NIHB launches digital passport system

THE Northern Ireland Horse Board have unveiled a new speedy Digital Equine Passport application system.

Chairman Hugh McCusker welcomed guests to view the new passport digital service demonstrated by NIHB administrator Chris Bogle. The Horse Board can now issue an equine passport in as little as an hour or a one-day time frame. Passports are compulsory for the registration and travelling of all horses and ponies.

The new eco-friendly digital service is open to all owners and equestrian bodies, NIHB members and non-members alike.

Hugh McCusker said: “The NIHB has been working with breeders and the equine industry for more than 25 years, and this is just one of our many plans to modernise and energise the sector. Covid has certainly seen changed times, and we are all adapting to faster and safer methods for improving and helping our stakeholders.”

NIHB Administrator Chris Bogle added: “This is a first for the Ireland and is suitable to be used by all equine owners and veterinary practices. The digital passport software is developed for both computers and handheld devices. If a vet is in the yard, most of the information can be completed by handheld smart devices.”

Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Glenn Barr praised the Board’s effort. “It is a fantastic new service for horse and pony owners provincewide and further afield. “

Catherine Abbott, chair of Eventing Ireland, commented: “This new system means no waiting lists for passports; no backlogs and equine owners can arrange it from their own home at the touch of a button. It is a godsend for breeders and competition riders who have to register horses.”

SJI chairman Eamonn Rice said: This is a time-saver. Anything that makes a job easier regarding paperwork is invaluable. Having a passport service locally and issued in a day is a real benefit to the industry.”

Asides from the marking charts, all other information will be sent electronically to the NIHB, based at the Meadows Equestrian Centre, Lurgan.

There is an express one-hour service for NIHB ID passports if received before 11am. Passport amendments include change/transfer of ownership, passport endorsements and updating owners addresses. The NIHB Digital Passport Application system is available on, click on the ‘Passport Application Form’, section.