From 1 August 2013 the Australian Stud Book changed the Rules regarding the Identification of Thoroughbreds.

The main rule change is the introduction of a 'Certificate of Paternity' which requires the Stallion Proprietor (in our case, Yarradale Stud) to certify the sire of a foal prior to the parentage testing process begins.  

This process replaces the 'Withheld' facility previously used, whereby the Stallion Proprietor was able to 'Block' the Mare Return until the Service Fee was paid.

The new Rule is as follows:

Certificate of Paternity
6 Certificate of Paternity
A horse cannot be accepted for inclusion in either the Australian Stud Book or the Australian Non-Thoroughbred Register until a Certification of Paternity has been provided and the horse has been parentage verified.
The stallion owner or studmaster is responsible for certifying details of all foals sired by each stallion in that season on a Certification of Paternity.
This report must be lodged with the Stud Book via the Online Certification of Paternity system within five days of payment of the service fee by the contact breeder.
If the Certification of Paternity has not been lodged:
i. the Stud Book will not commence the parentage verification process for that foal; and
ii. the official records for that foal will be entered as “Produce not yet accepted”;
until after the Certification of Paternity has been received
Yarradale Stud will not release a Certificate of Paternity until any outstanding Service Fee has been paid.  

When considering the purchase of a mare in foal, it is recommended that the mare's Australian Breeding Record be checked from the Australian Stud Book website.  If there is a notation 'Pending Certificate of Paternity' against the mare's produce, it may mean that the Service Fee has not been paid by the current (or previous) owner.  Under these circumstances, a prospective purchaser should check with the Stud where the stallion was standing at the time the mare was covered and if the service fee has not been paid, then the purchaser should check with the seller whether the seller is responsible for paying the service fee, or whether payment will be the responsibility of the purchaser. 

Because many Studs offer 'payment on live foal', the service fee is not payable until the foal is born in the following year.  Owners can legitimately overlook the requirement to pay the service fee at the time of sale or lease of a mare in foal, however unless the service fee is paid, the new owner may be responsible for paying the service fee for the foal, as well as having paid for the purchase of the mare.

It can prove difficult for all concerned if the Stud who provided the service has not been paid and will not issue a Certificate of Paternity, while the purchaser has bought the mare in foal, in good faith, being unaware that the Service Fee has not been paid.  The purchaser may well end up with a foal which cannot be registered until someone pays the Service Fee.

The Australian Stud Book automatically notates 'Pending Certification of Paternity' against all breeding records, and it is the Stud's responsibility to issue these Certificates once a Service Fee has been paid (see 6.3 above), or of course if the service was a free return, a donation, etc where no payment is required.  If the Certificate of Paternity has not been issued by the Stud, it does not necessarily mean that the Service Fee has not been paid - it may be that the Stud has overlooked the requirement to issue the Certificate, it is therefore important to check with the Stud prior to making any decision to purchase a mare in foal.

We can compare this system to the recommendations when purchasing a motor vehicle - check that there are no encumbrances before a purchase is made. 

For further information on Certificates of Paternity go to the Australian Stud Book.