Paint horse breeders will come face to face with advanced technology beginning today (May 10), when the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) takes an industry lead and unveils an innovative online horse registration program for its members. The process will streamline registration for American Paint Horse owners and APHA, which registers new horses at its Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters at a rate of more than 50,000 per year. With nearly two-thirds of its total 765,000 horses registered in the past 10 years alone, APHA has become one of the fastest-growing horse breed registries in the world.
The APHA Information Technology (IT) team has been working on the project since late last year for the spring launch of the program. Currently, only the owners of mares at the time of foaling can use the new service to register offspring. Future developments, however, are planned.
According to the APHA, the new program offers several advantages for breeders:
Enhanced customer service: For members who require quick turnaround times, nothing will be faster or more accurate than online registration.
Faster processing time: Applicants can be sure their registrations will be received instantly by APHA. In addition, a registration team dedicated to online applications will process their transactions.
Error reduction: Special features in the new system ensure that data is entered completely and correctly. If data is missing or appears to be inaccurate, users will be prompted to re-enter the information. Similarly, if a proposed horse registration name is a duplicate of one that already exists, users will be instructed to select another name. There will be no delay in processing time.
Efficiency: A properly completed application form ensures that APHA registration staff members can quickly complete the process of creating a registration certificate. Applicants will know immediately if the information they are submitting needs to be updated or corrected.
No postage costs: Those who register using the new process will normally complete the entire transaction on-line, eliminating the need for mailing.
Easy access to transaction records: Online registration users will know the status of their application from the moment they submit their on-line registration forms. Additionally, the use of the latest encryption technology ensures that all of the information submitted is safe and secure.
Greater flexibility: Users can take horse registration photographs with a digital camera or use a scanner to digitize prints, then simply upload them with their on-line application. There is no need to make prints and send them through the mail.
A History of Advancements
"We have come a long way from the early days of when Paint patterns were literally drawn and colored in by hand on registration certificates," said Jim Kelley, APHA executive secretary.
"In later years, actual horse photos were pasted onto the certificates. Then in 2000, we made the transition of actually printing photographs onto the registration papers. While these were all important steps, we expect that Internet technology will now allow us to make the registration process faster and more efficient than it has ever been before.
"Also, we are proud to be the first major Western stock horse breed registry to make online registration available to its members."
Last fall, APHA launched an online service for the owners of Paint Horse stallions to register their breeding reports online. The association requires this information to assist it in tracking and verifying breedings.
In addition, APHA maintains a database containing pedigrees for all of the more than 765,000 horses in its registry. That information is available free to APHA members.
The association is also currently in the process of scanning more than 3.5 million photographs associated with those pedigrees, to ensure there are electronic images on file with each registration.
Finally, APHA maintains extensive web sites at http://apha.com and http://aphaonline.com, which had visits and information requests totaling more than 5 million last year.