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Welfare of Animals (Transport) Horses) (WATO's)Certificates of Competence
Who needs it? There does seem to be a considerable amount of confusion about who is required to have the certificate and whether it applies to the rider travelling their horse for hunting, local competitions or other recreational activities.

We have outlined the requirements but they are open to interpretation and we would advise you talk to VOSA or the BHS to get further information. Contact details are below.

You WILL DEFINITELY need a Certificate of Competence if you are:

transporting horses for hire or reward on journeys of over 65km or up to 8 hours

transporting someone else's horses for payment

transporting horses for sale or to an abattoir for slaughter transporting horses as part of their business

You WILL NOT need a Certificate of Competence if you are:

transporting horses not in connection with an economic activity

farmers moving their own horses in their own vehicles for seasonal migration between pastures for a distance of less than 50km from their holding

transporting horses directly to or from veterinary practices or clinics under the advice of a vet.

An individual transporting their own horse in their own vehicle for a non-economic activity on a journey of less than 65km or under 8 hours

A ' hobby breeder', where the income from the hobby does not significantly exceed the expenditure

A person transporting their own horse in their own vehicle to a show or other event for the purpose of pleasure or recreation the winning of minor prize money DOES NOT constitute an 'economic activity'.

A person transporting another person's horse in their vehicle for 'petrol money', providing no profit is involved.

Owners of Registered horses (those registered in studbooks or with organisations managing competitions) being transported to competition and meets are exempt from keeping journey logs, on watering, feeding, rest intervals and journey times.

However transporters will still need the WATO's Certificates of Competence if the journey is in connection with an economic activity.

Further information can be found on the DEFRA website:-

Some organisations have been authorised to issue WATO certificates of competence:-

British Driving Society