General Information

Equine ID Passports

The HPA Passport Office issues passports to polo ponies. The HPA is now able to display parentage in the passport, as well as keeping a record on the HPA database. If you wish for the parentage to be displayed please state the Full Name and Unique Equine Life Number (UELN) of the Sire and Dam in the appropriate section of the New Passport Application form when applying for a passport.

For the purpose of the information contained on our website ‘horse’ refers to polo ponies or thoroughbreds.

The HPA are only able to make changes to passports that were originally issued by the Society. Please ensure you contact the correct Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) as all non-HPA passports or application forms received will be immediately returned to the sender. Details of authorised PIOs are available from Defra.

You do not have to be a member of the HPA to obtain a passport or to complete any updates on a HPA passport.

Please see the links below for more information about the services available for HPA passports. A list of frequently asked questions is available for specific issues regarding passports. If you need any additional information, please contact the HPA Office on 01367 242828 or email

Each specific service details the time that it will take for the HPA Passport Office to complete the process. A fast track service is available. Fast Track applications cost additional and will be processed within one working day. If the application form is received before 12pm the passport can be returned the next working day. Please be aware that incorrect paperwork can cause delays. The HPA cannot be held responsible for any passports that are lost or damaged in the post.

The HPA has issued over 18,000 passports. Over this time the front cover of the passport has been amended three times. All HPA passports remain valid if they contain a Unique Equine Life Number (826052HPA******). To help identify an HPA passport, the three cover versions are below:

Old HPA Blue Passport Cover
HPA White Passport Cover
Current HPA Passport
  • The most up-to-date version is the pale blue and cream passport, which is bound together using two rivets and has three bar-codes on the front page.
  • All pages contained within the passport have ‘Basic Identification’ written in the background diagonally across the pages. Any pages which do not carry this watermark were not issued by the HPA and suggest that the passport has been tampered with. This should be reported to Trading Standards.


Passports. Points to note:

  • It is a legal requirement for all horses to have a passport which must be with the pony and produced, if requested, within 3 hours. Due to DEFRA guidelines the manufacturing of HPA passports is now done by Equiventus, the application forms can to be downloaded from the HPA website – The passports are designed to last a horses’ lifetime and include new security features which mean it is impossible to change any details including the age of a horse.
  • Passports HAVE to be provided:
  • To a local authority enforcement officer on demand.
  • When a vet examines or treats a pony.
  • When a pony is sold or given to someone else the passport must be given to the new owner who is then responsible for changing the ownership with the HPA within 30 days of purchase.
  • It is illegal to sell a pony without a passport.
  • When the pony dies the passport should be sent to the HPA or PIO within 30 days to be appropriately defaced. Not to do so is an offence.
  • If a valid passport cannot not be provided, the owner can be subject to a fine of £5,000 or 2 years imprisonment for each offence.
  • It is anticipated that new regulations to be introduced later this year will see it become a requirement that all horses are microchipped, and this is set to include all horses which were previously registered without a chip.  It was thought at this stage that there will be a grace period to allow owners to do the right thing, and chip those horses who do not currently have one.  If you have a chip implanted, you will need to register this with your horse’s Passport Issuer.
  • Foals should be registered within 6 months of birth or within the year of foaling otherwise they will be issued with a duplicate passport.
  • As an owner, you can choose whether or not your horse could eventually be entered into the human food chain.  If you wish to take the decision to deem your horse as not suitable, this is an irreversible choice, and cannot be overridden by future potential owners.  If you wish to do this, please read and sign the declaration within your passport entitled “Administration of Veterinary Medicinal Products”.  This will be Section II in a post-2015 buff document, or Section IX in a pre-2016 document.  The passport MUST be returned to the HPA once it has been signed and dated the appropriate section in order for your decision to be registered with the Equine Database.
  • There are still a lot of unregistered passports in circulation and members should check with the HPA the number of ponies they have registered under their name. The onus is on the buyer to ensure that the passport is returned to the HPA with a Change of Ownership form.
  • Ponies registered in the name of a company must include the name of an individual.
  • Passports for dead ponies should be returned to HPA.
  • If a pony is castrated the passport must be signed by a vet and returned to the HPA for stamping.
  • It is important that clubs checked the passports at the beginning of the season to check that the owners hold the correct passports and to check vaccination records.
  • It is important that ponies are registered on the HPA database, those that are not registered are not covered under the HPA’s members’ liability cover. Players should be aware that the HPA insurance does not provide cover for a player with an official handicap of 3 goals or above or for a player with 10 or more ponies registered in his name unless the HPA agreed otherwise.

Vaccinations. The rule was rewritten in 2017 to bring the vaccination rule in line with the other equine disciplines and to make it easier to understand.

Rule 2.4l Vaccinations against Equine Influenza for 2018.  All ponies must have been vaccinated against Equine Influenza:

Either by a veterinary surgeon who is a member or fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS);

Or, if vaccinated outside the UK, by a veterinarian licensed to practice in the country in which the horse was vaccinated.

and from 1st January 2018 it is mandatory for annual booster vaccinations to be given:

Either within 365 days of the previous vaccination;

Or in a calendar window of March and April but this is only valid for ponies with a current up-to-date vaccination record (as per below) on 1st March (see Note).

  • Vaccinations must be recorded in each pony’s passport, dated, signed and stamped by the administering veterinary surgeon. Equine Influenza vaccinations administered to ponies outside the EU and recorded, dated, signed and stamped in an identity document that indisputably corresponds to the pony in question by an appropriately licensed veterinarian will be recognised by the HPA.
  • Ponies first vaccinated prior to 1 Jan 2014. The Equine Passports of ponies first vaccinated against Equine Influenza prior to 1st January 2014 must show that they have received booster vaccinations annually from the year they received their first vaccination.
  • Ponies first vaccinated between 1 Jan 2014 to 1 Jan 2016. The Equine Passports of ponies first vaccinated against Equine Influenza between 1 January 2014 and 1 January 2016 must show that they have received two primary vaccinations against Equine Influenza given no less than 21 days and no more than 92 days apart. Thereafter, they must have been given booster injections annually.
  • Ponies first vaccinated after 1 Jan 2016. The Equine Passports of ponies first vaccinated against Equine Influenza after 1 January 2016 must show that they have received two primary vaccinations against Equine Influenza given no less than 21 days and no more than 92 days apart, plus a third injection within 90 to 215 days after the second vaccination.  Thereafter, they must have been given booster injections annually.
  • Ponies without a valid vaccination record. Ponies with no recorded previous vaccination history and ponies whose vaccination record does not comply as per the above must re-start a primary vaccination course as per (iii) above, two primary vaccinations, a third injection and thereafter booster injections annually.
  • Playing Restrictions. No polo pony will be allowed to play at a club or in a tournament until at least 7 days after they have received their second primary vaccination or their annual booster.

Note: Mixing of large numbers of ponies during the polo season increases the risk of exposure to the influenza virus and immunity has been demonstrated to be strongest during the first 6 months after a booster vaccination.

Contact the HPA Passport Office


Telephone: 01367242828

Address: HPA, Manor Farm, Little Coxwell, Faringdon, Oxon, SN7 7LW