Transporting equine to Europe in a post-Brexit landscape

Since Brexit was made official in January 2020, rules and regulations surrounding the transportation of equine from the UK to Europe have changed. The government advises using professional services to ensure the safe transportation of your horses.

There are several elements you need to consider to prepare your horses for export:

  • Essential documentation
  • Isolation and residency requirements
  • Equine identification
  • Vehicle authorisation
  • EU Border rules
  • Returning to the UK
  • Customs and Taxes

Essential Documentation
There are several documents that need to be acquired for all live equine looking to travel to the EU from the UK. Any horses with a purple FEI Recognition Card are classed as “registered with a national branch of an international organisation for sporting or competition purposes” and do not require any further Government-issued documents. For more information on what qualifies as an FEI Recognition Card, take a look at the Federation Equestre Internationale’s guidelines

Export Health Certificate
If you’re planning to export any equine out of the UK to Europe, it’s important to obtain an official document called EHC. This document confirms that your export complies with the health requirements of the destination country. An official vet who works in a private practice and on behalf of the government will conduct blood tests and sign off on the certificate.

Disease Testing
Export Health Certificate testing consists of proving your equine is free of certain diseases. If your equine is registered with either a national branch of an international body for sporting and competition purposes or an EU-recognised UK Studbook, or if it is going to stay in the EU for less than 90 days, you must get it tested for equine infectious anaemia within 90 days of travel.

For permanent and all other temporary exports and movements, you need to get your equines tested for equine infectious anaemia within 30 days of travel.

Isolation and Residency Requirements
Before you can transport or move equine registered with EU Studbooks’ or a national branch of an international racing or competition organisation, you need to keep it on a holding in Great Britain, the EU, Northern Ireland or a country with a similar health status either:

  • For 40 days,
  • Since birth
  • Since its entry into Great Britain

You must isolate your equine from other horses that do not have a comparable health status for at least 30 days, before transporting them either temporarily or permanently.

It is also essential that you keep your registered horse under supervision for 30 days.  Your supervising vet does not need to be an official vet. However, an official vet must confirm that you have met these requirements before you export the equine.

Equine Identification
You can use the horse passport to export or move equines registered in conjunction with the following registrations:

  • an EU-recognised studbook (this includes all UK Studbooks)
  • a national branch of an international racing or competition organisation

Upon arrival at your destination, your equine passport and EHC must be kept together and be ready to present.

Vehicle Authorisation
Any driver certifications registered in the UK are no longer valid in the EU. The vehicle used for transporting equines between the UK and Europe now requires registration and authorisation by governing EU bodies.

At Newmarket Racehorse Transportation, we offer transport services by road, sea, or air, that all use authorised vehicles for the stress-free and safe transportation of equine.

EU Border Rules
Custom declaration forms must be completed prior to travelling to Europe. It is important to complete this documentation to prevent any fines or delays in transportation. From 31 January 2024, imports of live animals from the EU to Great Britain will be categorised as high risk under the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM).

Those looking to transport equine will now need to complete a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) in place of the old Import Notification (IMP). This document can be acquired by logging into the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System(IPAFFS). You will also need to notify APHA and check that you have the correct documents you need to travel safely and legally.

New checks at the border on live animals from the EU will be introduced in late 2024, but for now, the government has advised that EU/EFTA/EEA origin horses will continue to be checked at the destination.

Taxes and Customs
When temporarily importing and exporting your horse(s), you can pay a bond, which reflects the value of the goods being exported and is returned once the horse re-enters the country of origin.

Alternatively, you can get an ATA Carnet (, which consists of a fee allowing you to put the horse and the kit on one carnet, using it multiple times for up to a year. This is the best value for most competitors who are going backwards and forwards to Europe during a season.

Not paying charges before-hand can lead to various fees and potential delays in your transportation.

Next Steps
For more information or to keep up with the most recent changes to export and import regulations, check the government updates  If you are looking to transport your equine to Europe from the UK, get in touch with a member of our team.






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Transport your equine in comfort, safety and style

At Newmarket Racehorse Transport, we prioritise excellence and lead the industry in horse transport. That’s why we partnered with Mercedes-Benz to create the new Actros horse transporters. Equine travelling between the UK and Europe can now make their journeys in the utmost safety, comfort and style in one of two of our new vans.

These two new trucks represent the latest stage in a five-year programme to replace all 15 vehicles on the fleet with a new Mercedes-Benz chassis.

Ensuring your Horses Safety

The first of the new, state-of-the-art vans is a 26-tonne Actros 2536, with plenty of space for nine horses in individual stalls. The van features a rear steering axle for increased manoeuvrability – meaning safe transportation of your horses is easier. The second van is an 18-tonne 1830 model with enough space to house 7 horses in individual stalls.

Both of these models have specifications which allow for a lower floor and driving position, improving both vision and ease of access for their drivers. Cameras and remote temperature control systems mean the stall areas can be monitored and kept at the ideal temperature from the cab. The stalls can be accessed via loading ramps to the sides and rear, and both trucks feature underfloor lockers.

Thoughtful Extras

Although the vans are designed to transport horses, we have also thought about accommodating human passengers. The cabs have optional, upgraded interactive versions of the Mercedes-Benz Multimedia Cockpit, while the bodies, by leading equine transport specialist Oakley Horseboxes (,  boast comfortably furnished groom areas with seating, washing and toilet facilities, and roof-mounted sleeping pods.

Our Commitment to Providing the Highest Standard

Our Operations Manager, Jason Anderson, stated: “We are committed to providing the highest standards of comfort and safety for travelling horses, passengers and our own staff. We believe that Mercedes-Benz and Oakley are at the forefront of design and manufacture in their respective fields, so we’re confident that these vehicles are the best we could get,”

“We strive to make continual improvements, and these new additions will ensure that we can offer the highest standards to horse owners, with a complete service to all destinations. Our choice of Mercedes-Benz was strongly influenced by access to the comprehensive package of safety assistance systems fitted to the Actros. Meanwhile, the addition of cameras, sensors and additional lighting systems means the driver has access to everything required to provide the exacting level of care that is the foundation of NRT’s reputation.”

He continued: “Road Transport is a key area of our business. We frequently travel into or close to major towns and cities throughout the UK and Europe, many of which have either introduced low-emission zones or are considering doing so. By meeting the latest emissions standards, these new trucks strengthen the fleet as well as ensuring total compliance when travelling through major cities in this country and beyond.”

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Global Sprint Challenge Suspended

Back in September we posted a blog about the Australian Government imposing a six-month quarantine on all horses that are imported from Hong Kong. This was due to biosecurity issues regarding the new Conghua Training Centre which is located in mainland China.

Four months later and there are no signs of this row being resolved any time soon, therefore the organisers of the Global Sprint Challenge have made the decision to suspend the series in 2018.

The Global Sprint Challenge is a competition that incorporates ten Group 1 races across the world in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, the UAE and the UK. Due to the fact that not all horses would be able to compete in all of the races, the partners have decided that it would not be fair for the series to go ahead.

“We have regrettably decided to suspend the Challenge in 2018,” said series chairman Leigh Jordon.

“However, the partners remain committed to the Challenge which operates in a sphere where intercontinental horse movement is particularly strong.”

He went on to reassure fans that the Series is by no means gone for good, saying: “Once the restrictions between Hong Kong and Australia have been lifted we intend to re-launch with a bigger and better series in 2019.”

The Global Sprint Challenge has been running since 2005 and recognises the horse that accumulates 42 points or more over the course of a season as long as it competes in a challenge race in at least three countries.

There is also an additional bonus of $1m for the horse that wins at least three of these races, however this has not yet been achieved since the inception of the Challenge.

The Standoff

The Australian Government and the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) seem to still be at loggerheads over the issue. The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources remains dissatisfied with the HKJC’s biosecurity arrangements, while the HKJC maintains that the standards are sound and in line with World Organisation for Animal Health guidelines.

We shall just have to wait and see…

If you would like to find out about how these issues might affect the movement of your horse, get in touch with us on 01638 663155 or click here.

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Looking ahead to the Tattersalls Sale

It’s the start of a new year and here at NRT we are already looking ahead to the next big event in Newmarket, the Tattersalls February Sale.

The impressive catalogue of 445 lots features 164 fillies, 46 broodmares, 175 colts and geldings, 46 yearlings, and 15 two-year olds. And if you are in any doubt about the quality of these lots, just take look at the selection of owner/breeders which includes some of the most famous organisations in the world: Godolphin, Juddmonte Farms and Shadwell Estates.

With a number of records being broken in 2017 we cannot wait for the start of another year of excitement at Tattersalls!

Commenting on the 2018 Tattersalls February Sale, Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony said; “The Tattersalls February Sale goes from strength to strength and this year’s catalogue has quality in abundance.

“The dams of last year’s Group 2 Railway Stakes winner BECKFORD and 2016 St Leger winner HARBOUR LAW were both purchased at the February Sale, and there is no shortage of high class breeding stock in this year’s catalogue.

“Additionally there are high class horses in training, two year olds and yearlings to appeal to the usual diverse mix of domestic and international buyers that have made the February Sale Europe’s undisputed leading midwinter sale.”

Thoroughbred Transportation

NRT takes great pride in once again being involved in the safe transportation of these highly-prized animals. Our expert team will be providing their professional service to ensure that each racehorse that we deliver arrives safe, comfortable and relaxed. If you need to transport a thoroughbred, look no further than NRT.

To find out more about the services we offer and how we can help you, get in touch today be calling 01638 663155 or clicking here.

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2018 Major Race Meetings

What a year it was in 2017 for horseracing! A fantastic season which saw some amazing thrills and spills and all the excitement you would expect from this fantastic sport. And although this year is now drawing to a close, 2018 is nearly here!

To help you plan for another fantastic year, below we’ve put together a full list of 2018 major race meetings so you can ensure you don’t miss any of the action!

If you are taking part in any of these meetings and require professional racehorse transport services, we can help. Our highly experienced team knows all about racehorse transportation and has a vast amount of experience along with state-of-the-art vehicles and equipment.

If you’d like to find out more, give us a call on 01638 663155 or click here to read about our services.

2018 Major Race Meetings

1st January 2018 | New Year Meeting | Cheltenham

20th January 2018 | Clarence House Chase | Ascot

27th January 2018 | Trials Meeting | Cheltenham

10th February 2018 | Betfair Super Saturday | Newbury

17th February 2018 | Ascot Chase | Ascot

24th February 2018 | Kempton Park Chase | Kempton

10th March 2018 | Matchbook Imperial Cup | Sandown

13th-16th March 2018 | Cheltenham Festival | Cheltenham

24th March 2018 | Lincoln Handicap | Doncaster

30th March 2018 | AW Championship Finals Day | Lingfield

12th April 2018 | Grand National | Aintree

21st April 2018 | Scottish National | Ayr

28th April 2018 | bet365 Gold Cup | Sandown

5th-6th May 2018 | Guineas Festival | Newmarket

9th-11th May 2018 | May Festival | Chester

12th May 2018 | Victoria Cup | Ascot

16th-18th May 2018 | Dante Festival | York

19th May 2018 | Al Shaqab Lockinge Day | Newbury

1st-2nd June 2018 | Epsom Derby Festival | Epsom

19th-23rd June 2018 | Royal Ascot | Royal Ascot

30th June 2018 | Northumberland Plate | Newcastle

7th July 2018 | Coral-Eclipse | Sandown

12th-14th July 2018 | July Festival | Newmarket

14th July 2018 | John Smith’s Cup | York

28th July 2018 | King George Meeting | Ascot

31st July – 4th August 2018 | Glorious Goodwood | Goodwood

22nd-25th August | Ebor Festival | York

8th September 2018 | 32Red Sprint Cup | Haydock

12th-15th September 2018 | St Leger Meeting | Doncaster

22nd September 2018 | Ayr Gold Cup | Ayr

27th-29th September 2018 | Cambridgeshire Meeting | Newmarket

12th-13th October | Dubai Future Champions Festival | Newmarket

20th October 2018 | British Champions Day | Ascot

27th October 2018 | Racing Post Trophy | Doncaster

10th November 2018 | November Handicap | Doncaster

16th-18th November | The November Meeting | Cheltenham

24th November 2018 | Betfair Chase | Haydock

1st December 2018 | Ladbrokes Trophy Day | Newbury

1st December 2018 | Fighting Fifth Hurdle | Newcastle

8th December 2018 | Tingle Creek Chase | Sandown

8th December 2018 | The Becher Chase | Aintree

14th-15th December 2018 | International Meeting | Cheltenham

22nd December 2018 | Long Walk Hurdle | Ascot

26th December 2018 | 32Red King George VI Chase | Kempton

27th December 2018 | Welsh National | Chepstow

So, there you have it, 2018 all wrapped up! We hope our list of 2018 major race meetings has helped you to start planning another fantastic year of racing!

To find put more about NRT and our racehorse transport services, click here or call 01638 663155.

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Caring for your horse at Christmas

Everyone has something to do at Christmas, whether it’s visiting family to feast or hosting family and preparing a feast yourself there is always a lot to do. However, no matter how busy you are, caring for your horse at Christmas is just as important as any other time of year.

If you add to all of these commitments the challenging cold weather and the fact that shops are closed down, ensuring your horse receives the proper care can become more difficult. With this in mind, below we’ve put together some advice on caring for your horse at Christmas.

Caring for your horse at Christmas
1. Maintain normal routine – especially exercise

Horses are creatures of habit and any change in their routine can cause unnecessary stress. It is for this reason that, when caring for your horse this Christmas, it is important to maintain this routine as much as possible. An important aspect of this is their exercise routine which helps to keep them not only in good physical condition, but also nice and warm.

2. Organise help if required

If you are going away for Christmas, make sure there is someone around to take care of your horse in your absence. Not only this, but following on from Point 1, also make sure they are fully briefed on your horse’s routine and any special requirements.

3. Cool down properly

After this all-important exercise, it is extremely important to ensure that your horse cools down properly. If you do not make sure of this, your horse can easily catch a chill and that could ruin everyone’s Christmas.

4. Avoid Christmas treats

Although it might seem like a good idea to give your horse a special tasty treat for Christmas, it can actually be harmful to them and could even lead to colic. A horse needs time to get used to new food in their diet. This can take a number of weeks, so instead of that new treat, why not give them some fruit instead?

5. Monitor water temperature

Horses need to drink a large amount of water every day to stay fully hydrated, especially in the winter months when they are eating more dry hay. However, over Christmas the low temperatures can stop them from drinking as much as they need. Keep checking their water to make sure it hasn’t frozen over and consider adding some hot water at feeding time to bring it up to a more comfortable temperature.

6. Stock up on supplies

Bear in mind that many shops are closed over the Christmas period, so in the lead up to the holidays make sure that you have all the supplies that your horse will need. There is also a much higher risk of adverse weather conditions at this time of year so having a fully stocked store is a very good idea.

7. Plan for fireworks

Finally, another way of caring for your horse this Christmas that is often overlooked is properly preparing for fireworks. Loud bangs and flashes do not usually mix wth horses too well, so be prepared for this, especially if your horse is prone to anxiety in these situations. If your horse is stabled, it may be a good idea to use travel boots to minimise any risk of injury. And whether your horse is inside or not, be sure to check on him to ensure he is ok and clam him down if not.

NRT Horse Transportation

NRT Horse Transportation is a professional horse moving company that offers expert services for any horse, in any discipline in any location. Our highly experienced team is well-versed in everything equine and can offer all the advice you need on pre-transport preparation, the journey itself and settling down post-transport.

To find out more about our services, give us a call on 01638 663155, or click here.

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