HORSE SHOWS provide a place for us to show off our equine friends. But they also provide commingling of horses of unknown health statuses and close contact for spread of disease between horses.
Some show facilities are taking a more proactive approach to keeping horses healthy at the events. The show and facility managers are developing biosecurity plans that start with health requirements before the horse even arrives. Some are requiring health certificates within 7 days of arrival and vaccination within 21 days for viruses such as Rhinovirus. Owners and trainers may be required to certify that their horses have not had a fever within the last 48 hours or up to 7 days before arrival.
Another requirement recently reported from various show grounds is requiring owners and trainers to monitor temperatures of horses twice daily and keep a log while at the show. This log could be audited by show officials. Any horse with a temperature over 102 degrees should be reported to a show official and examined by a veterinarian. The important aspect of this plan is to detect sick horses early and provide isolation of the sick horse, if needed, as determined by the show veterinarian.
As you head out to shows this year, contact your show facility or management for information regarding any new health requirements. Please consider your responsibility in keeping your horse healthy as well as the equine population in general.