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Horse Associations


A note on the Foundation Bred percentages … at present there are no less than five organizations for registration and calculation of foundation bred percentages on horses. The original concept of "foundation bred" was basically an establishment of body "type" in Quarter Horses through limitation of blood from Thoroughbreds. Somewhere around 1962 AQHA closed its books to continued influence of outside blood by limiting registration of offspring to those from registered horses only. The only exception to this was that AQHA continued to let registered Quarter Horses breed with Thoroughbreds and the subsequent offspring could be registered as Appendixed. This classification of registration does not limit the Appendix registered animal for breeding, racing or showing and the Appendix number can be changed to permanent upon completion of requirements established by AQHA. Thus the continued "outside" influence by blood of the Thoroughbred has continued unabated since the inception of AQHA where all other outside blood influence ceased with the closing of the books.

With the advent of more "specialized" horses in AQHA for specialization in Halter, Western Pleasure, English events, Cutting, etc., the "body type" of the Quarter Horse has also become diversified to accommodate better athletes in the more "specialized" fields. The establishment of the Foundation Organizations originally was to inform and educated the Quarter Horse Breeder as to the import and influence such continued influence of pure Thoroughbred blood was having on the "originally established" gene pool of the Quarter Horse and to establish guidelines to "re-introduce" the "original" Quarter Horse. Thus a "Foundation bred" horse would have less direct influence from "pure" Thoroughbred blood and his genetic makeup would be closer to the "ideal" originally established by AQHA.

Below is a list of "Foundation" organizations. It is up to you to decide "which" organization best serves to preserve the Foundation Quarter Horse ideal. Any organization should strive to promote the "ideal" of the Foundation Quarter Horse and better educate its members for the preservation of the Foundation Quarter Horse.



Foundation Quarter Horse Registry (FQHR) (privately owned corporation—for profit)--The first organization formed was the Foundation Quarter Horse Registry. Method of calculation for FQHR published in their October/November 1998 Magazine are: (1) To be eligible for registration, a horse cannot carry more than 25% Thoroughbred blood. (2) No registered Thoroughbred is allowed in the 1st or 2nd generation (sire/dam or grandsires/granddams). FQHR calls these the 2nd and 3rd generations so it can be confusing. (3) The FQHR recognized the first 27,000 horses listed in the AQHA for registry as Foundation blood whether they are sired by Thoroughbreds are not. (75%) of the pedigree must descend from, or run to Foundation blood.

 A note of interest: There are several Three Bars (TB) offspring with registration numbers less than 27,000, including but not limited to Barred/Three Bars (TB)—AQHA #11,990, Little Nellie Bars 1/Three Bars (TB) — AQHA #20,067 and Double Bar L/Three Bars (TB) — AQHA #14,765 and others. Three Bars (TB) counts against the foundation percentage if the AQHA registered animal has a registration number greater than 27,000.

This registry does not figure foundation percentages of blood but basically establishes whether the horse is foundation bred or not and issues a Registration Certificate on qualifying animals. Their published method of calculating whether or not an animal is regiseterable with FQHR is not clear. I must assume that horses which have registration numbers higher than 27,000 and which have unknown parentage or sires and dams which are something "other" than known Thoroughbred blood would not count as foundation either but I cannot discern "what" of "if" they would be counted "against" the registerability of the animal with FQHR. No percentage of blood values are given. Horses with "Impressive" in their pedigree are not eligible for registration.


National Foundation Quarter Horse Association (NFQHA) (privately owned corporation — for profit) — (THIS IS THE MOST STRINGENT FOR CALCULATION OF TB BLOOD.) This was the 3rd organization formed. I was personally involved with the formation of a formula for calculating the percentage of foundation blood for this organization and view it as logical and straight forward but by no means do I ascertain that it is the way to calculate foundation blood or the only way to calculate foundation blood. This organization calculates any Thoroughbred influence in a pedigree starting with the first registered Quarter Horse. To be eligible for registration in this organization the horse must not have more than 20% Thoroughbred influence in its pedigree OR be 80% or greater foundation bred. It looks at the sire and dam of the first registered Quarter Horse and if either or both parents is a Thoroughbred then it calculates that percentage of blood for that Thoroughbred ancestor. The only exclusions to this rule are the sires of Oklahoma Star (Dennis Reed TB) and Joe Reed (Joe Blair TB). They are not used to calculate Thoroughbred influence in a pedigree. The NFQHA uses the AQHA Online database and stud books as it’s source of pedigrees and it has some holes in its database where there was verifiable Thoroughbred influence and AQHA did not recognize it as Thoroughbred and thus NFQHA doesn’t see it as Thoroughbred either. Any animals descending from Impressive must submit a HYPP Neg/Neg report to be eligible for registration.


Foundation Stock Horse Registry (FSTR) (privately owned corporation—for profit)—(THIS REGISTRY HAS THE LEAST STRINGENT METHOD OF CALCULATION. With it not calculating Three Bars (TB) toward Thoroughbred blood this would classify a lot of high percentage Three Bars (TB) horses as foundation bred.) This was the 4th organization formed. To be eligible a horse must not have more than 20% Thoroughbred influence or be 80% or greater foundation bred. They calculate percentage of blood by tracing lineage back to any AQHA registered horse born 1/1/1952 or later. All horses born before 1952 are considered foundation bred. Thoroughbred influence is only calculated after the 1952 demarcation. This organization (for the purpose of calculating foundation blood) considers the Thoroughbred Three Bars (TB) as foundation bred. Horses with "Impressive" in their pedigree are not eligible for registration.


Foundation Quarter Horse Association (FQHA)
(Publicly owned—non-profit )— NOT ACTIVE YET. 10/23/98 Waiting for confirmation of the Non-Profit status. This was the 5th organization formed. They calculate percentage of foundation breeding by calculating the percentage of blood of any Thoroughbred influence in a pedigree after the formation of AQHA, i.e., 1940. Registration limited to horses qualifying as 90% Foundation Quarter Horse or above. (No specification as to Impressive bred horses that I could find.)

Foundation bred percentages are calculated using the formula currently used by NFQHA. It is the most stringent for calculating percentages of blood in reference to foundation breeding. I CAN calculate any or all the foundation percentages for any specific horse but do not do so unless specifically requested. Using this formula the foundation bred percentage will be equal to or less than those which would be calculated by any of the other organizations.


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