Those competing at United States Equine Federation licensed competitions should have their vaccinations in order starting next month.
All horses entering the grounds of Federation shows must show proof that their horses have received Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis) vaccinations within six months.
After Equine Herpes (EHV) outbreaks in recent years that involved the neuropathic strain of the virus (equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy-EHM), USEF states some competitions have placed vaccination requirements on their competitors that go beyond most accepted medical opinions. Some have reportedly expressed concern that unnecessary requirements may put a horse at risk.
The association says, “the intent of the rule is to ensure that all licensed competitions comply with the vaccination guidelines for Equine Influenza and Equine Herpes (Rhinopneumonitis) published by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).”
AAEP’s guidelines are reviewed by infectious disease experts regularly. It recommends vaccinating competition horses at six-month intervals for both equine influenza (flu) and rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4). There is not a vaccine that protects against EHM.