Given GDF5 involvement in hip development, and osteoarthritis (OA) and developmental hip dysplasia (DDH) risk, here we sought to assess the role(s) of GDF5 and its regulatory sequence on the development of hip morphology linked to injury risk. The brachypodism (bp) mouse, which harbors a Gdf5 inactivating mutation, was used to survey how Gdf5 loss of function impacts the development of hip morphology. Two transgenic Gdf5 reporter BAC lines were used to assess the spatiotemporal expression of Gdf5 regulatory sequences. Each BAC line was also used to assess the functional roles of upstream and downstream sequence on hip morphology. bp/bp mice had shorter femora with smaller femoral heads and necks as well as larger alpha angles, smaller anterior offsets, and smaller acetabula, compared to bp/+ mice (p<0.04). Regulatory sequences downstream of Gdf5 drove strong prenatal (E17) expression and low postnatal (6 months) expression across regions of femoral head and acetabulum. Conversely, upstream regulatory sequences drove very low expression at E17 and no detectable expression at 6 months. Importantly, downstream, but not upstream Gdf5 regulatory sequences fully restored all the key morphologic features disrupted in bp/bp mice. Hip morphology is profoundly affected by Gdf5 absence, and downstream regulatory sequences mediate its effects by controlling Gdf5 expression during development. This downstream region contains numerous enhancers harboring risk variants related to hip OA, DDH, and dislocation. We posit that subtle alterations to morphology driven by changes in downstream regulatory sequence underlie this locus' role in hip injury risk.