Are you thinking of taking your showjumper to the Spanish Sunshine Tour in Spain this spring, but not sure where to start with organising transport?

Graham Eggleton from the Equine Travel Agency (ETA) says that one of the main things to consider when transporting your horse to Spain is the cost.

“Travelling by truck and ferry is really the only option — plane is just too expensive,” he explains.

There are companies that will run specific trips to the Sunshine Tour such as the ETA, as well as John Parker International Horse Transport.

“[With ETA] you buy a space on the lorry and share the transport with
other competitors,” says Graham.

“The other option is to take your own truck and you can share the costs by travelling with friends.”

As well as the transport costs, you will have to factor in overnight stabling.

“It’s a long journey and you need to plan stable stops on the way,” says Graham.

The trip with the ETA will cost you anything from £800 plus VAT each way, based on a shared transporter, depending on where you are in the UK.

This includes the transport, the ferry crossing and overnight stabling en route.

Graham adds: “For a multiple booking it will be less, so the more horses travelling, the cheaper it is.

“We offer private and shared transport, as well as providing a booking service.

“We assist with all the documentation, book your ferry and stable stops and ensure you have everything you need.”

If you decide to drive yourself, ensuring you have the correct documentation is vital.

“We suggest you take professional advice on this,” advises Graham.

“You will need European vehicle insurance and, if you are a professional, you will need an International Operator’s Licence, which is obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

“You’ll also need a passport for your horse, an export licence to leave the UK and an in-date health certificate signed by a ministry vet.”

The health certificate is applied for on the Trade Control and Exports System (TRACES).

The horse must start transport within 48hr and be complete within 10 days.

The export certificate is applied for through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Quarantine isn’t required when travelling within the EU.

Useful contacts
P&O Ferries: 0871 6642121, www.poferries.com
Defra: 0845 9335577, www.defra.gov.uk
Equine Travel Agency: 01304 214295, www.eta.uk.com
John Parker International Horse Transport:
01303 266621, www.johnparkerinternational.com

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This article was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (7 November 2013)