You found your dream horse, but it’s many hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. How do you get the horse all the way to Denmark? This question holds a lot of answers, but these depend on the starting destination off course. If the horse comes from Europe the obvious way forward is to go pick the horse up in a trailer yourself. This demands off course a drivers license, trailer license, along with any necessary equipment, but apart from that you also need take care of vaccinations and the right amount of paperwork.
If the horse comes from USA, it needs to be flown to Europe (no sailing). There are companies that will take care of the whole process from beginning to end – including paperwork, transit and quarantine. The horse will need submit to 30 days of quarantine before it is allowed to leave the country. When the horse leaves from USA, it will be flown to Amsterdam, where you will be required come and get the horse yourself. Apparently all the airlines offering to transport your horse from USA has Amsterdam as their chosen port of landing. There’s no way getting around that!
I have made a theoretical (and highly assumptious) list of pro’s and cons of buying Rocky Mountain Horses in Europe vs. USA.
Advantages of a European purchase:
Geographicly it is cheaper to transport the horse/horses to destination (assuming you live in Europe off course).
Better animal wellfare maybe (not so long and stressful transport as from overseas).
It might be that the horses in Europe has the same degree of standard as in the USA, if you assume the breeders/owners has carefully selected and imported the best breeding material.
Disadvantages of a European purchase:
High prices on the good breeding horses. The foal prices alone amount to anything from 30-40.000 kr. and up to 75.000 kr. (4.500-10.000 Euros).
It is not certain that it is the same standard of breeding material as in the USA (If one assumes the Americans keep the best horses for them selves).
Advantages of an American purchase:
A lot lower prices – at least for young horses. Fully trained horses are still expensive.
There might be a head start in comparison to the breeding in Europe.
It is possible to import pregnant mares inseminated with sire material that is rare or high in demand in Europe.
Assuming an inseminated imported mare foals a viable foal there is money saved from importing an extra horse “for free”.
Disadvantages of an American purchase:
It is a long, hard and pricey journey for the horse including the quarantine of 30 days. The estimated price for importing a horse from the USA is between 25.000-40.000 kr.
If you choose the option of buying a horse from USA, there are several companies that can mediate the transportation between USA and Europe. As a general rule horses are flown to Amsterdam in Holland no matter which company you choose, and from Amsterdam you will have to transport the horse yourself to the end destination. This is an extra cost of roughly 1.500-2.000 kr. (250 Euros) driving from Denmark. As mentioned before the import cost will be somewhere between 25.000-40.000 kr. (3300-5300 Euros). Apart from that there is also the transit from the seller to the quarantine facility in USA prior to departure.
Of companies offering services including paperwork, vaccinations, quarantine (30 days) and the flight itself I found the following:
- Europe Flying Mountain Horses (www.europeflyingmh.com). This is a Dutch company. They take care of everything. They can also help you find a horse.
- NedPoint (www.flynedpoint.com/index.html). They are centrally located in USA, which is an advantage if you’re buying horses from both eastern and western states. There is a good article on the customer experience of NedPoint on this link: www.equinechronicle.com/riding-and-training/ask-the-professional/modern-pegasus-horses-flying-internationally.html.
- Flying Horse Services (www.flyinghorseservices.com/index.htm). Based in Los Angeles. Takes care of all “shipping”.
- FedEx Custom Critical (www.customcritical.fedex.com). I don’t know wether or not they handle vaccinations and quarantine.
If you import from USA, you should consider importing impregnated mares. This lowers the transportation cost per horse in the long run, and this method is more cost effective if you want to import a horse from USA rather than Europe. If you don’t want to import impregnated mares the total cost is pretty much the same wether you buy a horse from Europe or USA given the high transportation expenses importing from USA.