FEI celebrates pivotal decision on international sport horse movement  

28 May 2014

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) is celebrating reaching a major milestone in its drive to improve the international movement of high-level sport horses, after a pivotal decision by global members of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Representatives from 178 countries attending the General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates in Paris (FRA) today gave a resounding green light to the adoption in principle of the “high health, high performance horse” (HHP) concept within a new OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapter.

This significant step means that there is now a specific OIE mandate to work with governments around the world to ensure a harmonised process for moving top-level sport horses for major international competitions.

The HHP concept will be rolled out in 2014, and Korea has already implemented import requirements based on this concept for the 17th Incheon Asian Games 2014 (19 September - 4 October).

The news comes less than 18 months after the FEI and the OIE embarked on a three-year public-private partnership in response to a clearly expressed demand from countries for help in improving the cross-border movement of top-level sport horses.

The OIE delegates’ endorsement of the HHP concept also follows last November’s creation by the FEI and IFHA of the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC), the first formal alliance between the world’s leading governing bodies for racing and equestrian sport, which has a primary goal of improving horse transportation.

Several international conferences organised for government veterinary and animal health experts around the world over the last three years, including in Hong Kong, Panama City and Mexico, have also contributed to the support of HHP.   

“This is a landmark development in global access to equestrian sport. It means our athletes, who are working so hard to represent their countries at key international events, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games, have the opportunity do so in future with practical and safe horse movement approaches from governments around the world,” explained HRH Princess Haya, FEI and IHSC President.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone within the OIE, FEI and the racing world, who have seen the necessity for this, and have dedicated themselves to enhancing horse sport and further opening up the economic benefits for communities working with horses. We’re now looking forward to the job ahead, and to working to create the conditions necessary for success.”

“We have worked with the FEI for over ten years to identify practical national veterinary requirements, and we have recently advanced further quickly, presenting government experts around the world with solutions to meet their specific requirements based on the OIE standards of compartmentalisation and harnessing our public-private partnership. This has been key to today’s outcome,” said OIE Director General, Dr Bernard Vallat.

“Our members fully understood the need for finding a way with all details needed to better recognise the lower risk of moving such highly supervised horses within OIE Standards, and the HHP concept does that. There has also been a recognition of the economic impact of the equine industry and this concept will allow countries to tap into the potential income associated with increasing numbers of FEI and horse racing events.”

“It is vital for the growth of equestrian sport that horses can move safely and easily to compete at the world’s biggest events”, said Louis Romanet, Chairman of the IFHA and Vice President of the IHSC. “This latest development follows intensive efforts by the OIE, FEI, IFHA and veterinary and government experts around the world to adopt an improved specific approach to international movement of our top-level sport horses, and this will have a deep impact on the future of both international racing and FEI sport.”

Photo caption: Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE Director General (left), Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and (right) Mr José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), are pictured with HRH Princess Haya, FEI and IHSC President at the opening of the 2014 World Assembly of OIE Delegates General Session in Paris (FRA). The green light to adopt the “high health, high performance horse” (HHP) concept was given today (28 May) during a plenary session of this six-day-long annual world conference. (Photo: Richard Juilliart/FEI).

FEI Photo Catalogue: free images for editorial purposes are available at www.feiphotos.org

Notes to Editors:

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) www.oie.int

With the mandate to improve animal health and welfare worldwide, the OIE is recognised as the reference standard-setting organisation for the international movement of animals, including horses, by the World Trade Organisation.  

Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) www.fei.org

The FEI is the world governing body for horse sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was founded in 1921. The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in Jumping, Dressage & Para-Dressage, Eventing, Driving & Para-Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC)

The FEI and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) joined forces to create the first formal vehicle for co-operation between the world’s leading governing bodies for equestrian sport on 4 November 2013. The formation of the IHSC was formally signed by FEI President HRH Princess Haya and IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet during the FEI General Assembly in Montreux (SUI). The Confederation is the first formal alliance between the racing world and the FEI.   

International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) www.ifhaonline.org

In 1961, the Horseracing Authorities of the United States of America, France, Great Britain and Ireland decided to coordinate their action in order to protect the integrity of horse races and keep their basic aim, which is the organisation of competitions to select the best horses in order to improve the quality of breeding. In 1967, they created the International Conference in Paris, bringing the world’s main racing authorities together. In 1993, to give an official shape to these efforts, the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities was founded and amalgamates around sixty members. Every year, the Federation organises the International Conference which updates the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering endorsed by the Conference in 1974. The Federation also publishes the main statistics of each member-country concerning breeding, racing and betting.


FEI Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy

Manager Media Relations


+41 78 750 61 45


Malina Gueorguiev

Manager Media Relations


+41 787 506 133


OIE Media contact:

Catherine Bertrand-Ferrandis

Head of Communication Unit


+33 1 44 15 19 72


IFHA Media contact:

Andrew Chesser

Deputy Secretary General


+1 859 224 27 41


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