The Long Riders' Guild

Problems at the Borders


Patagonia discourages personal horse ownership ?

French Long Rider Virginie Claeyssens has recently returned from her journey in Argentina, bringing with her alarming news.  Because of the vast number of horses roaming across Patagonia there have been a number of fatal automobile accidents.  Authorities could not determine who owned the horse which caused  because the animals were unbranded.  This has prompted the government to institute a new law that not only affects horse owners but also equestrian travellers.


Virginie wrote to The Guild to say, “In Patagonia there is a new law forbidding anyone to buy horses unless they are breeders. As most of the owners are afraid to sell horses without papers, in case they are held responsible, it is necessary to find another way to purchase horses.”


Before this law was passed, any local justice of the peace could validate a bill of sale which listed the names of buyer and seller. It now appears that extensive documentation, and expensive medical checks and blood tests, may be required by the government.


Irish Long Rider Hugh MacDermott knows about Argentina. After he completed his ride across the Andes Mountains, Hugh remained in the country, where he now operates a renowned equestrian tour company. When contacted by the Guild, Hugh reported, “There are certainly a lot of problems with loose horses on the roads because of a lack of fencing, so it could be that a law has been passed to try and control that.”


He went on to warn that Argentina was a “tricky place” and that it is difficult to “navigate the crazy bureaucracy.” But he concluded that there are ways to overcome these bureaucratic challenges.


Serbian Border Barriers

German Long Riders Ronja Zahradniková and Dennis Kienzler have contacted the Guild to report that Serbia has toughened its requirements for horses entering that nation. Ronja sent the following information, detailing how they had to struggle to enter that nation.


You can enter Serbia viá the Rőszke border, which is a highway but you can ride there. Telephone at the Rőszke – Horgos Border Serbian Site: 00381 247 95 014 They speak English and are competent, you can ask them everything.


To enter Serbia a Serbian citizen must write an invitation for you. This document must include:

the horses’ live numbers, names and microchip numbers -
the names and addresses of the horses’ owners -
the route you will take -
the destination (including the address of a Serbian citizen who act as your host) -
the duration of your stay in Serbia -
and the reference number of the equine Health Certificate which has granted by a veterinarian.


Once this information has been obtained from the Long Riders, the Serbian citizen has to go to the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Water and present a written request to invite the horses into Serbia. The request is presented to the Directorate of Veterinary Inspection.  Telephone 00381 112 602 634 (International Department).


It takes at least a week for the request to be processed. If approved, it must then be sent to the border, along with a copy of the personal invitation. Once these documents are confirmed, the Long Riders must have valid health certificates for their horses when appearing at the border. Horses coming from Hungary and Romania may be subject to quarantine or denied entry. If you are granted entry into Serbia, the time allowed to travel within the nation is no more than three months.


Guatemala Red Tape

An email sent to the Guild by a Long Rider confirms the border between Guatemala and Mexico has become a medical and diplomatic nightmare for equestrian travellers. This is not the first time Long Riders have encountered problems at this border. The Guild knows of at least two previous cases where Long Rider horses were not able to move south or north via this border.


Horses travelling south from Mexico into Central America should be inoculated with vaccines for Encefelitis Equina del Este and Encefelitus Equina Venezuelana. But even having up to date injections may not be enough to ride into Guatemala.


According to the Long Rider in Guatemala, the traveller’s horses must have equine blood tests done in Mexico three weeks prior to appearing at the Guatemalan border. The horses are supposed to be kept in medical quarantine while the tests are underway. If the animals are found to be disease free, they are issued with a document known as a Transmite Zoosantitaria. In theory, this document serves as an equine bill of health which will be recognized throughout Central America.


The problem is that transporting these animals are usually done in 24-48 hours which is how long most countries allow your horses in for.


Additionally, the Guatemalan officials at the customs station at La Mesilla demanded a document known as a “Certificate of Origin” for the horses. No other country is known to require this document, nor has anyone been able to confirm what exactly is required by the Guatemalans to create it.


If you have any up-do-date information on crossing frontiers, please contact The Guild.

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