How is a horse parentage carried out?

For a horse parentage test we require hair samples from:


  • The alleged sire/s
  • The mare
  • The foal

Once we have the required hair samples in the laboratory, we first inspect them to ensure that they have the follicle. The DNA is then amplified and replicated using one of the most update to date methods in molecular biology called Polymerase Chain Reaction. Following this, a 22-DNA marker panel is extracted for the sire, the mare and the foal and every marker is compared. For the tested sire to be the biological sire, all 22 markers on the profile of the alleged sire and foal must match.

Equine parentage testing results

Horse parentage test results provide conclusive and accurate results.


  • If the tested sire is the biological site, the result will be marked as Parentage qualifies (Inclusion of sire and mare)
  • If the tested sire is not the biological sire, the result will be marked as Parentage does not qualify (Exclusion of sire, mare is included)

The forms for your test

Click on the below forms, print and fill in

Download the Sample Collection Kit -Make Your Own at Home

Downloand the Sample Collection Sheet Hair Collection

Download the Animal DNA Testing Submission Form

Sample collection

DNA samples from the sire, dam and foal are required when performing a Horse Parentage Test. If the dam’s sample is not available, the test will require the use of additional genetic markers to have conclusive results. This extended test involves an additional cost.

Equine parentage testing requires hair samples. We cannot use any other type of sample for this test.


  • If you are testing an adult horse, hairs can be plucked from the mane
  • If you are testing a foal, hairs can be plucked from the tail

The DNA is contained in hair root and not in the hair shaft. This is important to keep in mind when collecting samples as it means all hairs provided must contain the hair root. Hairs need to be plucked from the horse. Cut hairs will not provide any DNA.

The horse does not feel any pain when just a small number of hairs are pulled out separately/individually. You do not need to be concerned.

Do I need to include the dam’s DNA sample

Having the dame’s DNA sample is highly recommended as it can help us obtain a stronger results and avoid any chances of incorrect results. This is because having the dame’s sample means we can exclude her share of genetic inheritance and only work with the alleles inherited from the sire. If you do not have access to the mother’s sample, your option is to opt for extending testing which includes analysis of more DNA markers. There is an additional cost for extended testing.

*If the test is carried out between 1 sire, 1 mare and 1 foal the total price is of £129. If you add an additional sire or mare or foal, you will need to add an extra £43.

Carrying out other horse parentage tests later on

We will store equine DNA profiles in the laboratory. This means that if later on you come to carry out a parentage test again with new horses, you will not need to resend samples of horses already tested as we will have their profiles in the laboratory.

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