Q: I would like to compete on the Spanish Sunshine Tour next year with my young show jumper but I am unsure what paperwork I need in order to do so. What do I need and who should I contact?
BK, Kent

The Sunshine Tour takes place annually in February and March. Competing horses are required to have International Equestrian Federation (FEI) passports and both horse and rider must be FEI registered, which can be done through your discipline’s governing body.

Show jumper James Fisher recommends using a specialist shipping agent to arrange the journey, especially if it is your first time competing abroad.

“They can arrange your paperwork and ferry crossing; Shelley Ashman International is very popular among riders,” he said. “A company like this will also arrange stabling en route and Shelley Ashman provides a 24hr helpline.”

If you wish to complete the paperwork yourself, Defra’s website has all the relevant information.

“Defra can provide you with health papers, which must be completed by your vet, once you have filled out the relevant application forms,” said James. “They can also tell you how to get an export licence, which must be applied for at least seven working days prior to shipment. Ferry crossings can be booked direct with ferry operators, but you may get a better price through an agent. If you are not using an agent, plan your route and any places required to stable overnight, and make sure your vehicle is equipped for European travel, with relevant insurance, hazard triangles, a fluorescent waistcoat, fire extinguisher and a spare wheel.

“You will also require lashing points on the chassis for securing the horsebox on the ferry,” he explained. “The British Show Jumping Association’s [BSJA] international office can give advice on obtaining an FEI passport, and can give you any additional help.”

Anyone transporting vertebrate animals in connection with an economic activity needs a Welfare of Animals (Transport) (Equines) Order (WATO) — the Defra website has full details of the requirements.

You should also contact your discipline’s governing body.

“Any current BSJA member wishing to compete [on the Sunshine Tour] should contact the BSJA international office to register their interest and apply for authorisation by the team manager,” said a BSJA spokesman. “In order to be authorised, horse and rider combinations must be competing regularly and gaining results in the UK at the same height of competition as they wish to compete at on the Sunshine Tour.”

If a British Dressage (BD) member wants to compete in the dressage Sunshine Tour, they first have to register their interest with BD.

“The rider must submit a CV of results to prove they and their horse are capable of gaining consistent scores of 66% at premier league shows and above, by November of the previous year,” explained the representative. “On this information, the selectors will allocate the available places. Once selected, BD will submit the entries, and the rider will need to book their own transport and accommodation.”

Information

• British Dressage www.britishdressage.co.uk

• BSJA international office Tel: 02476 698807

• Defra www.defra.gsi.gov.uk

• Shelley Ashman International www.shelleyashman.co.uk

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (23 October, ’08)