Warmblood horses also referred to as sports horses, are the top choice of any Hunter Derby Rider, Grand Prix Horse Rider, or any sporting professional who is interested in horse sports and events like show jumping, dressage, combined driving, and running. The nation has several native sports horse breeds, but certain courses and events require importing unique warmblood horses that can master rigorous hunter jumper lessons and help you win competitions.
Here are the steps involved in importing a warmblood horse.
Choose the horse breed you want to import and list the countries that have it. Study in detail about the horse qualities and physique. Mind the flight distance and time, and administrative complexities involved in the equine imports process before selecting a horse for import. Read our guide on buying the right show horse.
Health is an important factor. To prevent the spread of animal diseases, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture mandates a series of health checkups for horses entering the USA. The disease list varies by source countries. For instance, horses from Australia should undergo a test for the following:
- African Horse Sickness
- Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM)
- Foot and Mouth Disease
Australian horses are exempt from being tested for dourine and glanders.
For updated guidance, and documents on importing horses, refer to the USDA APHIS Website. Navigate to the Bring Equine, Semen, and Embryos into the U.S. (Import) section, and choose the origin country from the drop-down list to know what is applicable for you.
If you do not want to rent a quarantine center and wish to run your own, you must set it up as per the USDA APHIS Guidelines. The animal must be transported to the quarantine center upon arrival at the US border. The duration of quarantine varies by country. For Australia, a minimum 42-hour quarantine is required. The horses undergo tests for equine piroplasmosis and equine infectious anemia while in quarantine.
USDA APHIS approval
Seek permission from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture for importing the horse breed you want. You are required to disclose the following information:
- where the animal resided in the 60 days prior to its departure to the United States (or prior to the collection date for semen and embryos),
- the disease status of the country of origin, and
- the purpose for entry (competition, breeding, permanent, or temporary residency)
Note: Guidance & Other Documents on Importing Equines vary by the exporting country.
When entering via air and sea routes
Check the animal cargo services available with different mainline and LCC carriers flying to the US from the source countries. Check the departure and arrival airports. In the USA, airports in the following cities have the transit and/or quarantine facilities required for imported horses.
- Anchorage, AK
- Chicago, IL
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
- New York, NY
- San Juan, PR
- Seattle, WA
Most of the quarantine facilities are privately owned. You can view their contact details on the USDA APHIS Website. As the demand for warmblood horses is high in the US, you must confirm the destination at least 3 days in advance.
When entering by land
If your horse is taking a ground entry, check the U.S. Ports of Entry for Horses that are nearest to you.
Northern Border Ports (for entering from Canada)
The list of port cities are as follows:
- Idaho, Maine
- North Dakota
- New York
Southern Border Ports (entering from Mexico)
The list of port cities are as follows:
- Douglas, AZ
- San Luis, AZ
- Nogales, AZ
- Columbus, NM
- Santa Teresa, NM
- Laredo, TX – Columbia Bridge
- Presidio, TX
- Del Rio, TX
- Pharr, TX
- Eagle Pass, TX
From the port/airport of arrivals, the horses have to be shifted to the quarantine center. Make sure you have a proper arrangement to move the animal to the center.
To avoid the hassles involved in the importing of a warmblood horse, most buyers employ an experienced broker/shipping agent.
Registry of horses
You may register your warmblood horse either with the American Warmblood Society & Sporthorse Registry or the American Warmblood Registry. Both are recognized by the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH).
Boarding and training
Once your horse is out of the quarantine center, the most important step is to provide it with the right care and training. If you are seriously targeting a big horse event like the Grand Prix Horse Rider, then consider taking the help of professional horse training services such as Comly Sport Horses. We have barns equipped with all required amenities including:
- 150 x 200 Outdoor Arena
- Fully Enclosed Indoor Arena
- 12 x 12 Matted Stalls
- Large Round Pen
- Automatic Fly Spray System
- On-site Owner and Grooms
Our full horse training services are aimed at the horse and rider both. We make you both the horse and the rider competent in winning difficult competitions anywhere.