QUESTIONS ABOUT IMPORTING HORSES
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying and Importing Horses From Europe
• Why should I consider a European horse?
• What costs are associated with importing a horse?
• What about quarantine?
• Are commissions higher on a European horse?
• How do I arrange for vetting?
• I don't speak Dutch. How do I know I'm getting the best price?
Why should I consider a European horse?
Riding is far more common in Europe and trainers must be licensed, so the quality of training of the european horse is more consistent. Also, for examply in Germany, because of state-controlled breeding programs, the "average" German horse has far better bloodlines than the "average" American horse, making high quality horses more plentiful and thus less expensive. Of course, the prospective buyer needs to consider whether the anticipated savings will offset the costs of importing the horse. In general, a budget of $25,000 or more is needed for the buyer to benefit from importing a horse. These days, importing a horse may not always be necessary--Kama has a large number of horses in the United States and may be able to find one that meets your exact specifications and that is within your price range right in the US. Kama's years of experience can help the buyer make sure they are getting their money's worth.
What costs are associated with importing a horse?
Costs will vary depending on where the horse enters the United States, the duration of quarantine required, and cost of the horse (which affects insurance rates for the trip over). Airfare to Los Angeles on KLM, transport of the horse to the airport in Holland, insurance during travel and shared expenses for a groom in flight, is between $6000 and $7000 (USD). Two days quarantine in Los Angeles or New York (required on all horses) is roughly $1500. Stallions and mares will require additional quarantine, costing another $1400 or more plus transport to the long-term quarantine center. Overall, importing a horse costs between $7500 and $12,000.
What about quarantine?
Quarantine for geldings and very young horses is 2 - 3 days, and is done at the port of entry into the United States at facilities designated for that purpose. Mares of breedable age require an additional 2 weeks of quarantine so that they can be checked for contagious equine metritis (CEM). This is done at a long-term quarantine facility, requiring that the mare be transferred from the port of entry quarantine facility in a USDA-sealed rig. Quarantine for stallions is approximately 4 weeks, and involves live coverage of mares. Again, this is done only at specially-approved long-term quarantine facilities, and requires that the stallion be transferred in a USDA-sealed rig. Kama is able tol help arrange quarantine and transportation/transfer for all buyers.
Are commissions higher on a European horse?
Surprisingly, they are not. There is a 10% commission for matching a buyer to a horse. There is a day rate of $500 per day to travel around and introduce buyers to the various owners and breeders in the region. When you choose to purchase a horse 50% of this day rate is then applied as a credit towards commission.
How do I arrange for vetting?
We have trusted contacts in Holland, Belgium and Germany that are able to vet horses for us, should the prospective buyer desire it. (The buyer is also welcome to select his/her own vet).
I don't speak Dutch. How do I know that I'm getting the best price?
We take great pride in getting our clients the best deal for their money and want to see them riding a horse we can be proud of finding for them. We realize that the horse industry is often made up of repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals!
Additional Questions? Please contact us directly.