The FEI has softened a controversial name change policy implemented earlier this year, which charged a $1,000 fee for changing the name of a horse to anything other than the breed registered name and adding a commercial prefix or suffix.
The current FEI Horse Name Change Guidelines, which were updated on Aug. 1, 2016, now allow the use of a “National Sport Name.” The following criteria define the National Sport Name of a horse:
- The horse is not yet entered in the FEI Database.
- The National Sport Name differs from the birth name.
- Horses 7 years and older must have competed with the National Sport Name at national level horse trials for at least 12 months. Horses 6 years and younger are exempt from this requirement.
Under these conditions, the use of a National Sport Name will not incur the $1,000 name change fee.
Any complete change of name to a horse already in the FEI database will incur the fee, as will any commercial name. Commercial names include a company or brand, a stable, a group of people or an association, or a person. For examples, read the FEI Horse Name Change Guidelines.
Shortening a name will incur a $200 fee, as will adding breed association initials, non-profit association and non-commercial initials, and the breeding farm name or initials to a birth name.
Note that not all national federations have updated their passport applications to reflect this change yet, but the most current version of the guidelines are currently in effect.