Horse Passports
There are two types of horse passports that the horse owner may require:
  • DEFRA Passports - all horses and ponies in the UK must have a DEFRA passport.
  • FEI Passports - all horses and ponies wishing to compete at FEI events require an FEI passport.

Passport numbers are required in order to complete entry forms for many events. The FEI and DEFRA passport numbers are different. If your animal has an FEI passport, this number is preferred on the entry form.

Please consult the relevant section below for more information about the two types of passport:

DEFRA Horse Passports

All horses and ponies (and other equines) in the UK must have a passport identifying the animal.

Owners are not be able to sell, buy, export, slaughter for human consumption, use for the purposes of competition or breeding a horse which does not have a passport.

Passports last for the life time of the animal and include a Unique Equine Life Number. Penalties for failing to obtain a passport can be up to ?5,000 or imprisonment.

A number of organisations and societies have been authorised by DEFRA to issue horse passports. It is strongly recommended that the passport for any animal registered with a breed society is obtained from that society, providing they have been authorised to issue passports.

Following discussions with the British Driving Society, who are an official passport issuing body, they have generously agreed to issue passports for BC members at a special discounted rate. Please see for more details.

Holders of FEI Passports

If you already have an FEI Passport for your horse, the BEF have confirmed that they are able to insert Section 9 (stating whether the animal can be slaughtered for human consumption) into an existing FEI Passport. This service is free of charge; all you need do is forward your passport with a stamped addressed envelope.

This offer applies to both current and old (out of date) FEI Passports. If your FEI passport is no longer valid for international travel (an FEI Passport is valid for four years from date of issue) the BEF have assured us that it will remain valid for DEFRA's purposes.

List of authorised passport issuing bodies in the UK (from DEFRA website).

If your horse or pony is registered with a Breed Society, then you should obtain your passport from that society, e.g. if your pony is a Welsh or part-bred Welsh, then you should contact the Welsh Pony & Cob Society.

Horse passport frequently asked questions


FEI Passports

FEI Driving Regulations:

Article 915 PASSPORTS

All Horses entered for any Competition at a CAI-B in a foreign country, and all Horses entered for CAI-A, CAIO or Championship, whether at home or in foreign countries must have an official FEI Passport, or a National Passport approved by the FEI, accompanied by an FEI Recognition Card as a means of identification and to establish ownership. (see General Regulations)

Horses taking part in a CAI-B in their own country are not required to have such a Passport as mentioned above. All such Horses must be properly registered and identifiable by diagram.


Applying for or re-newing an FEI passport

FEI passports last for 4 years and should be applied for or re-newed through the BC office.

If you need a NEW FEI passport for an animal that didn't have one before, please use the MEMBER LOGIN

If your horse's existing passport has expired and you wish to re-new it, go to: MEMBER LOGIN

Remember that the passport application/re-newal procedure can take several weeks, so apply in plenty of time. An additional fee is charged for express applications.

Passport diagrams

For anyone competing internationally, please ensure that you have the diagrams filled in and signed by your vet. With the increase in microchipping, some vets are leaving this section blank, however the FEI expects this section to be completed fully. The FEI officials may prevent you from competing and may issue a fine. The FEI introduced new rules regarding documented evidence of equine identity from 2016, but some officials are extending this to older passports too. Please be safe and have these pages in your passport completed to avoid disappointment at an event.

Horse and Driver registration

Please remember that all horses/ponies AND competitors taking part in International FEI classes at Horse Driving Trials, require to be registered with the FEI annually. Please see our guidelines on FEI Horse and Driver Registration and ensure that your registration is up to date.

Competing at International events

Please visit our page on competing abroad, which gives helpful advice on what to do to prepare for International competition.