The ability to transport horses safely and legally is vital to all those 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 the activity is a commercial one. Naturally, all animal welfare rules must be complied with.
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 activities are interpreted as commercial can sometimes be a grey area – for example sponsorship and prize money do not necessarily 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. 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 comply with 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 observed to use goods vehicles over the 3.5 tonne threshold.
For advice and representation in relation to all road transport-related matters please contact Tim Ridyard and Tim Norris in our specialist team.