Passport FAQs

What is the Irish Horse Register?

The Irish Horse Register incorporates two separate studbooks, the Irish Sport Horse Studbook and the Irish Draught Horse Studbook, as well as a register of animals with no pedigree or partial pedigree that do not meet the criteria for inclusion in either studbook.

Why do I need a passport?

From 1st July 2009, the identification system for equidae was amended. Under EU Legislation, all equidae will have to be microchipped and have their identification document (passport) within six months of their birth. The microchip number of each animal must be recorded on its passport.

The new identification system will build on a single identification document – one passport – issued for life when the animal is born or imported. The document will be linked to the animal by their microchip, and the fact that it was issued will be recorded in a database under a Unique Equine Life Number (UELN) for the animal that will remain the constant reference even when the animal’s name is changed.

Under the EU Legislation, animals not registered within 6 months of their birth will be permanently excluded from the food chain and Horse Sport Ireland is obliged to stamp their passport ‘Not Fit for Human Consumption’. Similarly, where foals are sent to slaughter, they must have been registered for a period of at least 6 months before they are allowed to enter the food chain. Where an animal is issued a duplicate passport they will be permanently excluded from the food chain and the duplicate passport stamped to reflect this.

Passports issued by Horse Sport Ireland at all times remain the property of the Irish Horse Register. Upon death or slaughter of any animal, the passport must be returned to Horse Sport Ireland.

What is the difference between a foal and an adult horse registration?

For registration purposes:

  • A foal is deemed to be an animal in its year of birth (e.g. any animal born between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2010 is considered a foal for the duration of that period)
  • A horse is deemed to be an animal outside its year of birth (e.g. an animal born between 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2009 is deemed to be an adult horse from 1st January 2010 onwards)

For adult horse registration fees (studbook passports) the following applies:

• Yearling – animal born in 2011 is a yearling for the duration of 2012
• 2 Year Old – animal born in 2010 is a 2 year old for the duration of 2012
• 3 Year Old – animal born in 2009 is a 3 year old for the duration of 2012
• 4 Year Old/+ – animal born in 2008 is a 4 year old/+ from 1st January 2012 onwards

Why have I not received my foal kit/foal passport?

Common reasons for issues arising in the registration of your foal are as follows:

  • No covering certificate returned to HSI by the stallion owner
  • Incomplete or incorrect information detailed on the covering certificate
  • Dam of the foal not registered prior to covering
  • Dam of the foal not named prior to covering (i.e. still has a foal passport rather than a adult passport)
  • Incorrect registered owner of the dam recorded (if you have purchased a mare, ensure you have sent her passport to HSI to change the registered ownership information into your name prior to covering)

How do I obtain an urgent passport?

Horse Sport Ireland operate an urgent same day passport service for applications that do not require DNA testing. To avail of this service, you must deliver your full application to the office before 11am on the day the passport is required. The fees for urgent application can be located HERE.

If you have any other questions on the Passport / Registration process please email 

HSI Registrations Unit office hours:

  • Open to the public from 9am to 5pm (Monday to Friday)
  • The phone line is open from 9am to 4.30pm (Monday to Friday), with the exception of Wednesday when we open at 09.30 to facilitate staff training. Please note the phone lines will be closed from 1pm to 2pm for lunch – 045 850800
  • For urgent registrations applications must be lodged by 11am with the HSI Registration Unit.