HRNZ Messsage regarding Foal Microchipping

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Natalie Gameson, HRNZ

From 1 August 2020 all foals will be microchipped, freeze branded and DNA tested, by the HRNZ appointed horse identifier (brander). This will be the only season we are both freeze branding and microchipping. From 1 August 2021 (2021/22 season) all foals will be microchipped and DNA tested only – we will NO longer be freeze branding.

Harness Racing New Zealand is using the LifeChip Microchips which are produced by Destron Fearing in France. This is the same technology that is used by many racing entities including Harness Racing Australia, so the microchips are already been successfully implanted in race horses.

Our horse identifiers are being trained by a veterinary surgeon, on the process of implanting the microchips. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and the method of inserting the chip is very simple, the area that the microchip is implanted is sterilised and shaved of long hair. The microchip is then placed along the top of the neck, beside the nuchal ligament, half way between the ears and the withers.

The Harness Racing New Zealand Infohorse database will be updated to include the microchip numbers, as will all paperwork. Owners and trainers will be responsible for correctly identifying their horses.

It will be the responsibility of the owner and/or trainer to be able to correctly identify their horse(s). Harness Racing New Zealand is investigating what suitable microchip scanners are available. There are many scanners on the market in a variety of price ranges – Trade Me and Aliexpress have scanners for sale, or for a bigger operation the Destron LifeChip scanners may be an option.

Harness Racing New Zealand has trialed with success the ISO FDX-A/B HDX handheld animal chip 134.2khz rfid reader and the Global Pocket Reader Plus, UNIVERSAL MICROCHIP SCANNER, both of which have Bluetooth capabilities at varying prices. If you have any questions about scanners please feel free to contact us.

HRNZ will have our own microchip readers that can operate Bluetooth, WIFI or a USB connector, these will be used by the RIU and any staff members needing to identify horses.

All Harness Racing New Zealand Rules and Regulations have been updated to include the microchipping commencement.