For anyone new to the Curly Horse, you will notice a difference in the registrations of different Curlies, so I thought I might jot down a little bit of information about the registries available to our breed. I could write a really long article about each one, as each has great things to offer our breed – but I will keep it brief here and just give a little bit about each one to get you going.
The first registry is the American Bashkir Curly Registry. It is the parent registry that was started way back in the 1970’s I believe, and it has kept books and registrations as accurate and up to date as humanly possible and as much as the current times would allow. ABCR was the only registry available when we began raising Curlies, so of course it was where we registered our foals each year. They have maintained a closed stud book for most of their history, so for the most part, ABC horses were usually the product of only ABC registered parents.
The International Curly Horse Organization was the next registry formed in 2000 I believe, and it was opened with the concept of allowing more breeding possibilities by outcrossing with other breeds. (As Ernie Hammrich told me, “We need to get this thing wide open. like the Quarter Horse – look at what an open registration did for them – there are millions of Quarter Horses now, and that’s how we will get the Curly out there too.”) ICHO allowed any horse with a curly coat to be registered, regardless of parentage or prior registrations. With this option, many horses could now be registered by their coat pattern rather than by their pedigree. ICHO also launched many incredible research plans and have been integral in helping to find the “curly” gene which creates the curly coats. They also work closely with the BLM to monitor, protect and rehome mustang Curlies that are still found in the wild today.
And thirdly, Curly Sporthorse International! CSI was introduce to promote sporthorse type Curlies and to improve breeding stock according to those standards. They do a fabulous job promoting these types of Curlies!
So, these are the three main registries for Curly Horses, and some breeders have a preference for one over the other, but it really is just about what will suit one’s needs. You might hear someone say that they do not like one particular registry “because they did such and such” – but in my humble opinion this is an inaccurate way to look at the registries. To look at it like that, would be to think of it more as a club than a registry. A registry is not its secretary, or its president, or the group of people that make up the core that runs it – a registry is a service that keeps track of our horses’ pedigrees and helps promote, preserve, and improve the breed. If a breeder chooses to use a particular registry (or all three), it should be because that registry best exemplifies the direction that breeder wants to go with their program.
For us, we chose to mainly register with ABCR. Registration with ABCR assures that the foal will maintain its pedigree with the parent registry, and any of its offspring will also then be eligible (under the guidelines). If we did not register with ABCR, and a new owner later down the road decided to use ABCR, it would be much more difficult and costly for the progeny to be included back into these books. So that is why we made our choice to stay with ABCR. For economy’s sake, we do not register each foal with every registry – but if their new owner ever chooses to do so, any of our horses can easily be registered with the other registries. Some of our horses are dual registered with ICHO, and triple registered with CSI. And we are always glad to assist new owners in getting ICHO or CSI registrations for any horse purchased from us.
So check them out, investigate, research and see what suits you best – you will find lots of historical information and fun things about each one. But mostly, what I hope you find, are all the neat options for registration as you fall in love with this great breed!