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).

Download the forms below


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

Sample report

After the laboratory receives your sample, you can expect the test results to be ready in 10 business days. Take a look at the sample report in the link below.

view sample report

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.

Discover more about your horse!

Every horse has a distinctive DNA profile which can be very useful to identify them in case they get stolen or lost. Explore the unique way of genetic identification with the Equine DNA Profiling test. You can also find out your horse’s genetic susceptibility to different genetic diseases with Horse Hereditary Disease testing. Read more about the Horse DNA testing services we offer.

Equine DNA Profiling (Genotyping)
Animal Tests

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