The Welsh Pony and Cob Society currently verify the parentage of every 600th foal whose application for registration arrives in the office by means of DNA profiling. This normally involves a vet taking a mane or tail sample from the foal and its dam for analysis at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) in Newmarket at the Society's expense. This DNA information together with the DNA records of all stallions licensed by the Society (which are kept by AHT) will either confirm or reject the parentage stated on the application. In the event of the stated parentage proving incorrect the applicant is given the opportunity of nominating an alternative sire. In the event of this second sire also being rejected as the sire of the foal, the foal is refused for full registration.
Currently also in the event of the parentage of a registered pure bred animal being challenged the person/s making the challenge are required to make a £200 deposit to the Society to cover the cost of sampling and profiling the animal and it's dam which if the stated parentage is found to be correct is non-returnable.
From 1 January 2016 for full registration in sections A, B, C, or D, foals that are the first fully registered progeny of their dams will, as a condition of their registration, require the DNA profiling of the dam by AHT as a pre-requisite to registering that foal, at the breeder’s expense.
It is envisaged that the required hair sample will be taken by the vet at the same time as implanting the micro-chip in the foal and the DNA profile obtained from it will also be kept on record by AHT. DNA sampling kits will be obtainable from the Society at a cost of £48.
By introducing this requirement, over a period of time the DNA of the entire pure bred breeding population will become recorded, i.e. stallions at licensing and mares after producing their first fully registered offspring. It will then be possible to verify the parentage of any animal without further sampling, although the requirement for a £200 or more deposit to be made by the person challenging a pedigree will remain and in the event of the pedigree proving correct, the deposit will be retained by the Society.
In the meantime whilst these records are accumulating, and starting in 2014, the number of random verifications of foals will be doubled with every 300th foal whose application for registration arrives in the office being required to be tested.
From 2014 an additional condition of the licensing of fully registered colts as stallions, will be that their DNA is compatible with the DNA of their sires, which is already held on record by AHT. With the proviso that in the event of a pedigree proving incorrect, it remains that the breeder has the opportunity of nominating an alternative sire.