Hmm.. So the bill of sale didnt say anything about "Sale of an AQHA Registered Horse named "Montana"..." or anything like that? Did it mention that the horse was registered?
Even if it did.. unless they included the Full AQHA recognized name, or the horse's number... I don't think AQHA would view it as a legal sale. The reason they wont look the horse up by color/markings/birth year, is because they want to make sure that someone isnt trying to steal papers or claim ownership to another horse. Im glad they do this sort of thing!
I am getting Skippy! Registered with APHA after 12 years of waiting. I wanted to know if his Stallion was in the studbook for that year, and she asked me what year the mare was bred, and I got it wrong the first time (Duh Skippy!, it takes a year for a horse to be born :p) when I gave her the right year she asked me for the Mare's name, and then said I could get him registered. They aren't allowed to volunteer that information to anyone who asks. Privacy and all that fun stuff =)
Well, at least you have the bill of sale, meaning he is legally yours regardless of Papers.. so atleast she can't try to get him back saying he was stolen or something (im so pessimistic, lol!). I hope you can get the papers.. its always fun to have the history on the horse you own. That's why I like the Horse Associations horses.. lots of pedigree searchin! =) I've yet to find anything of importance in my poor Charity's papers! =)
Plus, its always fun to be in a horse club! =)