Keeping Horses in France: Registering Your Horse

As in my previous post A guide to keeping horses in France, I briefly mention the governing body Institut Français du Cheval et de l’équitation (IFCE). This is the authority for everything legal horse-wise. Their website also contains all the information needed to register your horse, however, it is tough to navigate. This post should help you with how to register your equine in France.

tb mare side on for a sale photo in a natural background. Use in post keeping horses in france: registerig your horse

Registering Your Horse

On arrival in France, you have 90 days to register your horses here.  This is compulsory for any equine, retired, youngster, competition horse, or happy hacker.  If you’ve been here a bit longer, don’t worry as you can still get the registration done. 

All horse registrations are done through the IFCE website, either online or by a printable form. You will also need to declare your horses if you are importing more than 3 equines. This is done via your DDPP. Each Department has a branch and you can find them on Google.

Purebred or Non-Purebred?

As part of the registration process, you will need to declare if your horse is purebred or not. 
For Purebred horses, you will need to re-register it here as Plein Papier (PP).
If they are not full-bred but have a bloodline (parentage listed on their papers) then you can register it as Origin constaté (OC).
If your horse is a complete mix, with no known parentage then it will be registered here as Origin Non-Constaté (ONC).

You may not think it matters too much, but here in France, only PP and OC can compete at the higher levels of the sport, outside that of “club” level.
It costs more to register a horse PP than ONC.  In 2023 the price for registering a PP or OC is €110, and an ONC €80. (prices correct 2023)

What’s Needed to Register

To register a full-bred horse (PP), Pony or OC :

You will need to send to the SIRE:

  • The original of the EU standard passport
  • A declaration of honour stating the ownership of the horse
  • A French cheque for 110 € payable to the IFCE corresponding to the registration and printing costs of the registration card.
  • For a return by tracked mail, provide a specific “suivi” envelope

To register an ONC :

If your horse is not a recognised breed,  you will need to send to the SIRE:

  • The original passport of the equine.
  • A letter stating you are the sole owner of the horse. This needs to include, your full name, DOB, address as well as the details of your horse.
  • A French cheque for 80€ payable to the IFCE corresponding to the registration and printing costs of the registration card.

No matter which category your horse falls into, you will need to send them the correct documents to the address below:

Institut français du cheval et de l’équitation
SIRE – Service des chevaux importés
BP 3 – 19231 ARNAC POMPADOUR cedex

Image of horse walking away down a country road

Other Important Registrations


You must declare where your horse is kept to SIRE. This measure aims to identify all places likely to accommodate equines, temporarily or permanently, in order to put in place the necessary health actions.

In the event of an epidemic, such as the EHV-1 in 2021, the health services will be able to act with each horse owner as soon as possible. Any new horse owner must register where their horse(s) will be kept. Following registration, they will receive an acknowledgment of receipt, which will serve as proof in the event of an inspection. This acknowledgment of receipt includes the holder number assigned by the SIRE.

License to Ride

To ride legally in France, you need to show that you are medically viable to. This comes in a form of a license, it is the same for all physical activities and sports. The basic French Equestrian Federation (FFE) license for an adult costs 36€ per year and includes basic insurance for the rider. The license also enables you to have insurance if you are riding someone else’s horses. 

You can get an FFE license from your local riding school, some will expect you to pay to be a member of their club.  Or if you keep your horses at home, you can apply for an FFE affiliation license.


Make sure that you check with your house insurer that your horses are on the policy. This covers you should they escape from the field and cause damage to crops etc., or cause an accident on the road.  This insurance does not cover you when you are riding them. This is the same for any large dog breeds.

There is basic 3rd party insurance included on your FFE licence and you can add to it for around 30€ per year to up the cover. The insurance covers you when riding or handling horses. The FFE licence covers you for all riding activities including all 27 FFE disciplines, hacking, organised rides (randonnées) etc.  It does not cover you for racing or hunting. 

More Horse Info

Be sure to check out my other posts relating to keeping horses in France.

Of course any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to comment below or send me a message!

Published by Briony-Molly

Photographer & Designer. Horse Owner, Book Fanatic

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