Horse Markings on Canadian EIAs

When GlobalVetLink is used to submit samples to a CFIA-approved laboratory for EIA testing, digital photographs of the animal (left side, front and right side) can be used in place of drawings.

  • Lighting conditions, image resolution, proper positioning of the horse and the absence of objects that could obstruct the animal (e.g. saddle, blanket, structures) must be considered when taking digital photographs.

  • The quality of digital photographs should allow precise identification of the horse by inspectors.

Failure to produce good quality photographs may result in the electronic EIA test certificate being rejected by an inspector.

White Markings

All white markings need to be visible on digital photographs, and the full length of all appendages needs to appear in the photographs.

  • For frontal photographs, if the only markings are on the head, the photograph can be limited to the head; if there are white markings on the front legs, the full length of the legs must be included in the photographs.

  • All descriptor fields are required to be filled. Please use "N/A" or "None" if appropriate.

  • If an electronic submission system is used for equines with very detailed markings (e.g. Appaloosas), written descriptions of the white markings are not required and "N/A" can be used in the descriptor fields.

The characteristics of all white marks must be described. A white mark can be regular or irregular. It can be mixed with the hair of the coat, completely or in part, or at the edge. It can be bordered, a band of black skin shows under the white hair at the edge of the mark (the area appears bluish).

Head Markings:

The description should begin at the forehead, followed by the nasal bone, the muzzle, lips and chin. Please use free-typing function when adding markings to GVL animal profile if your marking is not listed in drop down.

  • Star

    • Any white mark on the forehead. Size, shape, intensity, position and colored markings (if any) on the white to be specified. Should the markings in the region of the center of the forehead consist of a few white hairs only, it should be so described and not referred to as a star.

  • Stripe

    • The narrow white marking down the face not wider than the flat anterior surface of the nasal bones. In many cases, the star and stripe are continuous and should be described as star and stripe connected. When the stripe is separate and distinct from the star it should be described as interrupted stripe. When no star is present the point of origin of the stripe should be indicated. The termination of the stripe and any variation in breadth, direction and any markings on the white should be so stated, e.g. broad stripe, narrow stripe, inclined to left, etc. Any markings on the white should be stated.

  • Blaze

    • A white marking covering almost the whole of the forehead between the eyes and extending beyond the width of the nasal bones and usually to the muzzle. Any variations in direction, termination and any markings on the white should be stated.

  • White Face

    • When the white covers the forehead and front of the face, extending laterally towards the mouth. The extension may be unilateral or bilateral, in which case it should be described accordingly.

  • Snip

    • An isolated white marking, independent of those already named, and situated between or in the region of the nostrils. Its size, position and intensity should be specified. When a snip is connected with a stripe it should be recorded as such, e.g. star, stripe connected snip.

  • Flesh Mark

    • Lack of pigmentation. A flesh mark is described as such and not as a white mark. Black spots within the flesh mark are to be indicated. All lip markings, whether flesh marks or white marks, should be accurately described.

  • White Muzzle

    • When the white embraces both lips and extends to the region of the nostrils.

Limb Markings:

All white markings on the limbs must be accurately defined and the upper limit precisely stated with reference to points of the anatomy, e.g. white to mid-pastern, white to upper third of cannon.

The use of such terms as "sock" or "stocking" are not acceptable. Please use free-typing function when adding markings to GVL animal profile.

The exact location must be specified, examples are listed below:


  • White coronet; white pastern; white fetlock; white to knee; white to hock; white to hind quarter;

  • White patch on coronet (anterior, lateral, medial, posterior)

  • White ring around limb: does not extend down to the coronet.

The presence of colored spots in white marks should be recorded. Black spots in a white coronet are referred to as ermine marks.

This information is found on the CFIA website at the link below. For more information about FEI horse identification requirements, please visit:

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