What it Takes To Ship Competition Horses Overseas

Take an inside look at the rules and regulations regarding importing horses to the United States solely for competition.
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Once the horse’s health certificate is secured and pretesting—if it’s being carried out—is complete, the horse is loaded on the plane and the journey begins. | Photo: Jon Stroud/FEI

Packing up and heading to a horse show often feels like a bigger production than all the riding, training, grooming, and tack cleaning require to get there in the first place.

Did we pack the grooming tote? Where are my lucky socks? We did load the horse, right?

Now imagine packing up and heading to a horse show taking place an ocean away. That’s exactly what many of the international riders entered at the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, taking place April 25-29 at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park are doing. And not only do these riders have to remember all their and their horses’ gear on the first trip, they also have to navigate a host of government regulations for importing a horse to the United States

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Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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