The Breed Registry

The Nokota® breed registry is complex, and this page attempts
to clarify the various registration categories and methods.

runsaloneThe Nokota® breed has been developed since 1986

The NHC has created a breed registry to support the conservation, breeding and individual ownership of Nokota® horses into the future. The registry currently tracks around two thousand horses, including both conservation breeding stock and those owned by close to three hundred and eighty private individuals. The registry database was developed by Charlie Fleischmann and is maintained by the NHC office in Linton, N.D. Shawna Lichtenwalner, registrar, welcomes comments and questions and may be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Registration is vital to the future of the Nokota® horses, and it becomes more important each year, as new foals arrive. By registering your horse and keeping us aware of births, deaths, and transfers, you make an important contribution towards establishing their security. Thank you for your help, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions. Nokotas® are a new breed and our policies continue to evolve. The NHC breed registration committee convenes at the annual June meeting and welcomes input from owners and breeders. Recent discussions have addressed how to restrict the re-sale of horses that are critical to the conservation effort, and how to encourage preservation breeders.

Initially the Kuntz family intended to cross-breed the park horses with their own ranch lines of Thoroughbreds, paints, ponies, and grade using horses. Later, two distinct breeding programs emerged: one aimed at preserving the original park strain, and a second, more commercial operation aimed at producing superior performance horses and ponies based on careful, limited outcrossing.

The basic categories of registration reflect these complementary goals. We seek to preserve and promote the family lines and phenotypes of the “original” Nokotas® removed from Theodore Roosevelt National Park while also recognizing the offspring of Nokotas® bred to non-Nokotas®. The Nokota Horse Conservancy® is concerned soley with preservation breeding for the original type.

Grandpa Smoke is a perfect example of the Ranch Nokota®. He is also a stunning example of the tiger dun overo coloration. Photo by Shelly Hauge, summer of 2000.


A.    Foundation Nokotas® were removed directly from the park, primarily during the 1980s and early 1990s. Many of the foundation stallions and mares, which formed the nucleus of the breed, are now deceased. Their offspring are termed “Foundation-bred” Nokotas®.

B.    On the advice of Dr. Phillip Sponenberg, the Foundation and Foundation-bred horses have been differentiated into two phenotypic categories, National Park Traditionals and National Park Ranch types (See “Nokota® type”). The conservancy manages a small herd of mostly traditional, but also of ranch-type foundation horses (approximately 75 in 2017) in order to maintain as much of the original spectrum of Foundation bloodlines as possible.  
C.    Cross-bred Nokotas® have also been organized into two subtypes, National Park Cross (NPC) and National Park Part Bloods (NPPB). National Park Cross horses must be at least 50% foundation-bred, and all non-Nokota® influence must have derived from the original Kuntz Breeding Stock (BS) used for the first several generations, when the gene pool was small. Kuntz Breeding stock horses included Blue Haymaker, a running AQHA stallion, Roundelle, a champion American Paint Horse mare, and a number of grade mares from Standing Rock reservation such as Sioux, Sloopy, and Joe’s Grey. Some NPC horses are more than 95% foundation bred, and some foundation Nokota® lines are only represented in NPC descendants. National Park Part Bloods must be at least 25% foundation bred, and their non-Nokota® heritage can be from any source. Such non-Nokota®, non-breeding stock horses are designated as “Other” (O) in the registry.

Red Wolf, a two year old Ranch type filly.
Photo by Dr. Castle McLaughlin, summer of 2002.


Ideally, the registration process involves three steps: the filing of a foal report, the issuing of official papers, and, if applicable, the transfer of papers when ownership of the horses changes.

A.    Foal Reports are issued for $10 during the first year of a horse’s life and for an additional $25 per year depending on the age of the horse by July first. Only foals whose sire and dam are in the registration database are eligible. The application form requires the name of the parent stock and a description of the foal. Upon filing a foal report, the horse will be issued a registration number and will be added to the database.

B.    Registration Papers are issued upon request for a fee of $50.00 once a “foal report” has been issued.

C.    Transfers of ownership can be accomplished with a $20 transfer fee.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the registrar, Shawna Lichtenwalner, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lakota Dancer, a Traditional herd stallion, 1993.