Which registry?

I bought a foal in-utero that’s eligible for a few different registries. I’m very new to warmblood life so other than different naming rules and fees, is there a huge difference if I don’t plan on doing anything other than showing? I’m leaning towards BWP, but it’s also eligible for Holsteiner, Westfalen, and Zangersheide.

What kind of showing do you plan to do? Do you want to do recognized shows that could count towards breed specific awards with a registry? If so, do you plan to show for USDF, USEF, and if so, what kind of shows (Hunter/jumper, dressage, eventing, etc)?

Also, is your horse jumper bred?

Knowing those things will help make a better recommendation.


I mostly do local showing right now, my hope is to move up to some bigger shows with an (ideally) more capable horse. I do hunters, the horse is hunter bred. So while I may do some usef/ushja shows it isn’t necessarily a goal of mine to aim for any breed recognition awards or anything.

Ok, I see. Congrats on your purchase by the way. I don’t think there is anything more gratifying than raising young horses. It’s so exciting having a prospect you can grow with as well.

As far as registry specific awards:

BWP: check out details at: https://www.belgianwarmblood.com/awards/

BWP actually has some USHJA awards that you could qualify for as well as USEF:

USEF HOTY Award – Two Categories

  1. Awarded to the top BWP/NAD horse in a recognized USEF National Horse of the Year Division.
  2. Awarded to the top BWP horse in a recognized USEF National Horse of the Year Division.

Awarded to horses that rank in the top 10 of a USHJA Zone Horse of the Year Division. Open to BWP/NAD and BWP bred horses.

Premier Hunter Award
To be awarded in 2021 – Awarded to horses that qualify for the 2021 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Open to BWP/NAD and BWP bred horses.”

Westfalen: Info here: https://westfalenverband.com/about/awards.html

Westfalen is similar to BWP in that they offer awards based of USEF and USEA performance:

“Westfalen Verband NA is proud to provide awards for high-achieving Westfalen horses and their owners. We are an official Participating Organization for USDF All Breeds awards, and also provide USEF and USEA Performance awards. We provide High Point and Reserve ribbons upon request for recognized horse shows and competition series (i.e. USDF Dressage shows, USEF sanctioned shows, Sallie B. Wheeler Hunter Breeding Championship, Young Horse Series competitions, Stallion and Mare performance tests, etc.).”

Info on Holsteiner awards: https://www.holsteiner.com/awards-program

Holsteiner has Hunter specific year end awards but since I’m primarily a dressage rider, I’m not sure exactly what they are. You can contact Wendy by email and ask specifically what those might be though at wendy@octoberhill.com.

Zangersheide is actually a European based registry and to my knowledge does not have registry specific awards. It is also the least known registry to US riders so if you ever end up selling your horse, it will be the least recognized by potential buyers.

As far as quality of registry, Holsteiner is a very respectable registry that is highly recognized by those in the US and is a registry geared towards jumper breeding. Their stud book and horses recognized by the registry are of very high quality. Westfalen is also equally as recognizable and respected by those in the US but I’d say allows for a wider variety of horses in their stud book and for approval. BWP is similar to Westfalen but like Holsteiner, is geared towards jumper breeding. So how people view registries would be important if for some reason you ever had to sell your horse and consider how marketable their registry is.

That said, while you may intend on doing mostly local shows, keep the year end awards for registry in mind - one day you may hope to do larger shows and the year end awards for registries can be fun. I would go with the registry that seems to suit your future showing goals. You can also register your horse for multiple registries should you want to qualify for multiple registry related awards.

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You should also consider proximity and availability of inspections in your area if the registry you choose requires foals to be inspected. If you want your foal branded, keep in mind that isn’t an option with Zangersheide. I’m not sure about the others. I don’t want my foals branded but I know some people still do here in the US and it is an option with some US stud books.

I was very happy with my experience with Zangersheide this season.


I was under the impression that I could only register with one, but could get approval with others (in the case of a mare if I were to breed) is that not correct?

I haven’t been able to find much about zangersheide but it actually seemed like it would be close to the simplest option for us! It seems like they don’t have inspections in NA, you just fill out paperwork and pay a fee? I won’t lie, based on naming rules alone that one appeals the most to me in that regard.

Yes, I should have said approved. Horses can be registered and then approved by multiple associations.

You would want to confirm your foal’s registration eligibility with the breeder. Usually if the mare and stallion are approved by a stud book, a certain type of registration papers are automatically issued without inspection but you never want to automatically assume.

Zangersheide Is a European based registry. I really think a registry that has a US branch or affiliation would be best if you ever want to use show experience to qualify for registry based awards.

I’d say - for the dollar - for me it would depend on whether the pending foal is a female or male. Registry for a female may be worthwhile for her future use. For a gelding it’s a moot point except for yr end awards and then those will be expensive maybes.

I did register a gelding but it was to establish ownership.

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That’s also something I’ll base my decision on as well. I don’t intend to sell the future horse, so I don’t really care where it’s registered but if it’s a filly it’ll at least open more possibilities should I need to sell.

I try to think worst case scenario. No, I don’t intend to sell a certain horse but if I fall onto hard times, I try to set the horse up to be as marketable as possible to find the best home possible.

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