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Appendix vs. Quarter Horse

Learn the difference between the AQHA Appendix and Quarter Horse registries.

In a previous post, Thoroughbred Recording, we explained how to list a Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbred on AQHA records for breeding purposes. But what happens once the foal is born? Because AQHA is a breed registry, how does a horse that is not completely Quarter Horse get registered and differentiated from full-blooded Quarter Horses?

AQHA has created a special registry and numbering system for these Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred crosses. These horses are considered Quarter Horses, but are named for the registry system created for them -- Appendix. They are denoted with Appendix Certificate on the top of the registration certificate in blue (if you have an older-style certificate, it may have a gold border). Their registration numbers also begin with an X.  AQHA has registered more than 600,000 Appendix horses to date.

While Appendix horses are eligible to compete in all AQHA competitions with no stipulations, there are breeding restrictions. An Appendix horse can only be bred back to a permanent, or regular numbered Quarter Horse. An Appendix cannot be bred to a Thoroughbred or another Appendix horse and still be registered with AQHA. But, as is true everywhere, there are exceptions to every rule.

Part of AQHA's Mission Statement is to uphold the integrity of the Quarter Horse breed. If an Appendix horse can prove itself as versatile and worthy of being a Quarter Horse, AQHA will advance the Appendix horse, and that horse can now be bred to a Thoroughbred, Appendix or Quarter Horse, with the resulting foal being eligible for registration with AQHA. The requirements for advancement are an 80 or better Speed Index on a race track or a Register of Merit in the open division at AQHA-approved shows. (Amateur and youth ROMs do not qualify for advancement.)

Once your Appendix horse has proven itself and can be advanced, submit the following to AQHA:

    • The Appendix certificate

    • $25 for a gelding, $50 for a mare or $100 for a stallion. The recorded owner of the horse also has to be a current member.

    • If the horse is a stallion, a statement from a vet is required verifing that that horse is not a cryptorchid and does not have parrot mouth. (This and ineligibility for halter exhibition are the only stipulations AQHA places on cryptorchid stallions.)

    • The horse cannot have excessive white markings.

    • If the Horse is a descendent of Impressive, the horse must have N/N hyperkalemic perodic paralysis (HYPP) results on file with AQHA. N/H and H/H horses cannot be advanced.

If your Appendix mare or stallion advances, his or her foals are also automatically eligible to be advanced. The foals that are already registered must be submitted for advancement as specified above. Any future foals will automatically be registered as applicable. If an advanced Appendix horse is bred back to another Appendix or a Thoroughbred, the foal reverts back to Appendix status. AQHA sends a letter to the recorded owners of all Appendix horses eligible for advancement.

All that said, Appendix horses are not considered beneath Quarter Horses. As a matter of fact, they are still considered Quarter Horses. They are a valuable part of AQHA, and their breeding helps the American Quarter Horse be the best it can be.