First and Foremost PLEASE CALL USEF if you ever have a doubt! They are friendly, professional and the authority! Email medequestrian@aol.com or Call 800-633-2472

USEF has started releasing new guidelines and rules which will affect many competitors in the upcoming season and require due diligence of the competitors and barn staff to know. Ignorance is never an excuse!

The New Vaccination Rule which goes into effect December 1, 2015 is extremely specific, Below is a direct copy of the rule from USEF and I will help break this down afterwards

“GR845 Equine Vaccination Rule

1. At Federation licensed competitions, horses 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. BOD 1/17/15 Effective 12/1/15.”

Medical Facts

“Equine influenza, caused by the orthomyxovirus equine influenza A type 2 (A/equine 2), is one of the most common infectious diseases of the respiratory tract of horses. It is endemic in the equine population of the United States and throughout much of the world, with the notable exceptions of New Zealand and Iceland. Equine influenza virus does not constantly circulate, even in large groups of horses, but is sporadically introduced by an infected horse. This epidemiologic finding and the rapid elimination of the virus by the equine immune response suggest that infection can be avoided by preventing entry of the virus into an equine population (i.e. by the quarantine of newly arriving horses for at least 14 days), and by appropriate vaccination before exposure.” (AAEP)

“Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4) can each infect the respiratory tract, causing disease that varies in severity from sub-clinical to severe and is characterized by fever, lethargy, anorexia, nasal discharge, and cough. Infection of the respiratory tract with EHV-1 and EHV-4 typically first occurs in foals in the first weeks or months of life, but recurrent or recrudescent clinically apparent infections are seen in weanlings, yearlings, and young horses entering training, especially when horses from different sources are commingled. Equine herpesvirus type 1 causes epidemic abortion in mares, the birth of weak nonviable foals, or a sporadic paralytic neurologic disease (equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy-EHM) secondary to vasculitis of the spinal cord and brain.

Both EHV-1 and EHV-4 spread via aerosolized secretions from infected coughing horses, by direct and indirect (fomite) contact with nasal secretions, and, in the case of EHV-1, contact with aborted fetuses, fetal fluids, and placentae associated with abortions. Like herpesviruses in other species, these viruses establish latent infection in the majority of horses, which do not show clinical signs but may experience reactivation of infection and shedding of the virus when stressed. Those epidemiologic factors seriously compromise efforts to control these diseases and explain why outbreaks of EHV-1 or EHV-4 can occur in closed populations of horses.”

Show Planning Protocol

Everyone needs to prepare for this upcoming season to save themselves and management from huge headaches. Management really does not want to have to turn you away for not following USEF rules but they also are held accountable. And nobody wants to pay for a show they can’t participate in! At the top of this page is a flowchart made to help you understand GR845 and what you need to have ready!

Diseases are Bad, Having no plan is WORSE! As the owner of a horse who cannot be vaccinated to the GR845 Protocol I have to be hypervigilant for myself and others. My small ponies who show in driving or in hand at dressage shows have bad reactions to vaccinations. I have 4 small ponies I compete and 3 of them require a vet treatment post vaccination if we can even vaccinate. Asking my guys to suffer pain, fevers etc multiple times per year is hard to do as an owner. However I do not want my horses sick!  Always take precautions, Don’t share equipment, buckets, or brushes. If it’s a high traffic show facility bring a spray bottle of bleach or stall sanitizer before you offload your horse. Be smart, and be prepared so you can have a less stressful show season!