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Competitions and intra-Community trade in equidae

The European Union (EU) sets rules on the intra-Community trade in equidae intended for competitions. These rules aim to eliminate the existing disparities between Member States concerning the conditions of access to competitions. In general, they contribute to lifting the obstacles to the trade in equidae in the EU.


Council Directive 90/428/EEC of 26 June 1990 on trade in equidae intended for competitions and laying down the conditions for participation therein. [See amending act(s)].


This Directive lays down the conditions governing trade in equidae intended for competitions and those concerning their participation in competitions in the European Union (EU).


This Directive applies to domestic animals of the equine or asine (asses) species, or to any animal resulting from cross-breeding between them.

Type of competition

The term 'competition' denotes any equestrian competition, including horse racing, show-jumping, eventing, dressage, events reserved for horse-drawn vehicles and showing classes.

Participation in competitions

Competition rules may not create discrimination based on the place of origin or registration of equidae in the EU. Specifically, all Member State equidae must be treated equally with regard to:

  • the requirements for entering the competition;
  • the judging of the competition;
  • the prize money or profits which may accrue from the competition.

However, this obligation does not preclude the organisation of:

  • competitions reserved for equidae registered in a particular studbook, for the purpose of improving the breed;
  • regional competitions for selection purposes;
  • historic or traditional events.

Member States may reserve a certain percentage of the prize money or profits for the safeguard, development and improvement of breeding.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 90/428/EEC



OJ L 224 of 18.8.1990

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 2008/73/EC



OJ L 219 of 14.8.2008

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 90/428/EEC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Commission Decision 92/216/EEC of 26 March 1992 on the collection of data concerning competitions for equidae as referred to in Article 4(2) of Directive 90/428/EEC [Official Journal L 104 of 22.04.1992]
See consolidated version

Last updated: 08.07.2010
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