the Westfalen mare and stallion books?

Warmblood horses registered with a recognized European-based warmblood breeding association, including but not limited to: Westfalen, Hanoverian, Holsteiner, Trakehner, Oldenburg Verband (GOV), Deutsches Sportpferd, Zweibrucker, Swedish Warmblood, Dutch Warmblood, Belgian Warmblood, sBs, as well as warmbloods registered with American-based organizations such as, American Hanoverian, American Rhineland, Thoroughbred (Jockey Club) and Anglo-Arabian. Horses registered with Oldenburg NA/ISR, American Warmblood, Anglo-European Studbook, etc. are also eligible on a case-by-case basis depending on the status of the sires and dams in their pedigree, for entry into the Westfalen Warmblood breeding books. Pony breeds such as German Riding Pony, Welsh A, B, C or D (Cobs), Connemara, New Forest Pony, as well as Thoroughbred, Arabian, Anglo-Arabian, small Warmbloods, and other national riding ponies are eligible for the Westfalen NA's Pony books. Westfalen has books for Knabstruppers and purebred Haflingers as well. The Westfalen NA does not accept stallions of Draft crosses, Quarter Horses and other American breeds into its Stud Books.

I have a sport mare of unknown breed or heritage, or who has lost her papers. Can she be inspected and entered into a mare book? What kind of papers will her foal by an approved stallion get?

If your mare is of excellent sport type and movement, and receives eligible inspection scores but is missing some information on her heritage/pedigree, she may be eligible for the Pre-Mare book, and her foals by approved Warmblood stallions would receive a Certificate of Pedigree (COP - white papered passport). Foals with COP's are eligible for All Breeds Awards. Some breeds or types of mare are not eligible for entry into the Warmblood Breeding Program Mare Books (i.e. stock horse or draft horse types, other American breeds, etc., with or without registration papers) - but their foals are eligible for a Horse Identification Document (HID) - white papered passport and microchip instead of brand). The same applies if you breed your eligible breed mare to a non-eligible breed stallion – the resulting foal would be eligible for an HID passport and microchip.

I have a mare who is papered by another registry. Do I need to have her inspected again by your registry?

Yes. Under German rules and regulations all horses to be entered into our various breeding books must be personally inspected by the German Judges at a Westfalen inspection site. If your mare has already been inspected into the Westfalen or RPSI breeding books in the past, she does not need to be re-inspected, however.

What paperwork/documents do I need to bring to the inspection with my horse?

  • Warmbloods and GRP's — Original registration papers with one copy.
  • Thoroughbreds — Jockey Club original papers plus a 4-generation pedigree (with one photocopy of each).
  • Foals at Mare's side — A signed breeding certificate from the stallion owner/agent. Original and a copy of Mare's papers.
  • Weanlings and Yearlings — The same as applies to foals, with the addition of DNA testing on offspring, sire and dam to prove parentage (Request a DNA Testing Kit or call for more information)

What are the fees?

Refer to our Price List.

Which horses need to have DNA typing done?

All Foals, Yearlings/Youngstock and Mature Horses being registered are required to have DNA typing with Parentage Verification. If there is time before the inspection date, a DNA kit will be mailed and hairs sent in to UC Davis. Otherwise, hairs will be pulled at the inspection site and processed by the registry. Unregistered horses needing pedigree verification will require DNA typing to prove parentage in order for pedigree information to be printed in their registration passport. All stallions presented for licensing must have DNA parentage proof. New mares entering the Mare Books will be required to have DNA on file (either with Westfalen NA, or another breeding organization). Westfalen NA also offers a Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome (WFFS) DNA Test and recommends all breeding stock be tested for this genetic condition, with package-priced DNA testing through UC Davis.

What is the Westfalen Verband’s stand on WFFS DNA Testing?

Warmblood breeders and breeding organizations have been alerted to a previously little-known genetic disease – Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome (WFFS) (link to News/info on WFFS) – which can affect warmbloods whose parents are carriers of the recessive gene. Carriers themselves are not affected, but can pass the defective gene on to their offspring. Foals receiving a copy of the gene from both parents are affected and cannot survive. The Westfalen NA/ Westfalen Verband in Germany is recommending genetic testing of breeding animals for this recessive trait, with the purpose of avoiding breeding carriers to one another. Starting in 2019, all stallions in SBI will be required to have WFFS results on file. Packaged-priced testing is available (link to Forms/online DNA Request Form), and horses with DNA already on file may have this test added with no additional hairs pulled. All results are provided to owners and recorded in the official German VIT database.

How do I prepare my mare and foal for the inspection? Does my foal have to be halter broke?

Refer to our Inspections page for information on preparing for the inspection and be sure to register for an Inspection Site using our Online Form (link to inspection reservation form). Foals do not have to be halter broke if they are at their dam's side, although it does make the inspection process easier if they have been handled and are halter broke.

Do I have to bring my horse physically to the inspection? Can't you approve her by video?

No. German Verband laws require that all horses inspected into the Westfalen books be physically inspected by the Judge. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic the German office has allowed 2020 foals and youngsters to be registered through the mail, however, so please contact our office for more information. Video inspection submissions are being accepted in 2020. Yearlings registered through the mail in 2020 can be branded and inspected on the 2021 tour.

What papers will I get from the Westfalen NA?

  • Foals will receive Official passport-style registration papers and a Microchip from the German Parent organization, the Westfälisches Pferdestammbuch e.V.
  • Mares and Stallions original papers will be returned to the owner the day of inspection. These papers will be stamped with the date, location and relevant mare or stud book, signed and notarized, and then returned that day.
  • Yearlings will receive foal papers as described above. DNA testing must be completed to prove parentage on the yearling, to dam and sire. We can assist you with the DNA testing process.
  • All inspected horses will receive an official score sheet at their inspection. In addition, foals will receive their life registration number and microchip number on this official sheet, which can be used until their official passport arrives for breed shows, Insurance forms, USDF and USEF paperwork, etc.

When will I get my papers?

Foal papers are processed in Germany by our parent registry. Upon receipt at our home office, we then turn around and mail them to the owner of the foal at the time of inspection. We make every attempt to send these foal passports in the first quarter of the following year.

How do I change ownership?

You will need to send your horse's original registration papers (passport only - do NOT include the white Certificate of Ownership paper folded inside) to the Westfalen Verband NA Headquarters along with a copy of the bill of sale (price may be omitted), a Change Ownership form (link to Forms/Westfalen Change Ownership online form), and a check for $60.00. Upon receipt, we will return papers via priority mail. For RPSI registered horses visit the website.