The Jockey Club gives one year from the actual foaling date to register Thoroughbreds with the American Stud Book. I’d like to see the rule changed to allow registration up to the end of the yearling year. My best argument is that the photos that accompany the registry documentation would be more representative if taken in the summer or fall when the foal is a full yearling, as opposed to a shaggy "short yearling" during the winter months (or, perhaps worse, an immature and gangly suckling or weanling).
Rules are rules, however, and I found myself in something of a tight spot with a 2007 filly. She was born Feb. 15, and here I was yesterday -- the day before the one-year mark -- and I had yet to complete her paperwork. Her genetic typing and parentage verification were sent in long ago, but every time I planned to take conformation photos, I was stymied somehow or other. The picture-taking session finally occurred this past weekend, however, and at long last I sat down to complete the Interactive Registration last night.
Kudos to The Jockey Club for a site that is user-friendly and well-planned. I've used Interactive Registration the last few years, and it just keeps improving. The main page includes a useful overview of the registration process, and helpful information (such as tips on photographing the foals and describing body markings and colors). But the experience just kept improving. The GUI for denoting face and body markings was not clunky like might be expected; instead, it was a nice graphic with easy-to-use controls. The photo upload was a snap. The records were set up to require the least amount of typing necessary (one click makes the "owner" information the same as "breeder," for example, instead of rekeying names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers). And each step along the way, I saw a note letting me know what step I was working on and how many steps remained. When I was finished, I received a nice report summarizing the information I'd provided, to keep in my records.
The system is even set up to allow users to save steps for later. Next year, I can complete all the required information early and just save photos for when I'm ready.
As someone who runs a lot of data reports from The Jockey Club, I now wish all their sites were so straightforward! While the processes and products are quite diffferent, I sure hope to see some of the ergonomics of the Interactive Registration incorporated into Equineline over time.
So the process was quicker and easier than I'd planned, and I wound up exploring the other offerings on The Jockey Club's Web site. I killed some time playing around with the Online Names Book. It's fun to see what names people have assigned to their horses. This year, I claimed a name ("Jo's Magic") for one of my two foals, and it was neat to be able to check its availability without having to submit multiple name requests and just hope that one of them wasn't already in use. (Sometime in the future, I'm going to run some data on how well "named" foals do versus their "unnamed" counterparts at the yearling sales. Watch for the results her on The Five-Cross Files.