The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ Division of Animal Health (“MDAR”) is charged with promoting, developing, and encouraging through the Massachusetts Standardbred Breeding Program, the breeding of Standardbred horses in the commonwealth by offering cash prizes to breeders of such horses.
The authorizing statute, Massachusetts General Law Chapter 128, section 2, part (j), describes the specific standards by which horses, and thereby their owners, would be eligible to receive such prizes.
M.G.L. Ch 128 Section 2, states in part:
“No person shall be eligible for the prizes provided herein unless the following standards are met:
- the qualifying standardbred horses shall have been sired by a Massachusetts registered stallion on file with the department of food and agriculture; provided, however, that the stallion shall have stood the entire breeding season of February 1 to July 15, inclusive, in the commonwealth in the year any such eligible foal was conceived; or
- the foal of a standardbred mare that drops the foal in the commonwealth and is bred back to a Massachusetts registered stallion; or the foal of a standardbred mare that resides in the< commonwealth from December 1 of the year prior to foaling and continues such residence until foaling and foals in the commonwealth;
- in either the case of subparagraph (1) or (2), each standardbred foal dropped in the commonwealth shall be registered with the United States Trotting Association and the department of food and agriculture.
Standardbred Breeding Registration Forms
MDAR does not collect registration fees associated with this program.
Forms and Critical Dates:
The Standardbred breeding season runs from February 1-July 15
- Standardbred Stallion Mares Bred and Declaration Form 2023-Due October 1, 2023
- Standardbred Resident Broodmare Registration Form 2023 – Due December 1, 2023
- Standardbred Broodmare Embryo Transfer Form 2023 – Due December 1, 2023
- Standardbred Resident Broodmare Registration Late Form (after December 1, 2023) – Due when mare arrives
- Standardbred Yearling Registration Form 2023-Due December 31, 2023
- Standardbred Stallion Registration Form 2023-Due February 1, 2023
Form submissions, program questions, updates, and notifications regarding foal births and emergency situations can be directed to:
MDAR Standardbred Breeders Program
225 Turnpike Road
Southborough, MA 01772
Standardbred Broodmare Registration and Foal Eligibility
ALL Standardbred broodmares, whether current Massachusetts residents or recent imports MUST be registered with MDAR.
Broodmare registration on or before December 1:
If a Standardbred broodmare arrives and registers by December 1 of the year the mare is bred, an MDAR Standardbred Resident Broodmare Registration Form must be completed and submitted on or before December 1. This is the December prior to foaling. Registrations that are postmarked after December will be considered late.
Mares shall be present on the farm listed on their registration forms by December 1 and must remain there through foaling. MDAR inspectors may inspect during that time to confirm residency. If a mare needs to be moved to another premises in Massachusetts, MDAR must be notified prior to the movement to maintain eligibility. Movement of the mare to a premises outside of Massachusetts may void their eligibility. MDAR must be notified within 24 hours of foaling so a final inspection can be scheduled.
Broodmare registration after December 1:
If a Standardbred broodmare arrives and/or registers AFTER December 1 of the year she was bred, the owner must contact MDAR immediately upon arrival to complete the necessary paperwork. An MDAR Standardbred Resident Broodmare Registration Form Late must be completed and submitted when the mare arrives in Massachusetts. MDAR may schedule an inspection of a late arriving mare to ensure that she is present on the farm named on the registration form. This applies to mares being brought into Massachusetts or mares that reside in Massachusetts year-round.
There is ONLY one option for the foal of a late arriving/registering Standardbred broodmare to become eligible to the Massachusetts Standardbred Breeding Program. The mare MUST be bred back to a Massachusetts registered Standardbred stallion in the year the foal is born. This breeding must take place within the defined breeding season, February 1 - July 15.
MDAR must be notified within 24 hours of the foal’s birth so an MDAR inspector may verify that the mare and foal are present on the farm named on the registration form. MDAR contact information can be found below.
The breed back to a Massachusetts registered stallion must be documented on the MDAR Standardbred Stallion Mares Bred and Declaration Form. A date of last cover is required.
Broodmares bred to a Massachusetts registered stallion:
If the mare is carrying the foal of a Massachusetts registered Standardbred stallion, the foal would be eligible by virtue of the stallion’s registration though the mare is still required to foal in Massachusetts. These mares may arrive in the Commonwealth any time prior to foaling and must foal in the Commonwealth. These mares should also be registered with MDAR upon arrival so that an MDAR Inspector may verify the mare’s presence on the registered farm.
MDAR must be notified within 24 hours of foal's birth to verify that the foal was “dropped in the Commonwealth”. These mares must appear on the MDAR Standardbred Stallion Mares Bred and Declaration Form for the year prior to foaling.
Though the statute does not address embryo transfers, the law states that Standardbred horses eligible to participate are “the foal of a standardbred mare that drops the foal in the commonwealth and is bred back to a Massachusetts registered stallion, or the foal of a standardbred mare that resides in the commonwealth from December 1 of the year prior to foaling and continues such residence until foaling and foals in the commonwealth;.” Since the foal is the offspring of the donor, but the recipient is the one who drops the foal, there is only one way these foals can be eligible.
The foals of embryo transfer mares can become eligible if both the donor mare (Standardbred mare) and the recipient mare are present in Massachusetts and remain on the registered farm from December 1 through foaling. Both the donor mare AND the recipient mare must be properly identified (freeze brand, tattoo, microchip etc.). The MDAR Standardbred Broodmare Embryo Transfer Form shall be completed by the breeder and must include a copy of the USTA Embryo Transfer Certificate.
Stallions standing at either private or public service in Massachusetts must be registered with MDAR on or before the start of breeding season, February 1. Stallions must stand in Massachusetts for the entire breeding season of February 1 - July 15. An MDAR Standardbred Stallion List of Mares Bred and Declaration Form is due to MDAR by October 1 of the year the stallion stood.
The birth of a foal must be reported within 24 hours to MDAR, prior to the mare leaving the registered farm. MDAR requests that the mare and foal remain on the registered farm for 72 hours following the birth of the foal to allow Animal Health Inspectors the opportunity to confirm the birth of the foal..
Eligible foals must be registered by the United States Trotting Association and MDAR. The MDAR Standardbred Yearling Registration Form is due to MDAR by December 31 of the yearling year.
Equines entering Massachusetts – Health Certificate and EIA Test Required:
Horses entering Massachusetts from another state are required to have a negative Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) test (sometimes called a Coggins test) performed no more than 12 months prior to entry and an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (OCVI, sometimes called a Health Certificate) issued no more than 30 days prior to entry. This includes horses returning to Massachusetts from out of state.
For MDAR to verify eligibility to the satisfaction of the Office of State Auditor, inspections may be completed to confirm residency. All registered stallions, mares, and foals are subject to unannounced inspection by MDAR staff at any time during their residency period to confirm their location.
Should a mare, foal or stallion need to move off the registered farm during their residency period for emergency veterinary care or any other reason, MDAR must be contacted as soon as possible, but within 24 hours. Movement off the registered premises without timely notification or movement to a location outside MA may void eligibility.
Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts (SOM) broodmare registration:
In addition to MDAR registration, broodmares must also be registered with SOM by December 1 of the year they are bred. The contact information for the SOM is listed below. SOM has additional registration/payment requirements that can be found on their website.