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Digital Tattoo Update

Horse Identity established through the TRPB Digital Tattoo™

Effective January 1, 2020, any Thoroughbred that has not been previously lip tattooed and is making its first lifetime start in a recognized pari-mutuel race, must have the TRPB Digital Tattoo in order to be correctly identified in the paddock and permitted to race.

The transition to the TRPB Digital Tattoo follows the recent requirement by The Jockey Club for a horse to be microchipped as part of the registration process. All foals from 2017 onward have a listed microchip on their Jockey Club papers.

The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) Model Rule 006-020 B. (5) regarding Digital Tattoos. This rule states: “Effective January 1, 2020, the Racing Secretary shall ensure that the foal certificates for all Thoroughbred horses entered to race that were foaled in 2018, or thereafter, have a “Digital Tattoo.” This Digital Tattoo shall indicate that the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau has confirmed the identity of the horse and uploaded digital photographs to the breed registry database.”

In essence, the Digital Tattoo is an electronic validation of the identity of a horse performed by a trained TRPB Technician. The Technician will use equipment to read the horse's microchip which will in turn hyperlink to electronic registration information. After fully examining the gender, color, and markings comparing to the photos and description contained in the horse's electronic record, the technician will confirm the identity of the horse standing in front of him or her and upload a selection of digital pictures documenting the horse’s attributes to The Jockey Club's database. The TRPB Technician will then place a digital credential stamp on the electronic certificate of registration. This Digital Tattoo will indicate that the TRPB has verified the identity of the horse and uploaded, updated digital photographs to the breed registry's database. This electronic record will be the permanent Picture ID for the horse’s racing and post-racing career.

For additional information regarding the Digital Tattoo, please click here for FAQ's or contact TRPB at

Digital Tattoo Technicians

The TRPB currently has 58 Technicians operating throughout Canada and the United States who are fully trained in Digital Tattooing and are prepared to scan, photograph, and certify your Thoroughbred for official identification purposes.

In order to have your Thoroughbred tattooed, there must be a valid Certificate of Foal Registration issued by The Jockey Club with the horse's correct microchip number reported on the certificate. Your thoroughbred must be within a month of the first lifetime start in a recognized race. There is a US$90/CA$110 (plus tax) charge* for each horse Digitally Tattooed at a recognized racetrack. Any special trip to training centers or hunt meets may require any addition charge quoted in advance to cover the Technician's travel.

Any thoroughbred whose markings are at variance with its Jockey Club Certificate of Foal Registration will be digitally photographed but certified as TRPB Non-Compliant “N-C” until the registration papers are corrected. Once these are corrected, a call to TRPB can get the N-C removed and the horse will be ready to race. Please note that the Technician is not responsible to submit corrections.

Any thoroughbred whose reported microchip does not read or is incorrect will be rejected for tattooing and may have to be re-DNA typed for verification. Any Thoroughbred rejected for tattooing must receive a corrected certificate with a correct reported microchip before being examined and photographed by a Technician and awarded a Digital Tattoo credential.

To arrange to have your Thoroughbred tattooed, please contact TRPB at Phone: +410-398-2261 or via email at

Attention Thoroughbred owners! Horse Identity Research

Do you own a lip-tattooed Thoroughbred but don't know its registered name, pedigree, and racing history? Or have you scanned the horse to find it has a microchip number and you don't know the identity of the horse? The TRPB is the source for this information.

For further information, please contact TRPB at Phone: +410-398-2261, via email at, or download the pdf application form.

There is a $10 fee for horse identity research payable through credit card or Venmo.

* Price effective January 1, 2022