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January, 2018


Importing Horses - Costs and How To

One of A wizards Spell's new fillies, Lorelei, for their Mini Gypsy Cob breeding program.
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One of A wizards Spell's new fillies, Lorelei, for their Mini Gypsy Cob breeding program. A Wizards Spell Gypsy Horse Ranch has imported one under two year old Mini Gypsy Cob colt from Ireland and two under two year old fillies from the UK.
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There are so many amazing horses in the U.S. that buying locally is always the first choice. But, what if you have searched everywhere and there seriously isn't what you need available locally? This is the dilemma Linda Brown of A Wizards Spell Ranch in Burleson, Texas faced recently. With a herd of 35 and over 15 years of breeding 13 to 15 hand Gypsy Horses, she had a desire to also breed Mini Gypsy Cobs. Mini Gypsy Cobs are typically mature at around 10-12 hands. They are hugely popular in the UK and Ireland, but not many in the U.S.. So after exhausting the search in the U.S., she had no choice but to import. The thought of where to learn about importing was daunting.

So, here is that information, which is provided after importing her first Mini Gypsy Cob colt from Dublin, Ireland into Chicago using EIS (Equine International Shipping) www.EISagency.com and assistance from owner Andrea O'Brien. The horse flew over, not shipped by boat, as some ask. The time from Dublin was about 12 to 13 hours including security, getting weighed, towing to the aircraft, and flight time.

Let's begin with costs. The magical number to ship the least expensively is age of under 731 days. The total import, testing, ground transport cost to bring in the under 731 day old colt from Dublin to just South of Fort Worth was $10,600. Quarantine on a young horse is three days in the U.S.. Mares normally run approximately $3,000 more and are in quarantine for 16 days. Stallions are approx. $6,000 more - unless in Florida where it can run to approximately $11,000. Stallions must perform two live covers on 'test' mares and the mares are subsequently tested for CEM, in addition to the stallion being swabbed in quarantine. Stallions are in quarantine for about 32 days. An additional comment, don't plan on a tight budget as there are always additional charges and fees.

There are only four US cities that have import points, JFK(NY), MIA, ORD(Chicago), and LAX. Normally where the horse ultimately needs to get to in the US will dictate where they land into but also price can be a big factor - JFK is the busiest import point all year round and it is the most economical.

A wizards Spell new colt, Dream Boy, for their Mini Gypsy Cob breeding program.
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A wizards Spell new colt, Dream Boy, for their Mini Gypsy Cob breeding program. The horses fly with a Flying Groom certified with ATA and NPTC to ensure they are safe
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There are additional regulations, requirements, and paperwork for importation and it can be complex and vary widely from country to county. The horses from UK and Ireland must have a passport. Not entirely dissimilar to humans traveling overseas. The import company should look after everything to ensure the horse complies with requirements specific to the country of destination.

Before shipping from overseas, blood is tested for Piroplasmosis, dourine, glanders and EIA for all animals prior to travel. It takes three to four days to run. CEM is mandatory for mares and stallions over 731 days old. This is done before export and takes seven days in the lab. Upon arrival in the U.S., blood is tested for Piroplasmosis, dourine, glanders and EIA for all animals at the government lab APHIS.

The horses fly with a Flying Groom certified with ATA and NPTC to ensure they are safe, comfortable and stress free during the flight. Horses travel in a specially built container with partitions meant to hold three horses. The partitions are adjustable for larger or smaller horses. Overall dimension of the crate/pallet is 116" in length, 92" in width, and 91" in height. Space per horse if three in the container is about 30" wide. With two horses in the container, about 45" wide. Adult horses are loosely tied. Foals are not. Yearlings - it depends on the horse. The flying groom makes a decision about that. Mare with foal at foot - foal is loose, but often mare is loosely tied to keep her facing forwards.

The shipping company provides a halter with faux fur under the headpiece and nose band for extra comfort, front shipping boots, water buckets, hay nets, and hay. The aircraft is temperature controlled and regulated by the groom on board. It is set according to the number of horses on the aircraft. If your horse wears shoes, remove the hind shoes before the flight.

After your horse clears all quarantine and tests it will immediately need to come out of the quarantine facility. Your next move is your ground shipper of choice to do the pickup for last leg of your horse's journey. Ground transporter we use most often is Equine Express. They are extremely familiar with the quarantine facilities and where the next leg of your horse's journey may be if moved out of quarantine before they get there.

With all of this in mind, A Wizards Spell Gypsy Horse Ranch has imported one under two year old Mini Gypsy Cob colt from Ireland and two under two year old fillies from the UK. All have arrived safely and happily in Texas to soon begin their Mini Gypsy Cob breeding program. http://www.GypsyHorsesInTexas.com