Equestrian / Horse Transport Solicitors

The ability to transport horses safely and legally is vital to all those affected in the equestrian sector whether involved in racing, bloodstock, show jumping, eventing, horse transport services or training.

The road transport related regulations to be observed will depend on various factors: the nature of the activity, the size of the vehicle and whether or not the activity is a commercial one. All animal welfare rules must be complied with of course, in addition.

You may or may not require an Operator’s Licence. You will require one if horse transport is taking place as part of a business and whether or not activities are interpreted as commercial can sometimes be a grey area – for example sponsorship and prize money do not necessarily of themselves mean operations are commercial but they might be factors, taken together with others, that suggest the equestrian activity is a business or part of one. And, if an operator’s licence is required this will be a Standard or a Restricted one dependant on whether horses are being transported on behalf of third party. Again this can be less than straightforward but important as a formally qualified transport manager will be required if a Standard licence is needed.

As well as advising you about operator’s licensing we can also provide help with regard to driver’s hours and tachographs. Even non-commercial equestrian transport now requires the use of a tachograph in vehicles above the 7.5 tonnes threshold. There are some exemptions for commercial operations. Drivers and other crew including attendants will also have to adhere to the road transport working time rules, unless excluded from this requirement.

Drivers of horseboxes and transporters in businesses may also require a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) to drive vehicles for which a Category C or C1 licence is required, although some exemptions may apply – otherwise 35 hours ongoing training every five years has to be carried out to use goods vehicles over the 3.5 tonne threshold.

If you require any advice about these or any other related areas then please contact our Road Transport team.