FAQ: USEF Competition Return Protocols and California Hunter/Jumper March Schedule

EHV-1 USEF Return-to-Competition Declaration Forms and Requirements

FAQ: USEF Competition Return Protocols and California Hunter/Jumper March Schedule

by the United States Department of Equestrian Communications | February 28, 2022, 7:21 p.m. EST

  1. What does it take for my horse to return to USEF competition if it competed in Thermal or Rancho Murieta?
    USEF requires one of the following to clear your horse to compete:
    • Two samples collected using nasopharyngeal swabs should be analyzed by PCR test on day 7 and day 14. Day 0 is considered the day your horse left the Thermal or Rancho Murieta site, depending on the date the latest. Both swabs must test negative for EHV-1.

      If either test generates a positive result, the horse should remain isolated and be re-tested. Two negative test results, taken at least seven days apart, are required to meet USEF requirements.


    • The horse should be isolated for 21 days, the rectal temperature should be taken and recorded during the isolation period, and samples should be taken after day 21 using a nasopharyngeal swab to test for EHV-1 by PCR analysis. Day 0 is considered the day your horse left the site.

      The swab must give a negative EHV-1 PCR test result. If the tests generate a positive result, the horse must remain in isolation for a further seven days and be re-tested.

  2. Do these restrictions apply to horses returning to their original stables?
    No, the testing standard only applies to horses competing in USEF competitions. However, it is always good practice to isolate, as much as possible, horses returning to their stables after attending a competition.
  3. Should I test my horse if I isolate the horse at home for more than 28 days, do I need a test?
    No, but you may be required to show a temperature log twice a day for the last 14 days of the isolation period. Given that there are no Hunter/Jumper competitions currently scheduled in the state of California until March 30, the 28-day approach might be the best option for many and would eliminate testing of asymptomatic horses.
  4. Where do I send proof of negative test results?
    Test results should be submitted by email to [email protected] to obtain permission to compete.
  5. Has USEF canceled all upcoming California competitions?
    USEF has not canceled any upcoming CA competitions. Competition officials have voluntarily canceled all CA USEF hunter/jumper competitions that would have taken place prior to March 30. Currently, hunter/jumper competitions in CA will resume on March 30.
  6. Why are only hunter/jumpers competitions closed in California?
    At this time, we are not aware of any confirmed positive results associated with non-hunter/jumper horses.
  7. If the EHV-1 infection rate begins to decline, will USEF approve new competitions on the CA Hunter/Jumpers calendar for March?
    No, the USEF will not approve any new competitions on the CA Hunter/Jumpers calendar that take place before April 1st.
  8. How will cancellations affect qualification criteria and selection procedures?
    Each discipline is reviewing the impact on selection and qualification and further announcements will follow.
  9. Should I take my horse to another location before going to a USEF competition, after isolating myself at one of the venues that have had confirmed positive results for EHV-1; i.e. Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) or Rancho Murieta?
    Not until the horse self-isolated for 21 days at the site and got a negative PCR test. Day 0 will be the date of the last fever associated with a positive EHV-1 case confirmed at the site. New confirmed positive cases will reset to day 0.
  10. Why does this affect vaccinated horses?
    As with COVID-19 in humans, vaccinations do not offer 100% protection against the virus. EHV-1 vaccines have been shown to decrease nasal shedding of virus and, in some cases, reduce the amount of virus present in the blood. Vaccination against EHV-1 may also attenuate the clinical presentation in horses and shorten the duration of disease. The virus is endemic and cannot be eradicated, it can only be controlled. Horses were exposed to the virus even before being vaccinated.
  11. Should non-competition horses (training or sales horses) be taken to a horse show?
    It is the recommendation of the USEF that any horse not in competition should not be on the competition field at this time. This facilitates on-site monitoring of horses, if necessary, and reduces the number of horses potentially exposed or likely to be carriers of the active virus.
  12. Do I need to show proof of my horse’s vaccination status at USEF competitions?
    All competitions are encouraged to check the vaccination status of all horses entering their competition grounds and to verify that they are GR844 compliant. You must have proof of compliance upon request.
  13. What is the difference between Reportable and Monitored and Reportable and Actionable disease classifications?
    Individual states consider a variety of equine diseases to be “reportable,” but they take no action on them. California considers a case of equine herpetic myeloencephalopathy (EHM) a “reportable and actionable” disease in equines. This means that the CDFA will manage a quarantine. They do not manage quarantines for EHV-1 cases not related to EHM.
  14. How can I isolate horses at home when I don’t have separate facilities?
    Speak to your veterinarian and review CDFA recommendations and resources available at EDCC.
  15. How can I mitigate the risk of my horse contracting EHV-1?
    This is a calculated risk each time a horse goes into a high density population; it is a control disease, it cannot be eradicated. We encourage you to carefully review with you the veterinary health care measures to protect your horse, as well as the biosecurity resources that can be found on the CDFA and EDCC websites.

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