Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What to Know Before You Show: Health Requirements

We are well on our way to Daylight Savings Time, and equestrians know what that means: spring vaccines! When you are scheduling with your vet this spring, keep in mind that there are some competition rule changes that might affect what veterinary care your horse gets and when. Here’s a breakdown.

USEF-recognized competitions

GR 845: Equine Vaccination Rule: Horses showing at USEF licensed competitions this year must have proof of Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis) vaccinations within six months prior to entering the show grounds.

What counts as proof: Proof can be documentation from the veterinarian stating that the horse received the vaccination, the name of the vaccines, and the date of administration. If someone other than a veterinarian administered the vaccines, the exhibitor must be able to provide a receipt of the vaccine purchase signed by the owner or agent; name, serial number, and expiration date of the vaccine; and the date the vaccine was administered. In the rare case where a horse cannot receive either of the vaccinations because they have a history of adverse reactions, the exhibitor must have a letter from the veterinarian on official letterhead, stating that the horse cannot be vaccinated due to medical concerns and providing a log of temperatures taken twice daily for the week prior to entering the competition grounds. The horses must also have their temperature taken and logged twice daily while on competition grounds.

USHJA-recognized competitions

EQ103: Eligibility to Compete: Horses showing at USHJA licensed competitions, starting on December 1, 2017, must be microchipped in order to compete for points or money, or to be eligible for year-end awards. The microchip must be implanted in the horse’s nuchal ligament.

In 2019, this rule will likely extend to horses at all USEF-recognized competitions.

Also, don't forget that you will need a negative Coggins in order to compete - or even to travel off the property where your horse is stabled. If you are going out of state, be sure to check whether you will need a health certificate (chances are, you do!). 

As far as competition rules, I am also tracking proposed rule changes related to use of safety stirrups, application of kinesiotape and patches, and safety vests – stay tuned!