Inside Equestrian: horse passports

Friday, 21 February 2020

All horses, ponies, donkeys and even related animals including zebras, have to have a passport so that they can be 
identified - no matterwhether they are stabled or travelling abroad to competitions like our horses are for the World Equestrian Games.

In order for horses to compete at FEI events, horses must either have one of these two versions of a passport:

  • An FEI passport
  • A National passport that has been approved by the FEI and has been covered with an FEI recognition card

National passports are issued by Passport Issuing Organisations (PIO) and there are 81 of them in the UK.

Like a human passport, these documents contain features that help to identify the horse. FEI passports have a bar code on the front cover; for horses who have microchips they will also have their microchip in their national passport or FEI passport. There is also a diagram page within the passport which indicates whether the horse has any markings on any parts of its body and so this will be used, along with the information on the horses’ age, sex, colour and ownership, details to identify the horse by. 

For an FEI passport, every time a horse competes, at home or abroad, they must get their passport stamped to confirm the identity of the horse and that their vaccinations are compliant with the FEI rules and regs. Once seen and accepted, this will be stamped and signed by the FEI.

A horses’ passport is slightly more complex than a human passport as it also contains details of any controlled medication, vaccinations or health tests that a horse may have received;  these details must be kept updated at all times.

So what happens if a passport is lost?

There are processes in place if an FEI recognition card, FEI passport or national passport were lost, so that the owners can obtain a duplicate version. Please see the links below for more information if you need help with a lost passport.

*Please note: This is a general overview and information about horse passports. If you would like to find out more, please visit our page on the BEF website , visit or contact a Passport Issuing Organisation.