Lip Tattoo

Lip Tattoo

Lip Tattoo Examples and Information

All racehorses are required to have a lip tattoo for identification purposes prior to racing.   Any of the  racing breeds can have a lip tattoo if they were raced. This tattoo positively identifies the horse and its owner through the horse's registration papers.

We suggest that a professional do your tattoo, especially if you know nothing about the process.   Should you decide to "do it yourself", tattooing kits are available through vet supply catalogs and can either be applied by a veterinarian or by the horse owner.

Lip tattooing is another form of "branding" a horse and involves having a tattoo made of letters and numbers put on the inside of the upper lip. The downside regarding lip tattoos are that they are not visible without flipping the lip up, they can fade with age and many times they are not readable due to mottling on the horses lip.

Thoroughbreds, Quarterhorses, Appaloosas,  and Standardbreds, who have raced will have tattoos that definitively establish their ages with the exception that Standardbreds also allow freezebranding.

In thoroughbreds, the letter A means a birth year of 1997 and the letter B would 1998, C 1999.  When you finish the alphabet you go back to A. 

TRPB Tattoo - Horse Identity and Lip Tattoo

Through the use of a distinctive parallel cluster lip-tattoo die brand designed by the TRPB and registered as a Certification Mark in the United States and Canada, the TRPB has, since 1947, provided the Thoroughbred industry with the single most effective, secure, practical and economical method of horse identification available today.

The utility of this lip-tattoo identification system for racing purposes is demonstrated daily by attentive identifiers conscientiously following established guidelines and procedures in varied racing situations at Thoroughbred racetracks throughout the United States and Canada. (from TRPB website)

Horse Identity Research

Attention Thoroughbred owners! Do you own a lip-tattooed Thoroughbred but don't know its registered name, pedigree, and racing history? 

The Jockey Club has an App for that too! Click here to go there now.  Click here for The Jockey Club Registry homepage. Need to contact them? Click here.

How To Read A Lip Tattoo

Click  Here

Back to Equine Identification

Lip Tattoo application process

Personal lip tattoo on the lip of Skeeter, owned by Harold and Debi Metcalfe.


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