In order to receive a Westfalen breed passport, foals as well as older unregistered horses must attend a Westfalen inspection to be permanently identified. Westfalen inspections, or keurings, are held in the late summer and early fall of each year at open host sites or private farm inspections throughout North America. Inspections are judged by qualified representatives of the German parent registry, the Westfälisches Pferdestammbuch e.V. The same judges inspect German and North American foals to ensure consistency, resulting in fair and ethical keurings. The Westfalen Verband NA follows the same rules and regulations as our parent organization in Germany. As in Europe, foals are given a registration number at birth. This number follows the foal's show results, location, and breeding records, if applicable. Microchipping and DNA testing is required for registration. Registration information and microchip numbers are automatically sent to USEF for foals registered in their year of birth, so that USEF may issue a complimentary USEF Lifetime # for each foal.
The registration process begins in advance of the inspection day, when the breeder fills out an Inspection Reservation Form, pays a $100 deposit, and sends in a copy of the foal's breeding certificate and for new mares, a copy of her registration papers. This information is entered into the database and the foal's life number is generated. Foals need not be named at this time, but if a name is sent in, Westfalen naming rules follow the first letter of the sire’s name for both colts and fillies.
First on inspection day, paperwork and payments are reviewed, original mare papers are inspected, and an order of go is presented. Next, stallions are presented if present, then single mares and mares with foals will be presented, with mares being shown in the bridle and foals beside their dams on a leadline. After the evaluation of conformation and measurement, mares and foals (foals then turned loose without the halter) will be presented at walk in a straight line toward and away from the judge, and then on the triangle. Finally, trot and canter will also be judged with both mare and foal at liberty. Foals will be given five scores: 1). Breed & Sex Type 2). Conformation & Development 3). Correctness 4). Swing and Elasticity in Movement (coefficient of 2) 5). Overall Impression. The foal's total score will be the arithmetic median, with one point behind the decimal. Premiums will be awarded as follows: Foal Premium for overall scores of 8.0 and above at the judge's discretion.
After all horses have been physically inspected, the permanent identification process begins back at the stabling area, with inspectors drawing the horses’ markings, microchipping and checking existing microchips, pulling hair for DNA and branding if requested and eligible. Foals with injuries or other limitations may still be registered without the scoring process. Such foals will receive commentary on conformation and type but are exempt from being shown at liberty. They will proceed to the same Permanent Identification process as all other foals/young horses presented for registration.
Foals will be given five scores on inspection day:
- Breed & Sex Type
- Conformation & Development
- Swing and Elasticity in Movement
- Overall Impression.
The following is a general guide to what kind of passport your foal or young horse is eligible for:
Foal Registration Papers
Abstammungsnachweis-Full pink papers
- Sire must be in Stallion Book 1
- Dam in the main section = Mare Book 1 or Mare Book 2
- Foals are eligible for full W with Crown Brand
Geburtsbescheinigung — COP — white papers
- Both parents are in the breed books (Sire Stallion Book 2 and dam Mare Book 1 or Mare Book 2 or Pre-Mare Book / or Sire Stallion Book 1 and dam Pre-Mare Book)
- Foals are eligible for half brand - W
Horse Identification document — HID
- Only Sire or dam is in the breed books
- Horses without any “official heritage”
- Microchip only, no brand
- HID’s may be provided ‘through the mail’ based on a veterinarian-completed form and other documentation