Equine Pedigree Charts
The purpose of an Equine Pedigree Chart is to graphically depict the ancestry or lineage of a horse. Equine Pedigree charts, or simply pedigree charts, are most often used to indicate the ancestry of registered (or pedigreed) horses and race horses which are almost always registered / pedigreed. A pedigreed horse is one that has its ancestry recorded. Often this is tracked by a major equine association or registry. The number of generations required varies from breed to breed, but all pedigreed horses have papers from the registering body that attest to their ancestry. The word "pedigree" first appeared in the English language in 1410 as "pee de Grewe", "pedegrewe" or "pedegru", each of those words being borrowed from the Middle French "pié de grue", meaning "crane’s foot". This comes from a visual analogy between the trace of the bird's foot and the lines used in official genealogical registers to graphically indicate a genealogical tree.
Sometimes, the word purebred is incorrectly used synonymously with the word pedigreed. Purebred however refers to the animal having a known and well controlled ancestry, whereas pedigree refers to the written record of breeding. Some animals may have a recorded pedigree or even a registry, but may not be considered "purebred." Today the modern Anglo-Arabian horse, a cross of Thoroughbred and Arabian bloodlines, is considered such a case.
Pedigree charts are always read from left to right where the horse on the far left hand side of the page is referred to as the “lead horse” and is the horse whose ancestry or lineage is being depicted on that pedigree chart. Horses towards the right of a pedigree chart are always older (in time) than horses towards the left. As you move towards the right of a pedigree chart you will find successively older generations of horses which collectively comprise the ancestry of the lead horse. For example, just to the right of the lead horse you’ll find the lead horse’s parents and just to the right of the parents, you’ll find the lead horse’s grandparents etc. Equine pedigree charts will typically show all the horses within the previous 4 – 5 ancestral generations of the lead horse.
Each individual box or line on a pedigree chart designates a single horse and will typically contain some important information about that specific horse usually including:
- The Horse’s formal registered name
- The Horse’s Breed
- The Horse’s Gender
- The Horse’s Registration Number & Registry
- The Horse’s Foal (Birth) Date
Equine Pedigree charts can typically be used or viewed in one of three formats which are:
- Hard Copy (paper) Equine Pedigree Charts
- Electronic Image Equine Pedigree Charts
- Interactive Equine Pedigree Charts
Hard Copy (Paper) Equine Pedigree Charts
Hard Copy or Paper Equine Pedigree Charts are pedigree charts generated or prepared by an Equine Association or Registry and will either be received directly from the Equine Association (if you’re registering a horse you own) or from the horse’s owner (if you’re buying a previously registered horse). In addition to 4 ancestral generations of the lead horse, paper pedigree charts will typically show the name and official seal of the Equine Association that generated the pedigree chart, the name of the horse’s owner(s), and some additional information about the lead horse such as its color, markings, gender, and foal date.
Static Equine Pedigree Charts
Static Pedigree charts are those used by most Equine websites and are simply an electronic representation of a paper pedigree chart generated for display on a computer monitor. Static pedigree charts do not allow the user/viewer to add or edit information, change the lead horse, or view additional details about any of the horses on the chart. Static pedigree charts could either be a scanned image of a paper pedigree chart, or may be an Equine Website’s electronic representation of a paper pedigree chart where a horse seller is allowed to manually enter his horse’s ancestry. Depending upon the Equine Website, static pedigree charts may contain different information and appear somewhat differently though most such pedigree charts tend to bear no resemblance to actual paper pedigree charts.
Interactive Equine Pedigree Charts
A select few Equine Websites such as WikiHorseWorld.com offer very advanced Interactive Equine Pedigree charts which provide the user/viewer with real power to dynamically interact with the Pedigree chart to add or edit information, change the lead horse (either forward or backward in time), or view additional details for any horses displayed on the pedigree chart. Using the WikiHorseWorld.com Interactive Pedigree Chart as an example, users can:
- See a summary of the lead horse in the far upper left hand corner of the pedigree chart.
- See both ancestors (parents, grandparents etc.) and descendants (children) of the lead horse on a single pedigree chart. Ancestors are shown to the right of the lead horse as in traditional paper pedigree charts, and descendants (children) are shown in a vertical list below the lead horse.
- Click on the Chart (Arrow) button and then on any ancestor of the lead horse to see a pedigree chart for that ancestor (move backward in time).
- Click on the Chart (Arrow) button and then on any descendant (child) of the lead horse (shown in a vertical list below the lead horse) to see a pedigree chart for that descendant (move forward in time).
- Click on the Details (Magnifying Glass) button and then on the lead horse or any ancestor or descendant of the lead horse to view, edit, or add details for that horse including a detailed description, photos, videos, and lots of other information.
- Click on the Edit (Pencil) button and then on the lead horse or any ancestor or descendant of the lead horse to view, edit, or add basic information for that horse including the Horse’s name, gender, breed, foal date, and registration info.
- Click on an empty box (where it says Add Sire or Add Dam) to add a new horse to our Pedigree database and enter the basic information for that horse including the Horse’s name, gender, breed, foal date, and registration info.