Starting in January 2022, all horses registered with the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA) must be DNA tested.
Two potential rule change options related to DNA requirements were posted for member feedback on July 21, 2021. The two options looked at expanding the requirements for DNA testing before initial registration. One presented option required DNA tests for horses 12 months or older and the second option, which was the one selected by the MFTHBA Board of Directors, required DNA testing for all horses before registration. Currently, horses do not need to be DNA tested until they produce offspring.
“The proposed changes were a response to the issues the MFTHBA had dealt with over the past five years,” shared Mark Mackie, MFTHBA President. The MFTHBA has had registration issues involving mares, stallions, and geldings, which would have been prevented if the horses had been DNA tested at the time of registration. “These issues are frustrating to deal with. In many cases, the MFTHBA has been able to resolve the issue, but in some cases, they could not be corrected resulting in the MFTHBA pulling the papers.”
Mackie noted that while these cases are rare, any issue with papers issued by the MFTHBA reflects on all Missouri Fox Trotting Horse breeders. “The primary mission of the Association is to issue and maintain accurate records of our breed. This change will help the MFTHBA support the many Missouri Fox Trotting Horse breeders.”
Knowing that many members felt strongly for and against the proposed changes, the MFTHBA Board voted in October to extend the comment period. This provided members additional time to contact their Regional Director with feedback. “Throughout the rule change process, members shared their thoughts with their Directors and Directors were great about sharing feedback with the rest of the Board.”
At the December meeting, the MFTHBA Board of Directors voted to accept the proposed change requiring DNA for all horses. “From the discussion, it seemed all Board members were supportive of expanding the DNA requirements, the question before the board was which option they felt best met the MFTHBA’s needs,” shared Mackie.
Mackie feels this is a positive change for the MFTHBA. “This change makes the MFTHBA consistent with what the majority of breed associations are doing, but most importantly, it protects the integrity of the association and our breeders.”
The new rule will take effect on January 1, 2022. Until this time, registrations will be processed without the DNA requirement.
Once the rule is in place, individuals will still be able to purchase the DNA test separate from the registration fee. This will help spread out the cost of DNA and registration. Anyone with questions should contact the MFTHBA office at 417-683-2468. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (central time) Monday through Friday.