The truth about the high costs of importation to the U.S.A.
So you have decided to become the proud owner of an Andalusian horse, one of the most coveted breeds in the U.S. One of the main questions you may have in front of you is whether you should import the horse of your choice directly from one of Spain’s renowned yeguadas or buy directly from a ranch in the U.S.
While this is a question that has no easy answer, what might make your decision making process easier, is solid knowledge of what the process of importing an Andalusian entails, including some of the “hidden” costs you may not have thought about. Let’s start with the basics.
After you have set your eyes on a horse, you will want to do a pre-purchase examination which costs around 300-400 EUR (the price indicated is in EUR because the tests are performed in Spain; please, convert to USD using the most current exchange rate).
Then there is a mandatory Piroplasmosis (popularly known as "Piro") test before the horse can be allowed to be shipped to the U.S. The horse must also be tested for dourine, glanders and equine infectious anemia.
Moving a horse long distance is, unfortunately, not an easy task, and thus comes with a hefty price tag.
Moreover, importing an Andalusian into the U.S. is about more than the actual moving of the horse from location A to location B. Horses imported from Spain are required to quarantaine in a special facility in Madrid for about a month. The total cost of quarantine plus transport to the European airport and then to JFK/LAX et al U.S. comes down to around 6500 EUR per animal.
Afterwards, there is another 3-day mandatory USDA quarantine once the horse sets foot on U.S. soil. It will set you back $850, after which the horse can be released, provided it is not sick.
While not required by law, you will also most likely need the services of a shipping agent to handle all the paperwork, the coordination between the different government agencies, etc. after the 3-day quarantine period is over.
Typically, enlisting a shipping agent costs around $2000.
Another consideration you need to have when importing an Andalusian from Spain to the U.S. is that if the horse tests positive for either dourine, glanders or equine piroplasmosis, its quarantine period can be extended by another 28 days, the cost of which is entirely at the importer's expense.
After a maximum of 28 days, the horse can be retested and if they still test positive, they will be denied entry in the U.S. In such a scenario, you will be facing two options: either exporting the horse back out of the U.S. within 10 days or euthanizing it humanely. This can not only be costly but also a very unpleasant experience.
Upon release from customs, if the horse you are importing is two years or older, it will be required to undergo a CEM quarantine in an USDA-approved facility. CEM stands for Contagious Equine Metritis, a highly contagious venereal disease that is prevalent in Europe, passed from one horse to another during mating.
A horse that tests positive for CEM will not be allowed entry into the U.S. and the USDA requires further testing once the horse is in the country. The required quarantine period differs for mares (15 days) and stallions (33 days). A typical price for a CEM quarantine is $4,000 for mares and $8,000 for stallions.
Bringing it Home
Assuming everything went smoothly, you will now be ready to bring your Andalusian home. It's hard to estimate transportation costs here, as that would depend on your location. Just as an example, a typical journey from JFK airport to the Central US will typically cost around $3,000.
As you can see from the overview above, importing a horse from Spain into the U.S. can be costly and time-consuming.
With this in mind, here at Western Gailes Ranch, we strive to bring you only the best of the Spanish yeguadas but on U.S. soil. Our philosophy has been formulated with the guidance of the great masters of P.R.E. breeding science in Spain. We spent many days, weeks and months researching and then selecting great broodmares with the best morphological and character qualities to produce our foals.
If you are interested in purchasing an Andalusian horse, or simply learning more about this magnificent breed of horses, we invite you to browse our website.