I’m thinking about purchasing a 4 y/o thoroughbred gelding who is not registered. Does a horse have to be registered to show in the hunter ring? If they do, is it even possible to register him at this age?
No, show horses do not need to be registered with a breed organization. Many horses of mixed parentage are not registered, and many who are registered never need to have their registration papers looked at again. You do not want to register a 4 yr old TB gelding. It is usually possible to do so, if the breeders did the initial paperwork, but useless unless you want to race him. Last I heard, the cost to do so was about $2000. He’s not stallion material, obviously, and apparently your plan is not to race him- he doesn’t need registration. Whatever breed your horse is or isn’t, and whether or not he has registration papers, in Canada he is tracked by EC, by his passport. IDK how they do this in the USA, something similar I think. This tracking only takes place at the higher level shows, lower levels do not require a passport. Get in touch with your Horse Show Association to find out what you will need, and when. Most horses do not get passported until they are ready to show at that level.
Quick answer, No. Depending on where you show you may want to get him a USEF#, or you state/local horse show association; if you would like his points/show record to be tracked.
If you want to show him in some of the TB specific divisions depending on the show, you may or may not have to provide proof he is a TB. Since he isn’t registered with the Jockey Club, I would give them a call since there are a few options to sill show him w/o JC Papers in the Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) TB classes. I found the JC incredibly helpful whenever I had to call.
Yeah, I would agree with 50ShadesofHay–ask the JC about your options, if any, for a way to prove he’s a TB when you don’t need the papers to breed or race.
You don’t need papers in hand to do the TIP classes, but the horse must have been registered. It’s still probably not worth it since it’s very expensive (and may or may not even be possible.)