Horse Transport FAQ: Crossing the seas with LOC International Horse Transport

FAQ: Crossing the seas with LOC International Horse Transport

equine sea travel - loading Goldie equine sea travel - Goldie on board ready to go equine sea travel - neatly parked equine sea travel - crossing the sea equine sea travel - Eurotunnel

Transporting a horse from the UK to Europe sounds complex but if you find an experienced horse transport company who are well versed with dealing with the specific requirements for transporting horses, it makes the whole process a lot simpler.

Horse transport to Europe every week

At LOC Ltd International Horse Transport we transport horses across Europe every week in one of our purpose built horse transporters. Often when clients enquire about their horses transport, we are asked whether we will cross the channel by ferry or Eurotunnel, and if by ferry which ferry route will we take.

The most frequent ferry crossing that we travel on is the 90 minute Dover to Calais (v.v) crossing. We have an open booking with a number of the ferry companies (P and O, DFDS, myferrylink, Stena Lines and LD lines) in Dover and Calais meaning that we can just turn up at the port and get on any next available ferry. Other ferry crossings that we also use but less frequently than the Dover to Calais crossing are the Portsmouth to Le Havre crossing, Hull to Rotterdam, Dover to Dunkerque and the Newhaven to Dieppe crossing.

Rough seas and horses?

Clients often express concern about their horses having a rough ferry crossing if the weather is bad. This is never the case. It is the ferry captain’s decision as to whether he/she is willing to allow horses on board. If the weather is bad and the sea is rough or forecasted to be rough, then horses simply won’t be allowed on board, so in short horses unlike humans never have a bad ferry crossing. Generally speaking the captain uses his discretion when the winds are over force 3 to 4 due to the safety and welfare of the horses on the ferry. All of the ferry companies have very strict policies and will only travel horses when the sea state is smooth – our drivers refer to it as a millpond.

The next question that we are often asked by clients is what happens if the horsebox is delayed at the port due to bad weather and unable to cross? In this situation there are a few options, firstly to cross somewhere else if the weather is more settled elsewhere. The second option is to wait until the weather improves, in which case we will rest the horses in one of the trusted stabling points that we work with in the UK or abroad. The third option is for us to take the horsebox on the Eurotunnel.

Eurotunnel and horse transport

In 2010, DEFRA granted Eurotunnel a licence for the carriage of horses through the tunnel. For safety and animal welfare reasons, Eurotunnel imposed regulations around the carriage of horses such as horses must be transported in the appropriate standard vehicle with a Type 2 authorisation and the appropriate Road Vehicle and Container Certificate under Article 18 (2) of the Welfare of Animals during transport regulations. Additionally all vehicles must be clean and disinfected, be leak proof, have on board battery powered ventilation systems, carry sufficient food and water and carry cleaning tools. One of the other regulations is that only one horsebox is permitted per carriage regardless of the number of horses that it is carrying, so depending on how many horses are being transported on the lorry, it can be the equivalent cost to flying first class! Journey times from Folkestone to Calais on the tunnel are 35 minutes and the drivers and grooms remain in the lorry with the horses.

LOC International: An experienced team

The team at LOC International Horse Transport have a wealth of knowledge and experience in transporting horses around the UK, across Europe and Worldwide! If you would like more information on our upcoming trips across Europe or any of other transport services, please contact LOC International Horse Transport by phone on +44(0)1293 871877, or email

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