Breed Studbook and guidelines

All purebred registered horses in the California Vaquero Horse Association are descended from the Spanish type horses found on the Sulphur Springs Herd Management Area that were genetically proven to be old Spanish horses as well as being historically linked to Spanish Southern California.









How do I register my horse? - please click here.



Purebred Registry (studbook): Register of horses that meet the requirements to be called a purebred California Vaquero Horse. Requirements are: proof of lineage via parentage DNA testing, all ancestors are of Iberian type that meet the breed standard of the CVHA (photos or video being supplied when needed by the owner of the horse), all foundation ancestors (parents that came out of the wild from the Sulphur Springs Herd Management Area) have supporting Bureau of Land Management identification numbers that support that the horse being submitted for consideration into the studbook is a pure descendant of the Iberian herd that was discovered on the Mountain Home Range in South West Utah. Horses belonging to this studbook are inspected via photos and/or video. These horses are eligible to compete at CVHA sanctioned shows and work toward their Approved, Proven, and Elite breeding status*.


Half-California Vaquero Horse Registry (studbook): Horses belonging to this studbook are 50% or more, California Vaquero Horse. The purebred parent must be recorded in the Purebred Registry. Horses in this studbook are eligible to compete in any CVHA sanctioned show that has designated classes for the Half-California Vaquero Horse. Half-California Vaquero Horses do not qualify to work toward an Elite status* within the CVHA as all Half-California Vaquero Horses are not considered breeding stock.



Tiger Lily and her new 2018 colt Legado de Diego de España Antigua by Cesaré Borgia de España Antigua.

Approved Breeding Status Divisions

-All horses must be at least 3 years of age in order for the owner(s) to request that their stallion or mare be looked at for approved breeding status.


Approved Breeding Status:

A stallion or mare that has achieved an approved breeding status in the registry is a horse that has gone before a group of judges at a CVHA sanctioned breed class and has displayed very good - excellent in 1) conformation for riding 2) breed type 3) breed temperament 4) breed movement as defined by the breed standard. At this point, it is believed that the stallion or mare in question will likely be able to produce quality individuals in the breed. Horses in this division will be marked on their registration certificate with one asterisk at the end of their registered name.


Proven Breeding Status:

At this point, the mare or stallion that was an approved breeding stallion or mare has produced at least 7 foals out of different mares for stallions and at least 3 foals by different stallions for mares. In this division, breeding animals will prove that not only do the move, look, and act the part of a quality individual in the breed, but that they can also reproduce very good - excellent individuals in the above mentioned criteria. This division requires all required offspring as well as the horse being presented to move up into this division to be present at a CVHA sanctioned breed class. Horses in this division will be marked on their registration certificate with two asterisks at the end of their registered name.


Elite Status:

This division is the ultimate test and most prized of all three divisions as not only does the breeding animal must prove that s/he can look, act, and move the part of a quality individual in the breed and reproduce it, but the horse must also be doing well in upper division performance classes in the below described sports. Video classes will not be accepted. All awards won to count towards becoming an Elite Status breeding animal must be done at CVHA recognized or sanctioned events. Horses in this division will be marked on their registration certificate with three asterisks at the end of their registered name.


Halter Status:

To achieve this status for a stallion, he must have very good to excellent breed type as well as be able to reproduce this very good or excellent type in 7 foals out of different mares.  To achieve this status in a mare, she must display very good to excellent breed type and have produced three foals by different sires that also display very good to excellent breed type.


Performance Status: Stallion or mare place in the top 5 at a regional or national competition in either the working equitation,  doma vaquera, or reining cow horse disciplines. Working equitation consists of ease of handling, speed trial, dressage, and cattle work. This discipline allows owners and/or riders to show off the natural ability of this breed for agility, obedience, intelligence, and cattle work.


*At the CVHA, we recognize that it is important to maintain breed type which is why the Elite Status was sanctioned. However, we will not be repeating past mistakes that have been made by other registries by awarding those horses who do well at halter, but then not go on to also test the horse’s performance capabilities. By not requiring that the halter horse also prove that it can perform, other registries have discovered that although the horse looks beautiful, it often cannot function in the job that the breed was originally intended for. To prevent this from happening to the California Vaquero Horse, all Elite Status horses will have completed the requirements at halter as well as performance. A horse cannot achieve Elite Status by only having halter or performance points. It MUST be both. In this way, the CVHA hopes to achieve a horse that not only exemplifies breed type, but it also can still perform the job that it was intended for.