Equine disease prevention at events
Preventing the spread of disease is essential to everyone involved with equestrian events. Whether you are attending a competition, fun ride or camp it is important that good biosecurity practices are maintained at all times to minimise the risk of disease.
All event organisers should have their own biosecurity procedures and risk assessments in place. We would recommend familiarising yourself with these before the event and if you do not feel comfortable about the measures the organisers have put in place to reduce the risk of disease, do not attend.
To ensure your own disease prevention procedures are as effective as possible, consideration must be given when preparing to travel, whilst at the event and on returning to your home yard.
Preparing to travel
It is advised that as a minimum, all horses should be up to date with equine influenza and tetanus vaccines (tetanus is not a contagious disease but can be fatal).
- Vaccination against Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) can help prevent both respiratory disease and abortion caused by EHV-1 and/or EHV-4 and is especially recommended for horses under the age of five as they may be particularly susceptible to respiratory disease caused by EHV-1. There is no vaccine registered to prevent EHV-1 neurological disease - for further advice speak to your vet.
It is essential to check with the show organisers or relevant governing body on their specific vaccination requirements. If your horse does not meet their requirements, it is likely that you will not be allowed to attend. If you hire equestrian facilities, it is important to check the vaccination rules of the venue.
- Ensure your vehicle used for transportation has been cleaned from its last use and tyres disinfected.
- Avoid sharing transport with horses from other yards. Where shared transport is necessary, monitor both horse’s temperatures once back at the yard.
- Pack your own equipment, water supply and buckets.
- If your horse or another horse on your yard is showing any signs of not being well, they should not be taken to any events.
Preventing the spread of disease at events
Read more about disease prevention here.
Returning home from your event
- Clean and disinfect transport and equipment when you return home. Be aware that the overuse of water when cleaning your transport can lead to potential problems – please refer to the Aftercare section on Loading & Unloading.
- If horses have stabled away with close contact with other unknown horses, it is recommended they should be kept in isolation on return to the yard. See our guidance on isolation procedures.
- Monitor your horse closely for 21 days after the event, including daily temperature checking to spot problems early. See our video below on how to take you horse’s temperature.