Hanoverian brand with year?

Hi all,

I very well be out of the loop. Our barn got a 2017 Hanoverian in for starting the other day. He has a hanoverian brand, which means he went through inspection, but he also has a large “17” brand under the Hanoverian brand. I’ve seen some ranch bred QHs have the ranch brand and the number foal that is, but I’ve never seen a Hanoverian brand with the year under it. The current owner is not the breeder and never saw this, either. Is anyone familiar with this approach to branding? Who does it?

(He’s sooooo nice! Beautiful head, such a nice neck and great gaits. Drooooool!)

They used to put the birth year under the “H” brand but it was discontinued. I don’t believe they are branding any longer either.

Really? I have never seen it before in Hanoverians. Ever. When did they start to do this? American societies - I’ve never seen a horse from Europe with this? I feel surprised that they aren’t branding anymore because that is proof of inspection and people want branded horses.

Thanks for answering. It brings up more questions! (In my brain!)

I have two 2016 homebreds that went to their AHS inspection and were both branded with the year under the H. Other young ones I’ve seen have also had the birthyear. My German Hanoverians also have a two digit number under their H, but it’s not the birth year, it’s the last two digits of their registration number.

So yes, for a youngish American bred Hanoverian, it’s absolutely normal.


Is this a new thing? Like I’ve said, I haven’t seen this before. THANK YOU for relaying your experience!!


There wasn’t any branding at the last two inspections I took mares to for approval. In the Hanoverian Directory there is a page with a small area that shows the different brands used over the years including the ones with the year underneath.

They did brand the foals at the last inspection. They had a hard time finding somebody with a forge and it was later in the afternoon. I think they did 2 or 3 Hanoverian foals and she switched out the brand and did one Rhinelander. I think my memory serves me right but I don’t swear to it.

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All right: this is direct from the AHS website and explains it all well:

What are the Different Brands? – The American Hanoverian Society i

What are the Different Brands?

H Brand : Prior to 1993, this brand was used to mark North American-foaled HV Main Studbook and Studbook mares and foals. In 2019, AHS members voted to return to this brand. Although Hanoverians are no longer branded in Germany, the HV left the branding decisions to the individual memberships in each country.

H-XX Brand : Effective from 2008 to 2018, AHS foals out of Main Studbook or Studbook mares were branded with the Hanoverian H brand under which appear the last two numerals of the year of birth, which are also the last two digits in the foal’s Universal Equine Life Number (UELN). The addition of the numerals was necessitated by the fact that the AHS used the Hanoverian brand in the United States under exclusive license from the HV and German law required that two digits of the UELN be part of the brand.

H-US Brand : In use in the U.S. from 1993 through 2007, this brand marked foals of Main Studbook and Studbook dams. As part of the Fall 2007 referendum, the AHS membership voted by a two-thirds margin to retire this brand and use the Hanoverian H brand.

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From a German:
The german hanoverians used to gt the H and a numer underneath that represented the 3rd ad 4th last number of the lifenumber in Registry and passport. The government did forbid branding.
that brands is also the H as in above pics and has a 2 digit number underneath. This number used to be very helpful to identify horses based on colors and markings even when papers got lost, which apparently in the US used to happen often. In Germany one has to have passport to transport the horse anywhere so passports better not get lost.

Thank you, @alexandra .
Can you or anyone clarify why the German government forbids banding, especially because papers can get lost? How are the horses identified and easily shown that they passed inspection now?

The government has it forbidden it is cruelty to animals (role eyes). Now we have to chip them . (Chipping causes much more issues and also pain, but that is apparently not relevant). The chip number is entered in the passports.
Passed inspections etc is entered into the passport by the registry as it used to be before. All the same as before - only no brand - but chip.


If you lose your papers, then your horse can still be identified by microchip.

As for knowing if they passed inspection, you can’t tell just by looking at the horse, which is fine, for me. If I have a genuine interest in the horse (such as when I am considering purchase) I can then see the paperwork and/or the inspection can be confirmed with the life number/microchip with the registry. No, I can’t flaunt my horse as an “inspected Hanoverian” by showing off his brand this way :sweat_smile:

I personally don’t see chipping as more cruel than branding. I’m not sure that it causes more issues and pain. I have no proof of that. If someone does, I would be interested.