Brexit Talks Underway to Deal with Impact On Horse Sports

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The 2011 European Championships team medals podium–Great Britain gold (center); Germany silver (left) and Netherlands bronze (right). The 2019 Europeans will be at the same venue in August, but horse transportation requirements may change as a result of Brexit–Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union set for March. © 2011 Ken Braddick/

Nov. 18, 2018

With Brexit just four months away, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) reports it is involved in high level discussions to deal with what could become “unacceptable” waiting time for competition horses moving between Great Britain and European Union countries.

The FEI said in a report ahead of the annual General Assembly in Manama, Bahrain this week that the major concern of a European Union Animal Health Law tentatively scheduled for a vote next year and implementation in 2021 “is the potential for stringent border station control on health certification.”

The requirement, it said, “could cause unacceptable waiting time for FEI competition horses.

“The FEI is involved in high-level discussions in order to ensure the best possible outcome for our horses.”

The Switzerland-based FEI said it has met with veterinary authorities in France, Britain, Ireland the European Union as part of cooperation between racing, breeding and equestrian sports. Brexit will be on the
agenda for both the International Horse Sports Confederation General Assembly and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities meeting in December.

The FEI calendar shows 63 international competitions in Great Britain for 2019 with significant participation from around the world in, for example, dressage and jumping at Hickstead in summer, London Olympia in winter, as well as the iconic Badminton and Burghley three-day events.

Similarly, Brexit could impact British-based riders competing in the EU, that includes some of the world’s premier events as well as major championships in 2019–the European Championships of jumping and dressage in the Netherlands, among others.

Riders outside the European Union and Great Britain who base themselves in the continent part-time or participate in Nations Cup series in different disciplines will also be affected.