Importing/Exporting Purebred Arabian Horses

Bedouin Arabian Horse

Importing/Exporting Purebred Arabian Horses

by Lorry Wagner
1998 IAHA Delegate to WAHO
November 25, 1998

A number of delegates from countries attending the World Arabian Horse Organization Conference (WAHO) in Bahrain brought an impending problem to my attention.

All horses who were issued their original registration by the Arabian Horse Registry of America (AHRA), prior to AHRA's termination at the end of 1997 as a WAHO-approved registry, can simply apply for registration through the Purebred Arabian Horse Registry (PAHR) with a minimum of time and paperwork and become registered in an accepted source as recognized by the 54 nations around the world who are members of WAHO. After being registered through PAHR, horses are eligible to move about the world for showing or permanent exportation or shipping semen.

However, any horse issued its original registration with the AHRA after January 1, 1998, will be registered in an unacceptable source to the rest of the world. This may not affect most owners of purebred Arabian horses in the United States at this time; however, down the road a generation or two, it does create a problem. Those horses who have parents who were issued their original registration by AHRA after January 1, 1998, and who wish to show, ship semen, or sell their horse(s) internationally, will find that they cannot do so without completing a registration process with PAHR that will be more complicated, time-consuming, and more expensive, due to the fact that the parents (grand, great-grand, etc., as more times, goes on) of that horse are not registered in a WAHO-accepted studbook.

Think about the impact of trying to export one of your horses 20 years from now that has a parent 5 generations back that was registered with AHRA after January 1, 1998, but never registered with PAHR. Every single animal down the line from that first one will have to go through the process of authentication, blood-typing, etc., in obtaining registration with PAHR until reaching the animal in question. The more time goes by, the more horses are involved, and it will finally become too costly and time-consuming to be bothered. It will mean that any progeny of our US horses not registered with PAHR now or in the very near future, will probably end up being unable to ever be exported to the rest of the world.

This can create a nightmare of problems for someone wanting to do anything on the international level in the future. I haven't even tried to fathom what other problems can crop up as time goes on, but one thing is clear! If you anticipate that your horses, or their progeny--whether next generation or 5 generations down the line might be candidates for the international scene, you might consider registering them with PAHR at this time and avoid the hassles of a more complicated, time-consuming, and expensive procedure later on, which will eventually become an impossibility.

As we enter the new millennium the explosive new global marketing aspect of the near future, we must learn to think beyond our own borders. With foresight over 20 years ago, WAHO has put in place rules and procedures which have prepared the world for being able to easily enter this global market today, while the rest of the world is just getting organized. Actually, the Arabian horse has enjoyed this position for quite a few years now--way ahead of the rest of the world.

It is my perspective that we are looking at another one of those inevitable changes in history that are as vast and far-reaching as the changes created by the discovery of electricity, mechanized industry, and the motorized "buggy" at the end of the 19th century that created a new century that leaped out at society. In those early years of this evolution at the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s people with foresight took those discoveries and advanced at "warp speed" to today where we are once again facing the same kind of drastic change to the reality of living in a global atmosphere. Now we are just beginning the launch of fantastic communications and worldwide traveling which, just a few years ago, was beyond the grasp of most of us. By not recognizing that we must accept the changes we are currently experiencing, we will be left behind like those that said "those horseless buggies are a fad and will go away--horses will never be replaced!" All commercial carriage builders of that time soon went out of business. Candles and lanterns were no longer in great demand, etc., etc. We are not only at the end of one century and the beginning of another; we are at the entrance to the new millennium. Think of the changes in this world from the beginning of the last millennium to now--i.e, from 1000 to now, the last year of that millennium. Now we are on the brink of another milestone marker in the existence of man on earth. Nothing can stop progress.

It is up to each of us as individuals to move forward with that progress if we hope to enjoy what the future has to offer us. It is also up to us to guarantee the future existence of our wonderful Arabian horses that many of us have dedicated our lives to breeding and preserving. Will we let over 100 years of US-bred horses fade into the dust of time because we simply did not look far enough ahead into the future?

Your comments are welcome.

Lorry Wagner

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