Buying & Selling Horses – Change of Ownership

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This BAPSH Ltd Transfer procedure creates the Change of Ownership within the UK for BAPSH Ltd Registered Horses, updating the Horse’s PASSPORT and the National Database, and re-registering the MICROCHIP into the new owner’s Name and Address.




Buying PREs, PRE Fusion Horses (25% PRE or more), and PRE-Type Horses (Andalusians), and other Breeds with PRE blood.
General Information

The PRE itself is renowned for its good looks, ability to perform and its equable temperament, so it’s no surprise that everybody wants to own one or one of its partbred progeny ! These traits are the result of the interaction between the quality of the breeding and the quality of the handling/training. The way in which the horses are managed in Spain is usually very different from in the UK. Mares in Spain are rarely ridden as they are mainly used for breeding and live out in extensive herds. Youngsters usually live out in peer groups until they are either ready to ride or breed. Most ridden horses are stallions and they are stabled for the majority of the time. The PRE breed has evolved to live off relatively poor pasture with plenty of low calorie fibrous foodstuffs available to chew on, and they are not at all used to the lush pastures available in the UK. Feeding supplements, balancers and other prepared feeds are also not the norm in Spain despite being common in the UK. The Spanish are used to housing and handling stallions, and although by most UK standards the Spanish might be considered to be ‘hard’ on their horses,  they are usually consistent and fair, and produce well mannered polite stallions. This is not to say that Spain does it right all the time but simply to show that the horse you are importing is a product of this environment and may develop a different attitude once in the UK.
As a breed , PREs are classed as ‘hot blooded’ horses and they can all be feisty (especially the stallions), and you should be aware of this before you buy a PRE or a PRE-Type horse which may be almost 100% PRE bloodlines. PRE blends which have Thoroughbred, Arab, Anglo-Arab, Welsh Pony/Cob or Warmblood in their make-up may also be thought of as ‘hot-bloods’ and will need sensible and sensitive handling; these blends now have their own Studbook for the PRE Fusion Horse.
It is also important to remember that stallions are not often welcomed on livery yards and some stallions can be very upset on mixed-sex yards during the breeding season. Before buying a PRE, or one of the Breeds based upon the PRE , be realistic about your abilities, the facilities available and your budget, then join the rest of us who wouldn’t consider having anything other than a PRE or a PRE Fusion Horse !

Buying in the UK
There are some notable breeders and long-established studs in the UK breeding both PREs and pedigree PRE Fusion Breeds (formerly called PRE Partbreds) of various blends such as the Spanish Spotted Saddle Horse, so the choice of horses to purchase is improving all the time. It is possible to visit a number of studfarms with horses for sale over a weekend. All UK bred horses should have an up to date passport and ownership record, and it is easy to contact the BAPSH Ltd Registrar to confirm that all is in order with the documentation for the horse you are interested in buying. A great advantage when buying in Britain is the ease and flexibility of arranging visits to see horses, and the possibility of having a horse at home on trial for a period before buying it. UK veterinary examinations are strictly regulated; they may not be infallible but they are of a high standard. In the event of a disagreement about a UK vetting, recourse will be easier. Horses that have been in the UK for some time, or have been bred here, are likely to be kept in our traditional ways, rather than a Spanish system, and so it is easier to assess the horse’s behaviour in circumstances similar to your own.
BAPSH Ltd recommends that potential buyers of PREs look initially at the horses available for Sale in the UK  – a good selection of correctly documented horses for sale is usually available on the BAPSH website Sales pages, but if nothing suitable is found then the search can expand to Spain.

Buying from Spain
The pros and cons of buying in Spain are really the opposite of buying from the UK. Probably the best reason to buy from Spain is the extensive choice available but there are some downsides. Everyone hopes their purchase will be a successful one but buying horses that ‘fit the bill’ and are sound is notoriously difficult at the best of times and buying abroad can add another layer of uncertainty.
Limited time to trial a horse. The likelihood is that it will only be possible to ride the horse once or twice before having to make a decision, and the riding is likely to be restricted to a manège. Experienced riders will be able to decide if the horse gives them the feel they want but there may be no way of knowing how the horse will behave in a stressful situation.
Availability of geldings is very limited. Mares are rarely ridden and colts rarely castrated so the majority of ridden horses in Spain are stallions. In the UK, not many livery yards are prepared to take stallions so it may be necessary to have the horse gelded and accept the associated risks of complications.
Veterinary Examinations for soundness are not always the same in Spain as they are in the UK. The report is likely to be written in Spanish so unless you are fluent, there is the potential for some misunderstanding. Unless you know the veterinary surgeon personally, the report may not be ‘independent’ and there are no rules of disclosure as there are in the UK. It is sensible to get your own vet practice to take a look at the vetting certificate, including any X-rays and asking for their opinion before finalising your purchase.
In the event of a problem, disputes will be settled under Spanish law, which may be different from that in the UK. It will also be difficult and expensive to bring legal action in another country unless you have very good advice.
Transport costs are significant and must be factored into the budget. Most UK based international transporters have a very good reputation regarding welfare but there are always risks attached to long distance travel.

 Using an Agent
It is probably best to use an experienced agent if buying for the first time in Spain, especially if you are not fluent in the language. Do your research thoroughly and use an agent with a good reputation over and above the testimonials to be found on their website! An agent may simply make an introduction to a reputable stud, or may personally take you round to several studs that have a horse that fits your criteria. The horse may cost a little more but it’s probably worth the extra money just for the peace of mind.

What do the genetic codes mean?
E = black & red pigment (dominant); e = red pigment only (recessive chestnut); A = agouti (is a bay; no effect on red); a = black (no agouti pattern); Cr = cream; C = no cream;  prl = pearl;  P = no pearl;     CH = champagne;  ch = no champagne; Z = silver; z = no silver

Check List

  1. Make sure you understand the difference between a PRE and an Andalusian. In the UK the term PRE is not generally understood and the description ‘Andalusian’ is often used. However, the term Andalusian may simply describe a horse that comes from Andalucía, and may or may not be a PRE. Increasingly the term ‘PRE Andalusian’ is used in the UK to describe a fully registered PRE. It is not an official description but helps distinguish a genuine PRE from any other type of horse.
  2. A PRE will be registered in the Spanish Studbook – you can check this for yourself by going to and clicking on ‘Search Horses’  to look up the horse you are interested in. Alternatively, if you have concerns about the identity or documents for a horse you are interested in buying you can consult the BAPSH Registrar by emailing your query to
  3. Make sure that you understand the paperwork required, especially if buying from abroad. A horse should not be imported if it does not have a valid passport and if the horse is a PRE, this should have been issued by the ANCCE or (if a horse born before January 2007) by the FESCCR.  A horse whose parents are registered as PREs automatically qualifies to be entered on the Spanish Studbook PRE register. However, horses that are to be used for breeding must be ‘Graded’ by a Spanish commission. Depending on the year of their Grading, their passport will either be stamped with ‘APTO’ or it will have a Sticker saying ‘Registro de Reproductores’ otherwise their offspring cannot be registered as a PRE.
    • It is very important that your PRE comes with the correct paperwork whether they are bought in Spain, Europe, or the UK!
    • Change of ownership is very important (in fact it is a legal requirement within 30 days of purchase) and when a Spanish owned PRE is sold a Spanish ANCCE Carta de Titularidad must be signed by the previous ANCCE registered owner whose name will be on the front of the Carta.  NOTE:-this may not be the person selling the horse.  The Carta is a yellow card found inside the horse’s passport, if the horse has an older passport, with no Carta, then a valid signed document of sale, must be included. This is very important or the horse will never go into your name.
    • If you buy a mare in foal, make sure she comes with a covering certificate to the correct stallion which is SIGNED by the stallion’s registered owner and check up that this person actually owned the stallion at the dates when the mare was actually covered.
    • If you buy a mare with a foal at foot, it is advisable to make sure the foal is parentage typed and inscribed into the ANCCE studbook before leaving Spain.
    • UK Registered PREs should be sold with a completed Transfer of Ownership Statement from the Seller, as well as the documents described above for imported PREs.

NOTE:- All Importations and all Transfers of Ownership should be registered with BAPSH Ltd within 30 days of the change ( UK Equine Law).

If there are any difficulties with completing the Transfer Procedure as given above, then please get in touch with the Registrar straight away so that the problems can be tackled.

The BAPSH Ltd Registrar – Mary R McBryde between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday if you have any queries,
Holly Trees Farm, Chesterblade Road, Stoney Stratton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. BA4 4EQ
Tel: 07887 890098 / 01749 838791.            Email: