Unique situation - how can I get my horse's JC papers?

Hi all,

Popping over from the H/J forum hoping for some help here! I purchased a young TB a year ago who did not come with her JC papers and had not yet been tattooed either. I was hoping to be able to compete her in the TB specific competitions as a sport horse but without either tattoo or papers, I don’t believe she’s eligible. I reached out to her breeder via Facebook shortly after I bought her and she had agreed to send along the papers to me but stated that they were located in the racing office which was closed due to Covid.

Shortly after our conversation, the breeder unexpectedly passed away last summer. Not wanting to be insensitive, I waited until this past January and reached out to the farm I purchased my mare from (who from my understanding were good friends with the breeder and sold a good number of horses for her). I provided my condolences and just gently asked if they would know if there was any way I could get a hold of the papers. The response was that her estate was still in the middle of legal proceedings and her folder at the track had been frozen so things were kind of a mess. Totally understandable.

I also reached out to the Jockey Club and asked if I could obtain a duplicate. The response was probably not, because 1. I did not originally obtain her with her papers and 2. I don’t know that they are technically “lost or stolen” (and they probably actually aren’t). They advised me to reach out to the executor of the estate.

I obviously don’t know who the executor of her estate is, and even if I did I would feel horribly insensitive reaching out about this. I also don’t want to keep bothering the farm I purchased her from considering it’s not really their responsibility to find these papers on my behalf. But I do really want these papers to be able to compete her in TB specific competitions.

Am I just SOL here? Any and all suggestions would be appreciated in this situation!


Yes, you’re SOL. The Jockey Club is very specific in what they require to reissue the registration certificate, and a notorized statement describing how the original papers were lost or destroyed is one of those things.

But you can register the horse in the TIP with DNA, if that’s your end goal:

“For horses born in 2001 or after that are not tattooed or for which tattoo research was unsuccessful, customers may submit a request to the Registry to DNA type the horse for comparison to the DNA types on file for registered Thoroughbreds. There is an $80 fee associated with a request to DNA type a horse. DNA typing is not available for unregistered horses.”

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Pretty much SOL unless the original papers can be forwarded to you from what I understand.

It certainly sucks if you intended to breed in future to one of the many registries that will require original papers.

For TIP competitions you just need the horse’s registered name in order to get a TIP number and compete as a TB (i.e. TIP Championship, RRP, and most if not all of the TB only shows). I have an unraced, untattoed gelding and have never had it be an issue.

Oh awesome! I definitely thought I would need proof of her registration so this is great news. I’m still a little sad that I can’t get her papers as they would be a nice to have, but at least it doesn’t affect her competing like I thought it would!

Breeding her has briefly crossed my mind if she turns out to be competitive in my chosen discipline, but that’s a long way off, a huge maybe, and if it never happens it’s definitely not a big deal. Competing was definitely the main reason I wanted them, which looks like it’s a non-issue, so that’s awesome.

Maybe I will just give it some more time and follow up again sometime in the future once everything has had time to get settled…

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I don’t think it is over stepping to ask the person you bought her from if they have the contact information for the executor and then sending a nice letter, including print out of any of the conversations you had about her getting you the papers to that person explaining what you are looking for.

It might get you no where. But I do not see a simple letter request to be out of line.


Is she chipped? Sorry if I missed it.

Good question! I didn’t realize she might be, but a quick google told me that she should be, considering she was born in 2017. Does the microchip basically act the same as a tattoo?

It will have a different number set, but yes. Then you can look up and get a digital copy of her papers. The originals will be very hard to get.

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No reason not to send a letter to the executor. It’s their job to settle the estate. Good luck


The executor may be a matter of public record, you could try looking up your state’s probate court records.


Definitely reach out to the executor. It’s their job to handle things like this.


I agree with those that say the executor is there to settle things. It’s not out of line to contact them about settling unfinished business.


Also, is the trainer Brian House? If yes, PM me.

The executor of the estate might be family, but might not, This is business, just like dealing with the estate.
The world does not stop because somebody died, and I think you have observed enough of a ‘grieving’ period for an outsider.

Good Luck


Thanks all for making me feel a bit better about reaching out. I’ll try to see if I can find out who the executor is and send them a note.

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No, Leslie Condon

Definitely send a letter to the executor. You want to be on record requesting the registration information, the letter makes it easier for the executor to determine what items in the probable mountain of existing paperwork needs attention.


The best start would be to call the racing office. You should speak to someone there personally. It would be a start. However, since there is no tatoo the horse is unraced. Do you have a receipt?

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