The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources' Division of Animal Health (“MDAR”) is charged with promoting, developing, and encouraging through the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeding Program, the breeding of thoroughbred horses in the commonwealth by offering cash prizes to breeders of such horses.
The authorizing statute, Massachusetts General Law Chapter 128, section 2, part (g), describes the specific standards by which horses, and thereby their owners, would be eligible to receive such prizes.
M.G.L. c. 128, Section 2, states, in part:
“No person shall be eligible for the prizes provided herein unless the following standards are met:
- The foal of a thoroughbred mare that drops said foal in the commonwealth and is bred back to the Massachusetts registered stallion shall be Massachusetts bred; or
- The foal of a thoroughbred mare who resides in the commonwealth from the fifteenth day of October of the year prior to foaling and continues such residence until foaling and foals in the commonwealth shall be Massachusetts bred.
- In either the case of subparagraph (1) or (2) each thoroughbred foal dropped in the commonwealth shall be registered with the Jockey Club and the department of food and agriculture.”
Thoroughbred Breeding Registration Forms
MDAR does not collect registration fees associated with this program.
Forms and Critical Dates:
The Thoroughbred breeding season runs from February 1-June 30
- Thoroughbred Stallion Mares Bred and Declaration Form 2023 – Due September 1, 2023
- Thoroughbred Resident Broodmare Registration Form 2023 – Due October 15, 2023
- Thoroughbred Resident Broodmare Registration Late Form (After October 15, 2023) – Due when mare arrives
- Thoroughbred Yearling Registration Form 2023 – Due December 31, 2023
- Thoroughbred 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 Thoroughbred Breeders Program
225 Turnpike Road
Southborough, MA 01772
Thoroughbred Broodmare Registration and Foal Eligibility
All Thoroughbred broodmares, whether current Massachusetts residents or recent imports, MUST be registered with MDAR.
Broodmare registration on or before October 15:
If a Thoroughbred broodmare arrives and registers on or before October 15 of the year the mare is bred, an MDAR Thoroughbred Resident Broodmare Registration Form must be completed and submitted on or before October 15. This is the October prior to foaling. Registrations that are postmarked after October 15 will be considered late.
Mares shall be present on the farm listed on their registration forms by October 15 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 October 15:
If a Thoroughbred broodmare arrives and/or registers AFTER October 15 of the year she was bred, the owner must contact MDAR immediately upon arrival to complete the necessary paperwork. An MDAR Thoroughbred 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 Thoroughbred broodmare to become eligible to the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeding Program. The mare MUST be bred back to a Massachusetts registered Thoroughbred stallion in the year the foal is born. This breeding must take place within the defined breeding season, February 1-June 30.
MDAR must be notified within 24 hours of the foal’s birth so that an MDAR inspector may verify that the mare and foal are present on the farm named in the registration form.
The breed back to a Massachusetts registered stallion must be documented on the MDAR Thoroughbred Stallion Mares Bred and Declaration Form in the year of foaling. A date of last cover is required.
Broodmares bred to a Massachusetts registered stallion:
Foals sired by a Massachusetts registered stallion are not eligible for this program unless they are born to mares who have met the requirements listed in the Thoroughbred Broodmare Registration and Foal Eligibility section, above. Mares bred to a Massachusetts registered stallion are required by the statute to register with MDAR on or before the October 15 deadline and their location will be confirmed by MDAR. Should the mare arrive or register after October 15, a breed back to a Massachusetts registered Thoroughbred stallion will be required for the foal to be eligible for the program. An MDAR Inspector may verify their presence on the registered farm.
MDAR must be notified within 24 hours of the foal’s birth to verify that the foal was “dropped in the Commonwealth.” These mares must appear on the MDAR Thoroughbred Stallion Mares Bred and Declaration Form for the year prior to foaling.”
Stallions standing at either private or public service in Massachusetts must be registered with MDAR on or before the start of the breeding season, February 1. Stallions must stand in Massachusetts for the entire breeding season of February 1 - June 30. An MDAR Thoroughbred Stallion Mares Bred and Declaration Form is due to MDAR by September 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 with the Jockey Club and MDAR. The MDAR Thoroughbred 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 (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 the 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.
Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association contact information:
MDAR shares registration information with MTBA on a regular basis. Should you have further questions, MTBA can be contacted here:
175 Littleton Road, Unit B-10
Chelmsford, MA 01824