Anyone registering a horse with a commercial prefix to compete under FEI rules must now pay CHF 1,000 (about £723), following a clarification to the FEI fee structure.
Previously commercial prefixes were charged at CHF 1,035 (about £748) per horse, but this was not consistently applied. The new cost will be levied on companies, stables, people and associations. Breeders are exempt if the horse has had a prefix since birth.
“We now have transparency and clarity — the same process for everyone,” said an FEI spokesperson. “This system is designed to benefit everyone, from breeders to sponsors who see the considerable value of naming horses, thanks to media coverage, including television and on social media, and the on-site profile at events.”
Carol Gee of Fernhill Sport Horses (Fernhill Revelation pictured) sells about 100 horses a year, the majority already FEI registered, so this has a huge impact on her.
“The FEI are reaping the rewards of my success,” she said. “Sourcing and producing horses is time-consuming and skilled — my prefix is my seal of approval. I’ve been in America speaking to people with horses I have sold them and I’ve been offering to go halves on the fee. But in future I will have to add the cost on when I sell horses.”
However, US-based New Zealand rider Joe Meyer said: “Prefixes are a strong marketing tool and I believe dealers should pay for this privilege.
“Some people believe the dealers who change the name are breeding the horses — people don’t know where the horses have come from. Also, prefixes have got out of hand. There are horses who have not even been seen by the dealer, but the name gets changed anyway.”
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British Eventing, British Dressage and British Showjumping are not charging members who want to remove a commercial prefix rather than pay the fee.
Ref: Horse & Hound; 3 March 2016