Is Your American Quarter Horse Marked for Greatness?

Coat color genetics can support American Quarter Horse and American Paint Horse dual registration.

Did you know that some Quarter Horses can also be registered as Paint Horses? As an official genetic testing partner of the American Paint Horse Association (APHA), Etalon Equine Genetics is dedicated to further expanding our knowledge of the growing number of unique color variants associated with Paint Horses. These same color variants have been found in some registered Quarter Horses, opening the door to dual registration with the APHA. Certain requirements must be met to register your American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) horse with the APHA, but it is possible!

Let’s take a closer look at how you can determine if your horse has the potential to be registered with both of these iconic breed associations. Maximize your horse’s breeding, showing, and marketing opportunities through these simple genetic testing and registration steps!

What is the American Paint Horse Association?

The American Paint Horse Association was formed in 1962 and is the world’s second-largest equine breed association. The founding members of the APHA had a love for the abilities of the Western stock-type horse and the variety of eye-catching color combinations that we associate with Paint Horses. Their decades of ongoing commitment to the responsible breeding of Paint Horses has generated more than a million APHA-registered horses across 59 nations and territories.

The APHA stands as the premier registry for stock-type horses that meet bloodline requirements and often display distinct coat patterns, which include a combination of white and any other color, or genetically test for white spotting patterns. While there are many terms used to describe Paint Horse markings, the APHA recognizes color patterns that are distinguished by the location of white on the horse and not on the color of the horse. These patterns are tobiano, overo, tovero, and solid.

As an internationally recognized organization, the American Paint Horse Association’s partnership with Etalon Equine Genetics offers a platform for horse enthusiasts to explore the unique genetic markers of their equine companions. By becoming a member of the APHA, you open up a world of possibilities to dive deeper into your horse’s heritage, performance potential, and health and color traits.

How to Register Your American Quarter Horse with the APHA

The following guidelines are provided by the American Paint Horse Association to help you identify if your horse qualifies for double registration. For further information or clarification about your horse’s registration eligibility, contact the APHA directly.

1. Eligibility: To register your American Quarter Horse with the APHA, your horse must possess the characteristics of an American Paint Horse, including a combination of white and any other color pattern that is at least 2 inches of solid white hair with some underlying unpigmented skin in the qualifying area. This means above the center of the knees/hocks or behind a line on the face from the outside corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth and under the chin to the opposite corner of the mouth.

A horse with only AQHA or Jockey Club parents must meet those minimum color requirements and will also be required to have DNA genetic testing for the color/pattern panel as well as parentage verification.

If your AQHA horse has a parent who is already APHA registered, then your horse is eligible for APHA registration whether or not he has qualifying white markings on his coat. Genetic testing for white spotting patterns might help make your horse eligible for Regular Registry with APHA as well.

2. Documentation: To submit your horse for APHA registration, submit the completed APHA registration application, a copy of your horse’s AQHA registration certificate (front and back — this is used in place of the required signatures on the registration application and breeding report), the required photos and payment for applicable fees.

3. Genetic Testing: APHA recognizes the following white spotting patterns for use in APHA-registration: Tobiano, Frame Overo, Sabino 1, Splashed White (SW1, SW2, SW3, SW5, SW6, SW7) and W5, W10, W20, W22, W31, W32, W34 and W35. To discover if your horse carries a spotting pattern, order an Etalon DNA test for your horse. Create an account at and send in your horse’s hair sample. Etalon Equine Genetics offers the most comprehensive DNA testing kit, providing valuable insights into your horse’s coat color genetics, and potential health risks. Utilize this opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of your horse’s genetic profile and unveil hidden possibilities.

4. Submitting the Registration Application: Complete the APHA registration application, ensuring all necessary information is provided accurately. Include the DNA test results obtained through Etalon Equine Genetics to enhance the registration process and validate your horse’s eligibility for dual registration.

For more information about APHA registration, visit

Why Genetic Testing Helps Horse Owner

Genetic testing has allowed the pool of horses to grow within a breed registry. By widening the herd of horses eligible for registration, associations improve the overall quality of the breed population. A horse with a more expansive pedigree or breed composition provides a lower inbreeding coefficient. This elevates the future of the equine industry as a whole and ensures a stronger, more persistent generation of horses. Etalon Equine Genetics research and discoveries have allowed for more inclusion within the American Paint Horse Association.

There are currently over 40 identifiable white markers in horses and seven have been proudly discovered by Etalon at this time. Curious to know if your horse could be hiding one of these color genes in their DNA? Order testing from Etalon today and find out!

FAQ – Common Questions About Registering a Quarter Horse as a Paint Horse

Q: Can I register my American Quarter Horse with the APHA if it doesn’t have a coat pattern?

A: Yes! The APHA allows for solid-colored American Quarter Horses to be registered as “Solid Paint-Bred” horses if the horse is AQHA registered and has a parent that is already registered with APHA. While they may not possess the iconic coat patterns, they still have the opportunity to participate in APHA events and enjoy the benefits of membership.

Q: What are the advantages of dual registration with the APHA?

A: Dual registration offers numerous advantages, including expanded opportunities for competition, recognition in both the American Quarter Horse and American Paint Horse industries, and access to a vast network of breeders and enthusiasts who share a passion for these remarkable equines.

Q: How long does the registration process typically take?

A: The registration process can vary, but once all of the required genetic testing results and documentation is submitted correctly, it generally takes a few weeks for APHA to process the application and officially register your horse.

Q: Can my APHA-registered horse also later be registered with AQHA?

A: For an APHA horse to be eligible for AQHA registration, that horse’s sire and dam must be registered with AQHA or the Jockey Club.

Make Your Mark – Your Journey Awaits

As you embark on the path of registering your American Quarter Horse with the American Paint Horse Association, Etalon Equine Genetics stands as your trusted supporter. With our comprehensive DNA testing services, you can unravel the mysteries hidden within your horse’s genetic code. Connect with Etalon Equine Genetics today and unlock the full spectrum of possibilities for your equine partner. Unleash the power of colors and watch your horse shine in all its genetic brilliance.

Etalon Diagnostics offers multiple options for testing, including individual tests and our package bundle “Novel Whites.” Order the right testing for your horse today!