|A Guide to Researching Your Thoroughbred's Pedigree:|
The Internet and Other Resources
Many of us start out determined to trace a horse's pedigree back as far as we can,
only to hit a dead-end, a blank in the
pedigree, with no idea of where to turn to fill it in. If you
don't own or have access to a Thoroughbred library, complete with the
General Stud Book or American Stud Book (preferably both), that is often the
frustrating end of your search. Thanks to the internet,
many of those pedigree holes can now be completed. Much of
the information you're looking for is
probably on this site, or accessible via our bibliography or links pages.
Where does one start researching a pedigree?
The best place to begin is at Tesio Power. Here you can enter a horse by name and if
it is found in the database, the search will generate a 4-generation
pedigree chart. This site offers free access to basic data included in a more full-fledged computer application, Tesio Power, which is sold by the proprietors (purchase information available at their site). It offers free access to an extensive database
that includes most major runners and sires on a global basis.
Did you say FREE? Are there any other free databases that
can be accessed on-line?
Something similar to Tesio Power can be found at the Thoroughbred Pedigree
Query, which offers a bit more information, but it is often not reliable, since additions to the database by the general public are allowed (does not function in Netscape 4.7). The New
Zealand Stud Book has an on-line database with basic pedigree information available for free to "Guest" registrants, and a more complete database offered to paying members. The Australian Stud Book offers also offers basic information on a specific horse (sire, dam, date of birth and family number), but additional information, such as races won, and descent lines, are only available to paying subscribers. The American Jockey Club also has an on-line interactive link to its registration
records at its Equine Line site; signing
up for a user name and password will gain free access to a lot of
valuable information. BRIS (Bloodstock Research Information Services) also offers a free on-line stallion directory with pedigrees for currently standing stallions; like the Jockey Club, this part of its site is accessible with a user name and password once you sign up.
What other resources are available?
Here are some resources that are not free, but often worth
the added expense if you are serious about pedigree research. An excellent product that
probably ranks as a "must have" is the American Produce
Records on CD-ROM, from Bloodstock Research Information Services
(BRIS). The CD contains American horses back to around
1920, as well as records on all imported horses from that time forward, and
many of their immediate ancestors. It has a surprising amount of information (produce records, race
records, sales, export notes, etc.) that can be used quickly, easily
and without going on-line. Note: this cd is only available in Win format--Mac users can access it only if they are running Virtual PC and a version of Windows (a fast Mac is recommended).
also offers various pedigree reports that can be ordered and
downloaded immediately once an on-line account has been
established. The same applies to Equine Line, the
Jockey Club's own on-line marketplace for pedigree reports.
These commercial reports are often bargains at the price, and are
especially useful to get up-to-date race records if past performances
from the Daily Racing Form aren't available. Equine Line also offers tattoo
research. Weatherby's offers the same type of services and products for horses registered in England.
What if I'm stumped and can't find the information I'm looking
If you can't find information on a specific horse or horses, you can
ask for help on TBHeritage, the email list that initiated this
site. If you aren't already a subscriber, then join us at YahooGroups. There are many knowledgable
and friendly people on this list, armed with their own
libraries and databases, who are happy to share their resources and
What if I have information I'd like to share?
The Shared Files section for Thoroughbred Heritage at YahooGroups is an ideal location for sharing pictures and documentation you want others
to see. Because many of our list participants subscribe in "Digest" format, they can not receive attachments you send to the list. However,
they, like you, can visit the Shared Files site for Thoroughbred Heritage and view anything you put there.
To either see or upload files in the Shared Files site at YahooGroups, you must be a member of the Thoroughbred Heritage mailing list. If you
are a member, go to YahooGroups log in, by entering your e-mail address and password, and select the
Thoroughbred Heritage list when the lists you belong to appear on the screen. On the Thoroughbred Heritage page you will see the Shared Files
section, which you then press. All files that have been uploaded to the shared files section will appear on the screen, and you may enter
each folder/directory at will to see what other members have uploaded.
To upload a file, you should follow the instructions provided within the Shared Files section. We ask that each member create his or her
own directory, giving his or her name as the name of the directory, and placing graphics and data within it. This will keep material more or less
organized. YahooGroups provides 5MB of shared file space--if we reach that maximum, the list moderators reserve the right to remove the earliest
material, to make space for new information--we'll let list members and the file owner know prior to removal. Once you have uploaded your files, be
sure to post a note to the list so we all know you've put new material up.
Are there any books you recommend, and where can I find
probably thousands of books that have at least some information you
will be looking for, as you can see by browsing the Bibliography we've provided at this
site. Many of these books are still in print and available
through various on-line catalogs and booksellers listed on our Links page.
Please don't let the information on the internet discourage you from actually
visiting any of the wonderful racing and breeding libraries available to you--some may be
closer than you think. Many carry especially rare books and
stud books which may be impossible to find elsewhere. Check out
your local racetrack, state-bred offices, or colleges and
universities, especially those with strong agriculture and equine
Finally, after you've found all these wonderful horses, you can see
what some of them look(ed) like at Thoroughbred Gallery or our Portraits page, or you can use our Search page if you know the name of the horse, and a hyper-link list of images of the horse (if any) on our site will be provided.