Things Everyone Needs to Know about USDF Horse Registration

Illustration by Elizabeth Hendrix was an entry in 2018 USDF Arts Contest.

Keeping track of membership, horse registration, and specific program requirements can be a daunting task for the most experienced members and competitors. Below are answers to some of the most common (and confusing) topics related to USDF horse registration.

What types of horse registrations does USDF offer?

Lifetime Horse Registration (LHR) – The highest level of horse registration available, the USDF LHR is required for most USDF championship and award programs; including Adequan®/USDF Year-End Awards, Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Dressage Championships, USDF Breeders Championship Series Finals, and the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®. A USDF Lifetime Horse Registration can be obtained through the USDF website for a one-time payment of $115.

USDF Horse Identification Number (HID) – The USDF HID fulfills minimum horse registration requirements necessary for competition. Any horse competing in a USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized competition must have a minimum of a USDF HID*. USDF Horse Identification Numbers are also the minimum horse registration requirement to earn scores towards USDF Rider Awards. A USDF Horse Identification Number can be obtained through the USDF website for a one-time payment of $35.

*Certain classes are exempt from this requirement, please refer to the current USDF Member Guide for the full exemption list.

Do I need both a USDF HID and USDF LHR for my horse?

NO. Only one type of horse registration is necessary. To determine which horse registration you need, refer to specific program requirements as outlined in the USDF Member Guide.

Do I need to renew my horse registration with USDF?

NO, neither of the USDF horse registrations (LHR and HID) need to be renewed. Once purchased, the registration stays with the horse throughout their career, until passing.

If I purchase a USDF HID for a horse, but later need a USDF LHR for competition and awards purposes, how do I go about that?

SIMPLE! To upgrade a horse’s USDF HID, simply go to the online horse registration application and select upgrade. The cost of the upgrade is $80 (the difference between an HID and LHR). Keep in mind, while scores for an HID-registered horse will be recorded, most award and championship programs require a USDF Lifetime Horse Registration at the time the scores are earned.

If I purchased my horse and it already has a USDF horse registration, do I need to re-register it?

NO. USDF horse registrations and numbers stay with the horse forever. If your new horse already has a USDF horse registration, you will need to complete a transfer of ownership. Full instructions for transferring ownership of a horse can be found on the USDF website. The cost to transfer ownership of a horse with a USDF HID is $15 and an LHR is $35.

I am leasing a horse with a USDF horse registration. If there are owner membership requirements, must I purchase memberships for the actual owners if they don’t already have them?

NO. If you are leasing a horse with a USDF horse registration, you simply need to submit a USDF Lease Recording Form, along with the recording fee ($35). For the duration of the term of the lease, the lessee is considered the owner of record for competition/score purposes, and therefore any “owner” membership requirements would be fulfilled by the lessee’s membership.

The horse I am leasing is not currently registered with USDF. Can I register the horse with myself listed as owner?

NO. If you are registering a horse with USDF that you are currently leasing, the horse registration must be submitted in the name of the actual owner(s), and then a USDF Lease Recording form and appropriate fee submitted, naming you as lessee.

If you have any questions, please contact Horse Registration at 859-271-7880 or

Want more information, check out these other listicles on YourDressage.

5 Common Questions About Horse Registration with USDF

5 Things to Remember When Transferring Horse Ownership

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