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The AMHA Certificate of Service Issue in Bullet Points

By Erica Richard, Registrar

In February 2009, the AMHA board voted to remove the Certificate of Service portion from the registration application effective January 1, 2010. The following bullet points have been compiled to help Morgan breeders and stallion owners understand why this very hard and important decision was made. An article titled "History of the "Certificate of Service" is available on AMHA's Latest News Page,, posted on December 10, 2009 and in the Winter issue of The Network.

• If a registration is submitted where DNA can prove parentage, AMHA is legally obligated to register it as purebred Morgan. This is a matter of fact in the age of DNA verification. AMHA must register this foal whether the stallion owner has signed off or not. This same reasoning prevailed in the lifting of the high white rule. AMHA is legally obligated to register foals of two purebred parents as purebred, regardless of its markings.

• AMHA registers Morgans. It does not mediate contractual disputes and never has; AMHA is not involved in the collection of stud fees or in the area of sales contracts. Contractual disputes are civil matters and have to be settled privately or in court.

• Stallion owners and managers should protect their interests with enforceable contracts. This has always been true and is their only effective recourse in disputed matters.

• The signature on the Certificate of Service has never been an enforceable payment collection technique, just as a signature on a Stallion Service Report cannot be held back as a collection tool.

• Unlike on-site breeding, a stallion owner is unable to verify whether or not shipped semen from his or her stallion was used on a particular mare - another example of the redundancy of the Certificate of Service.

• In the event that frozen semen is used to inseminate a registered mare and the owner of the frozen semen and the owner of the stallion are not the same person(s), the owner of the frozen semen at the time of insemination is required to file the Stallion Service Report.

• Foals resulting from transported frozen semen must have a Frozen Semen Certificate issued by the stallion owner to register the foal.

• A Stallion Service Report must be filed prior to midnight, January 15 of the following year by the recorded owner or recorded lessee of a registered stallion (at the time of the breeding) to whom mares were exposed or whose semen was used to inseminate a registered mare anytime during the preceding 12 consecutive months.

• If a mare identified as the dam of a foal is not listed on the sire's Stallion Service Report, AMHA will contact the stallion owner for the additional information or a valid reason why the information is not being provided.

• In the absence of a Stallion Service Report or Frozen Semen Certificate, registration applications may be held for up to 120 days, to allow the parties to come to an agreement and provide AMHA with the required information or paperwork to permit registration. AMHA will notify the stallion and mare owner of the information required to complete a pending registration, and it is the stallion owner's responsibility to acknowledge receipt of this information and alert AMHA time is necessary to resolve outstanding issues regarding this registration.

• AMHA will abide by court orders related to any registration application.

• Current rules apply at the time of application for registration.

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