If you compete, and any of those competitions are USEF licensed, then you need to stay up to date on the vaccine/vaccination rules. Also, be sure to find out the rules/regulations for your show’s manager and the facility you are showing at. Sometimes these can vary and be more strict, or also require things such as a veterinary health check prior to arrival at the grounds. We put a lot of money into each competition so we don’t want to get turned away at the gate for any reason!
USEF requires that for ANY competition, there is a record of a horse receiving the Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis) vaccinations within six months prior to entering the stables of the show grounds.
- If your vet gives your horse(s) their vaccines: 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.
- If you give your own vaccines: 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.
- In the rare instance your horse cannot receive vaccines: 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.
If you plan on competing throughout the entire year, and even compete at a Championship show, try to schedule your vaccines around that. You do not want your horse to get vaccines the week before any important show in case of adverse reactions or stiffness. In some areas the show season tends to be a little shorter than in other areas, so sometimes your spring shots (if timed correctly) can get you through the end of your show season. And then you can worry about fall shots after show season has ended.
Be sure to check YOUR show schedule and find the vaccination schedule that will suit your needs the best. And with any questions, always consult your veterinarian! Remember, they are the experts.
All USEF Rules and Regulations can be found here: https://www.usef.org/compete/resources-forms/rules-regulations
USEF Equine Vaccination Rule GR845: https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/ANcxoLX1gNs/equine-vaccination-rule-gr845
USEF Equine Vaccination Record Form: https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/xUbu-pT8eLM/equine-vaccination-record