Q: How long does it take for a horse to get to my barn from Europe?
A: Anywhere from 2-5 weeks. This depends on several things. A mare takes longer than a gelding. 1 – 2 weeks are needed for the blood tests in Europe and she will have to stay in quarantine in the US for 2 weeks. When you choose a horse it will take several days for the down payment to arrive and the vet exam to be scheduled. If desired a 2nd opinion by yor own vet on the X-rays can be performed. The X-rays will be sent by e-mail. Once the balance is paid, a gelding can fly within 1 to 2 weeks depending on the destination, a mare within 10 days- 3 weeks. Once in the US the horse has to spend 3 days in quarantine and a mare an additional 2 weeks.
Q: What does transportation cost?
A: Transportation roughly costs $ 7500,- Amsterdam NY. (including the 3 day quarantine) For LA, Miami or Toronto you should add $ 600 -700, for Calgary $1500,- Bloodwork and healthcertificates are needed, this is about $250 – $500. Finally you will have to transport the horse to your own barn.
Q: What’s up with quarantine?
A: All horses have to spend 3 days in quarantine at the airport as soon as they arrive in the US. Mares are then transferred to a special quarantine station Where she’ll stay for 2 weeks and new blood tests are done. For Canada the rules are more strict. Stallions also have to stay longer in quarantine.
Q: How does the vetting work?
A: When you have decided on a horse we schedule a veterinary exam. A standard pre-purchase exam includs a clinical and 20 X-rays. If your own vet requires extra X-rays to be taken, we will have to know the exact list before the vetting takes place. If a horse does not pass the clinical, a vet will not continue with the X-rays to save money. If a horse does not pass the exam, usually the owner will pay for the costs. However if the horse has a valid vet report (< 6 mos) the costs are always for the buyer.
Q: What does a trip cost?
A: Flights from The East Coast start around $550,- in the low season. We will have someone waiting for you at the airport and she/he will be showing you the different horses in 2-3 days. You will stay in a nice hotel somewhere in the middle of the country. Price is up to you. Anywhere from 75 -150 $/night is normal. We advise you to rent a car, a small car is about $50 a day. Make reservations in time if you need a car with automatic gear/transmission!
Total for 3 nights/days starting around $800 from NY, (depending on the available flights) and around $900 from anywhere else in the US. Excluding food/drinks. Of course it is possible to extend your stay and do some sight seeing. We would be happy to reccommend some nice small hotels near the tourist hot spots!
Q: How should I prepare for a trip?
A: There are several levels of preparation: 1) make sure you know what kind of horse you are looking for, AND make sure European Horse Trade knows this! 2) make a list of what to bring (Video Camera and helmet), and maybe a list of questions for the owner of the horse you liked best; 3) prepare for a purchase: do I involve my own vet? are my funds available? Insurance? Is my trainer avaiable to see some video’s?
Q: What is the price difference between the US and Europe?
A: About 25-50%
Because more dressage and jumping horses are available, prices in Europe tend to be lower. Even with importation, prices are generally 25 – 50% lower than in the US. What is most important however is that in one short trip, you will see up to 20 horses that meet your requirements in two days, whereas in the US you would have to travel again and again covering very long distances to see a single horse. We usually do trips to Holland, where a lot of well trained quality horses are located in a very small area.
Q: Does it justify the trip?
A: Yes! You get to see and try up to 20 horses that meet your requirements in only 2 days. Even with importation horses are less expensive than in the US. And we select quality horses with a solid European training!
Q: How about hunter and equitation horses in Europe?
A: Although officially there are no hunter or eq classes in Europe, we do work with professionals who know exactly how to spot a good hunter or equitation horse. Among the many Dutch and German jumping and all round horses, there are many with the perfect hunter form over fences or the looks and gaits of an eq horse.
Q: What dressage levels do they use in Holland?
A: The levels can be translated as follows:
Training = B
1st = L
2nd = M
3rd = Z
4th = ZZ
all FEI levels are the same.
Q: Any resale horses you’ve already imported?
A: Yes, In close cooperation with several dressage and H/J trainers we are regularly importing well trained dressage horses to the US. For more information about available horses give us a call!
Q: What is the best time to shop for a horse?
A: Any time that is good for you! As soon as you are ready for this big step and investment, the horses are waiting across the Atlantic. Horses do compete year round in Holland. The earlier you book your flight, the cheaper the airfares. For very young horses (0-3) late fall is best as the breeders’ stalls get overcrowded for winter.
Q: How often do you make these trips?
A: We can make a trip whenever is good for you. We have someone waiting for you in Holland to take you around the barns. We usually schedule trips every other weekend.
Q: How long do I have to go to Europe to find a horse?
A: we usually recommend a short trip of 2-3 days. As we make a selection with you before you go, you will only get to see horses that are within your budget and do meet (most of) your requirements.
Q: When do I have to decide on a horse?
A: You will have some time to think everything over. If you want your trainer to see the video’s you took, make the appointment in advance! When you have made your decision we hold the horse for you until the downpayment has arrived.
Q: Do I involve my own trainer?
A: Yes, we do advise to involve your own trainer. To which degree is up to you. For most people setting requirements, showing the video’s and discussing preferences is enough. Some people even bring their trainer on a trip to help choose a horse.
Q: How can I reduce the costs?
A: To reduce the cost of your trip you should plan ahead, the airfare will be less expensive if purchased ahead. To reduce the price for a horse you can think about reconsidering some of your strict requirements. All horses between 6 and 10 are more expensive than a 5 or a 12 yr old. Also think about the training level: It is often less expensive to send a horse to a trainer for a month to work on the flying changes, than to buy a horse that is confimred 4th level. So either go with a little bit older or a little bit less experienced!
Q: Do I have to sign any contracts or agreements?
A: Yes. Whoever gets on a horse during a trip will have to sign a waiver. If you decide on a horse we require a signed broker contract. We do advise to sign a puprchase agreement with the owner of the horse.
Breed related links
Sport related links
Download this FAQ as a PDF for answers to the most popular questions about buying a horse in Europe and a list of useful links.