It may be easier to import from Europe, however, their Marchador population is much smaller at about 800 horses. Europe's testing program and quarantine is more well-known, but also cost some money.
2. What are some of the issues with importing?
Current USDA importation testing and regulations have made it extremely difficult to import horses from Brazil.
Piroplasmosis (tick fever) is a
disease that is common in Brazil and horses that test positively for antibodies to the disease are not allowed to enter the US. Almost all horses will require some kind of
treatment to become ready to ship into the United States. The treatment essentially lowers their immune system so they can pass the test. However, some horses
may never clear to ship, even after treatment. Testing is a blood test on the animal, which is done before they are cleared for exportation and also done while the horses are in quarantine in the US.
Before we imported Marchadors, we tested blood from hundreds of horses - different farms, ages etc. From our testing, age does not seem to make a difference, but access to ticks does. Stallions (because they are kept in stalls for some of the day) are more likely to clear. Farms that spray for ticks are better bets too. Young foals, if kept in an area that is relatively tick-free may also test successfully. Mares and foals, young horses are usually kept on open-range, so very few can escape getting ticks (like flies here).
If you travel to Brazil for your selection, be
sure to have several horses you would be happy to buy, and do not make the
final decision or payments until after the blood tests and vetting are complete.
If the horse fails to pass quarantine in the US after importation, the horse must be shipped back or euthanized.
3. What does it cost to import a horse?
The short answer is anywhere from
$10,000 to $15,000 in addition to the purchase price for the horse. US quarantine is a 7 day stay. However, there are many variables that can affect
the final pricetag including how long the horse requires treatment for piroplasmosis,
what U.S. quarantine location you will be shipping to, what choices you make on
vetting, insurance etc.
The falling exchange rate (US dollar to Brazilian Real) is not a factor going in our favor.
4. Do you have to travel to Brazil?
You can buy horses from pictures,
videos and information. There are on-line auctions too. The important item is to know if that particular horse can pass USDA testing (called the ELIZA test). It is not fun to own horses that are 2,000 miles away!
If you have
specific requirements, we can help you locate horses for you to
review and there are horse brokers in Brazil as well.
Visiting Brazil is always an option and what fun!!!! We have arrangements with several
Brazilian farms that would make your visit easy and enjoyable. The Brazilian
breeders are gracious hosts with so many horses, it's like being in a candy store!
We recommend travel to Brazil whether or not you are interested in importation. The history and story of the Marchador is worth seeing and hearing first-hand. The country and people are beautiful and warm.