Mar 03, 2022

Rule Refresher: Have Your Vaccination Record Ready

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
USEA/ Leslie Mintz photo

With EHV-1 positive cases on the West Coast resulting in the cancellations of competitions in impacted areas, it is pertinent now more than ever that USEA members are reminded of the vaccination log requirements as set forth by the USEF General Rules and take the necessary steps to ensure their horse is properly vaccinated prior to arriving at their next competition.

While only vaccinations for the Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus are required by USEF rules, it is highly encouraged that competitors log all vaccinations administered to their horse on the USEF Equine Vaccination Log and keep a copy with the horse’s transportation paperwork. Vaccinating the day prior to a show to ensure compliance is highly discouraged as the efficacy of the vaccine has yet to come into effect and it is considered poor horsemanship. The Federation Equine International (FEI) requires that all horses competing in FEI recognized competition must meet vaccination requirements at least seven (7) days prior to entering the competition grounds.

Keeping your horse’s vaccination records up to date not only ensures your horse’s wellbeing but also allows competitions to move forward in many circumstances. The team at Twin Rivers recently called for the cancellation of their Winter Horse Trials, not just because of the recent EVH-1 outbreaks in California, but also because they were going to face challenges obtaining the proper vaccination records from their competitors.

“We were very sad to have to cancel our event,” said Twin Rivers Winter Horse Trials event organizer Connie Baxter. “It had become apparent that the willingness to be transparent about EHV-1 exposure and vaccination status of horses was troublesome. As show management, to ensure a safe environment for horse welfare we felt it was in everyone’s safety and best interest to cancel. Making sure people are aware of the vaccination rule going forward to ensure this doesn't happen again is very important.”

For more information on equine disease outbreaks in your area and how you can protect your horse with proper vaccinations, visit the Equine Disease Communication Center.

Text has been taken directly from the USEF General Rules with emphasis added by the USEA.

GR844 Equine Vaccination Rule

1. At Federation licensed competitions horses, more than 7 months of age, entering the grounds must be accompanied by documentation of Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis) vaccinations within six months prior to entering the stables. Horses not in compliance with this rule may be required to leave the competition grounds upon request by Competition Management. Documentation should consist of one of the following methods mentioned below. The frequency of vaccine administration should be per the vaccine manufacturers’ or veterinarian’s recommendations. It is recommended that vaccines are administered by or under the direction of a veterinarian.

2. In the case of vaccines administered by a veterinarian, the exhibitor, upon request by Competition Management, must provide documentation from the veterinarian on documenting that the horse in question received the vaccinations; name of the vaccines and date of vaccine administration.

3. In the case of vaccines administered by a person other than a veterinarian, the exhibitor, upon request by Competition Management, must provide a receipt of the vaccine purchase which is signed by the owner, or agent with care, custody, and control of the horse; name, serial number and expiration date of the vaccine; and date of vaccine administration.

4. In the case of a horse that is unable to receive either of the vaccinations due to a history of adverse reactions, the exhibitor, upon request by Competition Management, must provide a letter from the veterinarian on official letterhead stating that the horse in question cannot be vaccinated due to medical concerns and a log of temperatures taken twice daily for the seven days prior to entering the competition grounds. These horses must also have their temperature taken and logged twice daily while on the competition grounds. The log of temperatures should be provided to the Competition Management, steward, or technical delegate when requested.

5. Competition Management may not amend or enhance vaccination requirements without prior approval of the Veterinary Committee.

Want to catch up on past rule refreshers? Click here.

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