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This page is intended to give you a basic guideline of what to expect when it comes to purchase, transport and other requirements associated with buying a horse from Canada. We do our best to keep this information current, however, policies at Banks and Borders can change without our knowledge, therefore we will not be held responsible for any discrepency between the information below and what other services may tell you. We strongly urge you to contact those services for their most recent requirements... PURCHASE OF A HORSE WITHIN CANADA: EXPORT OF A HORSE FROM CANADA TO USA: We get asked a lot about bringing a horse from Canada to USA, so here's a rundown of what needs to be done... it sounds more complicated than it is, most of the paperwork, and work, is done either by me or a Broker (if you use commercial hauling). The first thing you need to decide is whether you would come for the horse yourself or hire Commercial Horse Transport. More on that in a minute... INTERNATIONAL HEALTH PAPERS: Regardless of whether you pick up the horse yourself or hire commercial transport, your horse will need International Health Papers (Vet Check) to get across the border. This is a combination of Coggins testing and a physical Health Inspection, and signed by a Canadian Federal Vet. We will arrange the appointment for this, take the horse to the vet for you and get the papers signed by the Fed Vet. You will need to pay the vet fees (approx. $160 CAD). This can be done either by sending the fee to me before the appointment (preferred) or I will pay the fees on your behalf and you will need to reimburse me before the horse leaves our property. Be aware that it takes up to two weeks to get the paperwork back from the vet; this is because they have to send away the blood sample for the Coggins testing. Also, the Health Inspection is only good for 30 days from date of inspection. So this gives us only a two week window for the horse to cross the border before the darn paperwork expires (insane, I know); therefore I strongly recommend getting a date lined up with your transporter that gives us a MINIMUM of 3 WEEKS to allow enough time to schedule an apppointment with the local vet and get the required paperwork done.  An alternative I've been using more and more is to do the Vet work in two stages... get the Coggins done ahead of time (which is good for six months) and then the Health Inspection done once we have a confirmed date for transport (good for 30 days). We can work together to determine which is best for your particular situation. It sounds complicated, but isn’t really, as long as the Date of Transport is arranged for at least 3 weeks in advance. TRANSPORT - PERSONAL PICKUP: By far the easiest overall is when you pick the horse up yourself. You will need International Health Papers done on the horse (see ABOVE), your Bill Of Sale (from us) and you will need your Passport to cross the Border. Coming up from the USA you can cross at any border that is most convenient to your route; going back to the USA with the horse, you MUST cross at a border that has a Border Vet.  Sweetgrass, Montana and Portal, North Dakota are two Border Crossings that have local Border Vet.  It is wise to call the chosen Border Crossing at least 3 days in advance to make them aware of your intention to bring a purchased horse to USA. You will also need to make an appointment with the Border Vet ahead of time; be aware they are usually open for normal business hours only and closed on weekends/holidays, so plan your trip back to arrive at the border at the appropriate time. We are located about 5 1/2 hrs from the Sweetgrass, MT crossing and about 7 hrs from the Portal, ND crossing. When you cross back into the States you will show them the Bill of Sale and the Health Papers and pay the Import Duties on the purchase price. The border guard will often ask why you're buying a horse in Canada instead of the USA; most people just say, "rare bloodlines" :)  Then you will take your horse to the Border Vet (make an appointment) five minutes or so away. He will ensure the horse and Health Papers match, charge you $47US for this and you're on your way.   TRANSPORT - COMMERCIAL HAULER: Commercial Transport is arranged by the buyer and requires additional border crossing paperwork to be done by a professional Broker. Almost all Transporters have a Broker they use regularly, and should provide you with the name/contact info of their Broker.  Most brokers will charge you about $100 fee for their service, which is to ensure all paperwork is in order for the Transporter's journey across the US border. The Broker may ask you for a copy of the registration and bill of sale, which I would email to you once the horse is paid for. Some want us to send them a copy of the Health Papers, which we can do; but usually we just hand all the original paperwork + copies over to the Transporter him/herself. If you choose Commercial Transport, we highly recommend arranging and booking a hauler as soon as you can, even if the transport is going to happen 2 or 3 months ahead (i.e. waiting for weaning of a foal). This is particularly important for fall sales.  Be aware that horse haulers vary in their rates... everyone is a little different depending on where they're hauling from/to or how many other horses they have headed that way. Click HERE for a list we’ve gathered of various Horse Transporters. Please note that this list is not complete, nor are we offering recommendation or endorsement of these Transporters, most are gleaned from the Internet to save you some time. We often get requests from Commercial Transporters to meet them at various locations, depending on the route they are taking. Primarily this request comes because we live on a gravel road and some transporters worry that their rigs are going to get stone chips and that they will lose time because they will have to travel slowly on gravel to avoid excessive dust getting into the trailer – both valid points. From where we are located, the closest paved road is 24 km to Leader, SK (on Hwy 21) or 24km to Burstall, SK (on Hwy 235). During the summer months we are willing to trailer your horse the half-hour to meet at either of these locations, at no charge to you. This is usually arranged between us and the transporter, as final details for the pickup align. If you do NOT want this arrangement to be considered, let us know ahead of time and we will refuse any such request by the Transporter. Once winter temperatures set in, the welfare and safety of the horse can be compromised (see below). Therefore, if a horse is to be picked up after the End of October, the Transporter MUST come directly to our ranch for pickup because, for the safety of the horse, we will no longer agree to meet elsewhere. Please be aware that a 25% deposit is required to hold a horse while Commercial Transporters are being considered, we will not hold a horse for an individual without a Deposit... this deposit is non-refundable under normal circumstances. FEES TO EXPECT BEYOND PURCHASE PRICE: These are the additional fees to be aware of when you consider the cost of purchasing a horse from us. 1) Local Vet fees for International Health Papers is approx $160 CAD (paid to us and we pay the local vet). 2) The Border Vet is approx. $47US. Pay him yourself if you pickup; pay the Broker if Transport is picking up. 3) There will be Import Duties, based on the amount you paid for the horse. Pay this at the Border if you pickup; I believe you pay the Broker if using Transport. 4) If you are using Commercial Transport, there will be a Broker fee of around $100US; paid to the Broker. No broker is required if you pickup yourself, therefore, no broker fee. 5) Cost of Commercial Transport, if used. Cost of fuel if you pick up yourself. The Good News: The exchange rate for Canadian funds (purchase price and vet fee) into US dollars works to your considerable advantage. The rate fluctuates constantly, so contact us to inquire what the purchase price, etc. would be in US Dollars. Note: Depending on how you send payments, the financial institution will probably levy a fee for sending the money; rates vary with venue used. RECEIPTS, REGISTRATION PAPERS, ETC: As stated in multiple places on our website, a 25% non-refundable Deposit is required to hold a horse for purchase. When this deposit is received, we will email you a receipt for it. Thereafter we will send you a Sales Agreement outlining the purchase; deposit, amount owing, expected date of pickup, etc. To see a sample copy of our Sales Agreement, Click HERE. When you fill out your portion of the Agreement (name, address, etc) please put down the same info you would like to use for registering the horse in your name/ranch name. We will use this info for completing the Bill of Sale and AQHA Transfer. When you have paid for the horse In Full, I will complete and email you a Bill of Sale. You will also be expected to have reimbursed any other (i.e. vet) fees by this time. The original AQHA Registration becomes yours, along with a signed AQHA Registration Transfer that allows you to re-register the horse in your name/ranch name. The cost of re-registering ($20US) will be your responsiblity. Altogether, these are the documents that will accompany the horse when he leaves here, these belong to you... 1) original AQHA Registration + copy; 2) signed AQHA Registration Transfer; 3) original Bill of Sale + copy; 4) copy of UCDavis coat colour results (confirming colour genetics of horse/foal); 5) copy of 5 Panel results or sire/dam 5 panel results (confirming 5 panel n/n status of horse/foal). 6) International Health Papers + copy. If you pick up the horse yourself, these docs will be handed directly to you; if using Commercial Transport, the docs will be given to the Transporter to hand over to you along with the horse. Copies of required docs will also be given to the Transporter. for his/her use at the Border. WEATHER/TEMPERATURE CONSIDERATIONS:  We live on the open prairie in Saskatchewan, Canada. Cold weather here hits in mid-November (sometimes beginning November with an early winter)  Locally, horsemen believe that mature horses can travel in a normal stock trailer, blanketed, down to temperatures of around -12C (+10F); below this it is too cold for the horse to travel safely and you risk nosebleeds and other health issues.  By December temperatures are usually reaching as low as -20C (-4F). This is too cold for a horse to travel in a regular trailer. By January/February temperatures around here can reach  -40C (-40F) and possibly colder and travel with a regular trailer is out of the question. When arranging your transport, keep in mind that many Transporters in Canada finish their hauling season by end of October. Commercial Transporters that continue operating during the cold months are normally pulling insulated or heated trailers (you might want to confirm this with them) and they will be carrying a number of horses that, together, keep the trailer warm.  I don’t propose to be an expert on this, and I neither recommend nor oppose hauling horses in the winter.  I do suggest you talk to the Transporter directly about any concerns you may have. Temperatures warm up again in the spring and regular trailering can usually begin by end of March.
FAQ: The following information is intended to help you with your arrangements...
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