Why is parentage testing important?

A real guarantee of pedigree can only be scientifically accurate if it the pedigree can be genetically proven. In the past, pedigree was manually recorded, based on close observation. However, these traditional methods of recording ancestry and pedigree leave room for many errors. Parentage DNA testing is most accurate in cases where the dam, foal and sire are analysed. Results for this test are ready in 10 business days.

What happens in the laboratory?

Once in the laboratory, we will compare the horse DNA profiles to confirm whether the loci match or not. The test offered includes a 23 genetic marker profile and offers the highest levels of accuracy possible. A full match between the 23 genetic loci tested will confirm that the tested, alleged sire is the biological father of the foal.

For a horse parentage test we require DNA samples from the sire, the dam and the foal. If the dam’s sample is not available, we will need to carry out extended testing (this entails using additional genetic markers to provide conclusive results and comes at an additional fee).

View a sample result by clicking below image

Download the forms below

Download Instructions – click here

Download Order form – click here

Download Hair Sample Form – click here

Collecting horse DNA samples

Samples from horses are collected using hair. Generally, swab samples are not recommended due to the high contamination rate which is mostly due to the horse always grazing. Hair samples offer far higher chances of success. The DNA is extracted from the hair follicle. This is the only part of the hair that contains nuclear DNA. Do not cut or pick up shed hairs as we will not be able to test them.Pluck 12-25 hairs by wrapping the hair around your finger close to the skin and pulling quickly and evenly.


  • For adult horses, the hairs can be plucked from the mane
  • For foals, hairs can be plucked from the tail

Testing other horses later on

Once we have tested any horse, the laboratory will store that DNA profile in the laboratory. This means that if you need to carry out parentage testing on other horses and compare the DNA profiles of these horses to a horse/s that has/have already been tested, we will not need to test the horse we already tested. You will only need to send samples of horses that have not been tested.

Note we cannot use profiles generated from other laboratories as they may use a different set of markers.

Equine DNA Profiling (Genotyping)

Animal Tests


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