Our breeding program is focused towards producing purebred Appaloosas from gaited ApHC foundation bloodlines. We had hoped the ApHC would improve its commitment to the breed by re-implementing a purebred development /recognition program - but it did not. However, the International Purebred Appaloosa Association has begun a registry for the development and recognition of purebred Appaloosas based on the original ApHC and ApHCC Foundation bloodlines. The IPAA makes use of the original ApHC registration system and is consistent with scientifically based purebred requirements used by other equine and livestock breed associations. We fully support the IPPA in this endeavor to breed, register and recognize purebred Appaloosas.
Once upon a time the United States government was overseeing breed associations, and in 1950 the National Stallion Board granted official breed status to the Appaloosa Horse Club's Appaloosa (based on the breed standard, registration system and recognition of ApHC purebreds!). But since the USDA got out of the breed oversight business, concentrated Appaloosa breeding has become very rare. In fact the results of a study released in 1994 revealed that of the 500,000 plus horses registered with the US Appaloosa Horse Club, there had only been about 3,000 Appaloosas that had all their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents as registered Appaloosas. And at the time there were only 46 possible purebreds (based on the generally accepted minimum standard for purebreds used by breed associations). Because the Appaloosa Horse Club no longer had a definition for a purebred Appaloosa or a registration system to produce one, some had said purebred Appaloosas no longer exist.
To test that belief, we set out to apply general scientific principles for purebreds to horses currently registered with the ApHC. So what did we find? We discovered that contrary to popular belief, some ApHC Appaloosas do exist that meet the standard scientific definition for purebreds. And with the beginning of the International Purebred Appaloosa Association there now exists a official means to register and recognize these horses for what they are - purebred Appaloosas based on the original ApHC and ApHCC Foundation bloodlines. Thanks to the many dedicated breeders and the IPAA, the original Appaloosa bloodlines are preserved and the registered purebred Appaloosa is once again a reality!
Below is more information on the original ApHC registration system and its Foundation-stock. You will also find information on scientific / animal husbandry standards for purebreds, and a general description of the IPAA purebred requirements. To find out more about IPAA you can click here to go to the IPAA web site.
The generally accepted scientific definition for a purebred: "A purebred must have a majority of its blood ancestry tracing directly to the breed's foundation stock." Generally this ranges from 3/4 to 15/16 Foundation-stock by blood.
Note: The only absolute in determining purebred status is the requirement for a minimum majority amount of foundation-blood. There is no standard for purebreds beyond the need for this % foundation-blood requirement. Some registries also require a minimum number of generations bred exclusively within the breed; but this is typically a means to insure the foundation blood requirement is met and / or to further ensure uniformity. Standards can and do vary from registry to registry.
Background: in 1950 the USDA National Stallion board granted purebred status to ApHC Appaloosas registered in the "foundation" (permanent) registry - those horses registered with # prefix numbers. (Some of these horses later had their prefix changed to "F" in order to accommodate racing registration requirements as noted below).
ApHC REGISTRATION DESIGNATIONS
The ApHC "F" and Tentative / Permanent registrations: Published in the Appaloosa News, May 1966, Questions and Answers section (page 22) Q.: Explain foundation, permanent, and tentative. Written by George Hatley
Q.: Explain foundation, permanent and tentative.
A.: Prior to June 17th, 1949, all horses registered by the Appaloosa Horse Club were numbered consecutively and were registered as foundation stock. On this date, the Appaloosa Horse Club established a tentative system to accept horses for Tentative registration that did not have a registered sire and dam. Tentative registration numbers were then started at No. 1 with the prefix T. Following this date, to be registered in Foundation, the animal to be registered had to have Foundation registered sire and dam or be a horse that was previously registered in Tentative and met its production requirements and passed inspection. In August of 1962, because of Appaloosa racing and tattooing, it became apparent that our numbering system needed to be changed so all the registrations would be numbered consecutively At that time there were 4932 horses registered in the Foundation stock. These were arbitrarily given an F prefix for Foundation stock and from this date on the classification that was formerly Foundation stock was given the name of Permanent and they were numbered consecutively with no prefix starting at 22,000. The Foundation and Permanent are essentially the same thing; only the numbering and prefix are different. Beginning in 1971 the ApHC "closed the books" to horses with “unknown” sire or dam, and accepted crossbreeding only to “approved” breeds.
Note: This action would typically have been the point where the foundation registrations ended. However, the Permanent (Foundation) registry was not closed until December 31, 1982. Beginning January 1, 1983, all horses were registered in the current Regular registry.
IPAA PUREBRED REQUIREMENTS: Based on the above, IPAA has implemented purebred requirements that meet the commonly accepted scientific livestock standard. And IPAA has chosen only to count Foundation registrations prior to 1971 (after which, registration was closed to “unknowns”). This is because crossbreeding and the dilution of Appaloosa blood intensified in the ‘70s and ‘80s before the Foundation registrations actually closed at the end of 1982. An IPAA purebred Appaloosa is one that meets specific requirements for ancestry and pedigree depth as defined below (please note this is in our own words and not official documentation from IPAA):
An IPAA purebred Appaloosa must have three-fourths ancestry from IPAA recognized Foundation-stock Appaloosas.
- IPAA recognized Foundation-stock: Pre-1971 ApHC and ApHCC registered Appaloosas having ApHC “F” or # numbers of 139,999 and below, OR ApHCC numbers of 5,141 and below. ApHC.
- Appaloosas registered prior to 1971 having “T” prefix numbers lower than 139,999 shall be treated on an individual basis for purposes of figuring their Foundation blood contribution. Such “T” registered horse(s) whose ancestry traces to unregistered sire / dam or unknown sire / dam shall be allotted 50% of whatever generational total it would have earned had those ancestor(s) been traceable to ApHC “F” or # prefix Appaloosas. This is allowed because the ApHC discontinued the Tentative program for Foundation-stock before all qualified horses were able to upgrade to Foundation.
An IPAA purebred Appaloosa must be at least the fifth generation or registered Appaloosa breeding (F5).
- IPAA recognizes horses registered with ApHC and ApHCC for this requirement.
Note: Prior to 1983, the ApHC Foundation (Permanent) registry (“F” and "#" registration prefix) was the base for purebred development- breeding exclusively within the Foundation (Permanent) registry would result in purebred Appaloosas. In 1983 the ApHC abandoned its system for breed development and since that time there has been no requirement or method to upgrade crossbred horses or their offspring- all colored horses are now given the same registration status, regardless of breeding!
The idea of limiting the Qualified Founding Ancestors to only ApHC "F" prefix registered horses may appeal to some because it represents even earlier Foundation stock than the pre-1971 registrations. However, we think only using the “F” prefix horses may be impractical (from a bloodline availability standpoint in achieving a meaningful number of horses with a 3/4 “F” prefix pedigree); and inconsistent with the intent of the earlier ApHC registration rules. While IPAA has chosen to narrow its “Foundation stock” to those registered prior to 1971, this is based on a registration rule change pertinent to Foundation stock registrations. The “F” prefix was simply an administrative numbering change- not a distinction in registration or Foundation stock status. In fact, according to the Appaloosa News all the “F” prefix horses were first registered with a “#” prefix. They later received the “F” prefix only so the Tentative / Permanent numbering system could begin using consecutive numbers, instead of a horse getting a new number if it advanced to the Foundation (Permanent) registry.
In conclusion, IPAA is the only official registry we know of for the purebred Appaloosa horse. Its standards have been verified by noted experts in the fields of animal husbandry, veterinary medicine, and genetics. We believe IPAA deserves the support of all Appaloosa enthusiasts and we strongly encourage them to join IPAA and bring their Appaloosas into the purebred future of the breed.