News Releases

Wednesday, February 27, 2013Contact: Shannon Luce (859) 224-2716
The Jockey Club Amends Rule Book with “Retired from Racing” Clause

The Jockey Club has amended Rule 18 of the Principal Rules and Requirements of The American Stud Book from Sold Without Pedigree to Sold as Retired from Racing so that an owner can retire a Thoroughbred from racing without affecting its breeding privileges, it was announced today.

Under the previous Rule 18, the Certificate of Foal Registration for a horse sold without pedigree was returned to The Jockey Club and cancelled, and the horse was no longer considered a Thoroughbred for breeding or racing purposes.

Under the amended Rule 18, the owner of a Thoroughbred can request that The Jockey Club attach a special notation to the Certificate of Foal Registration to indicate the horse should no longer be considered a Thoroughbred for racing purposes. Unlike the previous Sold Without Pedigree, horses that are Retired from Racing are still considered Thoroughbreds for breeding purposes.

“For myriad reasons, owners may not want their Thoroughbred to race again, but they do want the horse’s offspring to be eligible for registration with The Jockey Club,” said Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director, The Jockey Club. “We developed the Sold as Retired from Racing rule with that in mind.”

To sell a horse as retired from racing, the owner must send a signed and notarized Sold as Retired from Racing form, a set of photographs of the horse, and the horse’s Certificate of Foal Registration to The Jockey Club within 60 days of the sale. The Jockey Club will stamp the certificate “Retired from Racing” and forward it to the purchaser. A copy of such stamped certificates will be made available at for interested industry stakeholders.

The rule change comes as welcome news to owners, horsemen, and organizations dedicated to aftercare.

“I recently tried to sell a horse for breeding purposes only, but the horse ended up back at the track,” said Thoroughbred owner Earle Mack. “This new rule will help owners do what they believe is in the best interests of their horses. We surely owe our horses that.”

“This is a valuable tool to protect the future of retired racehorses,” said Rick Violette Jr., president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. “It will simplify the transfer process and give owners the peace of mind of knowing the horses they retire will not race again.”

“This rule will greatly enhance Thoroughbred aftercare efforts,” said Mike Ziegler, executive director, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. “Many owners and rescue organizations were hesitant about sending pedigree papers with a horse because they were worried the horse would end up back on the track. Now, the papers can travel with the Thoroughbred to its second career, making it easier to identify and more appealing to new owners.”

The retired from racing rule is spelled out below and can be found in the online Principal Rules and Requirements of The American Stud Book at

New Rule 18


  • A. If an owner desires a Thoroughbred to be considered retired from racing, the owner/owner’s agent must submit the following to The Jockey Club within 60 days after the date of sale:
    • 1. The Certificate of Foal Registration;
    • 2. A completed Sold as Retired from Racing form bearing notarized signatures of both the owner/owner’s agent and the purchaser/purchaser’s agent;
    • 3. A set of four color photographs of the horse (front, both sides, and rear views) clearly showing the color and the markings (or lack of markings) on the head, legs and body; and
    • 4. Any further evidence and assurances as The Jockey Club may require.
  • B. Upon receipt in the Registry Office, the respective Certificate of Foal Registration will be stamped “Retired from Racing” and will be returned to the purchaser/purchaser’s agent. A copy of the stamped Certificate of Foal Registration will be made available on The Jockey Club Registry website at
  • C. Certificates of Foal Registration for Thoroughbreds that were recorded by the Registry Office as Sold Without Pedigree prior to March 2013 shall remain cancelled.
Additional information about the new Rule 18 may be obtained by contacting The Jockey Club Registry at or by calling (800) 444-8521. The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred racing and breeding, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms, among others. Additional information is available at