Appendix vs. Quarter Horse

Learn the difference between the AQHA Appendix and Quarter Horse registries.

Learn the difference between the AQHA Appendix and Quarter Horse registries.

2012 Amateur Hunter Hack world champion Art Of The Deal is an Appendix Quarter Horse by Artful Investment and out of Skamokawa(TB).

In a previous post, Thoroughbred Recording, we explained how to list a Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbred on AQHA records for breeding purposes. But what happens once the foal is born? Because AQHA is a breed registry, how does a horse that is not completely Quarter Horse get registered and differentiated from full-blooded Quarter Horses?

AQHA has created a special registry and numbering system for these Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred crosses. These horses are considered Quarter Horses, but are named for the registry system created for them — Appendix. They are denoted with Appendix Certificate on the top of the registration certificate in blue (if you have an older-style certificate, it may have a gold border). Their registration numbers also begin with an X.  AQHA has registered more than 600,000 Appendix horses to date.

While Appendix horses are eligible to compete in all AQHA competitions with no stipulations, there are breeding restrictions. An Appendix horse can only be bred back to a permanent, or regular numbered Quarter Horse. An Appendix cannot be bred to a Thoroughbred or another Appendix horse and still be registered with AQHA. But, as is true everywhere, there are exceptions to every rule.

Part of AQHA’s Mission Statement is to uphold the integrity of the Quarter Horse breed. If an Appendix horse can prove itself as versatile and worthy of being a Quarter Horse, AQHA will advance the Appendix horse, and that horse can now be bred to a Thoroughbred, Appendix or Quarter Horse, with the resulting foal being eligible for registration with AQHA. The requirements for advancement are an 80 or better Speed Index on a race track or a Register of Merit in the open division at AQHA-approved shows. (Amateur and youth ROMs do not qualify for advancement.)

Once your Appendix horse has proven itself and can be advanced, submit the following to AQHA:

  • The Appendix certificate
  • $25 for a gelding, $50 for a mare or $100 for a stallion. The recorded owner of the horse also has to be a current member.
  • If the horse is a stallion, a statement from a vet is required verifing that that horse is not a cryptorchid and does not have parrot mouth. (This and ineligibility for halter exhibition are the only stipulations AQHA places on cryptorchid stallions.)
  • The horse cannot have excessive white markings.
  • If the Horse is a descendent of Impressive, the horse must have N/N hyperkalemic perodic paralysis (HYPP) results on file with AQHA. N/H and H/H horses cannot be advanced.

If your Appendix mare or stallion advances, his or her foals are also automatically eligible to be advanced. The foals that are already registered must be submitted for advancement as specified above. Any future foals will automatically be registered as applicable. If an advanced Appendix horse is bred back to another Appendix or a Thoroughbred, the foal reverts back to Appendix status. AQHA sends a letter to the recorded owners of all Appendix horses eligible for advancement.

All that said, Appendix horses are not considered beneath Quarter Horses. As a matter of fact, they are still considered Quarter Horses. They are a valuable part of AQHA, and their breeding helps the American Quarter Horse be the best it can be.

69 thoughts on “Appendix vs. Quarter Horse”

  1. There was a comment above stating that the newer, leaner, appendix horses are flighty, hot and more prone to breaking down!!! I find this highly offensive. We have had 3 and I would have dared you to find more mentally and physically stable animals! In fact our one mare, who was 17.2 hands was TOO calm for my taste. He preferred gait was a slow western pleasure jog! I think to label these horses as those things is completely unfair and not justified. Maybe you had contact with badly bred or handled ones but I really wish you would take the time to go and see some GOOD ones before making this kind of comment

  2. I have 3 appendix. One a NuBar G.daughter. I always think of the throughbred stallion Three Bars as having the most influence on the Quarter HOrse via appendix offspring.

  3. I have a 22 year old Appendix mare. She is very smart, athletic, and versatile. She has been ridden in parades, shown at halter, raced barrels, jumped, and even participated in cow penning. She rides English and Western. I started teaching my kids how to ride on her when they were four. She has had three beautiful babies, but is pretty much retired now. She is a descendant of Native Dancer, an amazing race horse.

  4. I have a few questions about the OLD appendix QH’s that are listed in the database with A in front of their number.

  5. i purchased an 8yr old stallion. He is not registered as a QH but i was informed that his Dam and Sire wre registered AQHA. Can i still register him eventhough both dam and sire are deceased but i do know both the owners? i bred my stallion with my thouroughbred mare and will foal soon. i would like to register the foal but i know i wont be able because of my stallion. what can i do?

  6. I have owned a pure thoroughbred and am now a very proud owner of an Appendix mare out of Iron Enterprise, her mother was a pure thoroughbred. Neither my first horse or the mare I own now are “hot”. My tb was a go anywhere, do anything kind of horse. I showed her at open shows and even placed well in western pleasure classes. My appendix is only 6 and she without question has the same laidback attitude that my tb had and both are easily more calm then some qh’s I’ve seen. My appendix has Somethingroyal on her papers (Secretariat’s dam), she’s a descendant of some of the great tb’s like Seattle Slew, Man O’War, War Admiral and I could continue. She is VERY smart, willing and tries hard to learn new things. I think the two separate registries are fine as AQHA is still keeping the pure QH and the appendix separate. But I disagree 100% when an appendix is labeled as “hot” and less versatile. I wouldn’t trade my appendix mare for anything.

    And to stand up for the thoroughbreds… many people generalize the breed because they see the racehorses or even the off the track horses that have not yet been retrained and YES they are hot. But if all I saw was the racing quarter horses I’d probably generalize the entire qh breed as hot too. There is a lot more that goes into a horse’s personality other than what breed it is.

    On a final note, I do agree that the pure quarter horses have changed in build. I think the super skinny necks mixed with their HUGE muscled bodies makes their heads look ity bity and it’s just silly. They look completely un-proportioned!

  7. I am only going to say, why can’t a quarter horse be a quarter horse and not mixed up with all the color breeds? Paints should be paints and apps should be apps. Now they HAVE to be half quarter, when they started as a color breed. Nothing wrong with a REAL quarter horse that is ALL quarter horse and not half of something else. Gimme that FOUNDATION horse 🙂

  8. Thank you for the info. My mare is appendix but is 14.2 hh and stocky. She definitely took after her quarter side. My girl is anything but hot. She’d rather go slow on down the trail.

  9. I know this is off topic but I really need some info I have a mare that has halter breeding in her I want to breed her to a race bred horse do I have a good chance of her producing a race horse since the are both QH? ?? In info please

  10. Hi, I have a horse that when I purchased was told he was a “warmblood”. I few weeks after I purchased him I noticed a lip tattoo.I have no idea what breed he is. Ive read about the letter before the number for a thoroughbred and a letter after the number with a quarter horse. He has NO letter, only numbers. Is there anyway you can help?

  11. Just curious, what is the age limit on a horse for entering the race? I have one heck of an Appendix!….Father was 100% qh, mother was 100% thorough bred. I have had her since she was 9mos old. Her reg. name is “Simply Iris”, born April 15,1998.

  12. Hi,

    I want to buy a filly. Her dam has TB in her thrd generation. Her sire is registered as aqha. Is there a possibility that this filly can be registered with the AQHA? And not as an appendix?

  13. I have a gelding I raised from a newborn foal. His lineage is Three Bars, Native Dancer way back, goes to Man O War, Spotted Bull. He is considered 7/8ths Thorobred. Up to today he has AQH 4 generations. He is considereded AQH.
    g-parents are reg. as AQHA. He does have FQH on dam’s side.

  14. hello I’m from Venezuela I am buying a filly AQHA appendix I wonder if some day some of the children from her foals would become pure aqha like to know what those requirements for foals someday become pure thanks excuse my bad writing but I speak little English


  15. So I can not breed my appendix registered mare to a thoroughbred stallion (and have the colt registered) unless she shows and places in AQHA events or has an 80 or better Speed index?

  16. I have a 6 yr old quarter horse, but I believe she is an Appendix because of her thinner, taller build, she has no papers and I want to get her registered. Would DNA testing be enough?

  17. I thought this was good info for people who r new or just don’t know. To those that don’t know most foundation bred horses have a large amount of three bars influence. Three bars being a thoroughbred. So to days horses must look more like the old horses.

  18. I thought this was a great article. I have an appendix with a TB mom and Artful Investment as the sire and she is built like a large tank. She has longer legs but still has a wonderful temperment, not hot whatssoever and is sturdy. We haven’t had any lameness issues and she has been jumping 2 foor and over for a while now. Am very pleased with appendix horses and consider them equal to QHs.

  19. 5 yr old APHA gelding registered paint,
    can i now register him as a aqha appendix horse

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