Vesicular Stomatitis Outbreak Updates

Ensuring the safety of competitors and horses at US Equestrian Competitions is a top priority of US Equestrian.  Below you will find tools available for use by US Equestrian Competition Management.  Rules regarding competition safety can be found in US Equestrian Rule Book Chapter GR8.

Importance of Biosecurity


Everyone’s focus is to keep competition horses healthy. However, traveling and commingling horses at a competition ground is not without risk. There is no way to eliminate all risk from a competition ground, but following core biosecurity principles significantly reduce the risk of disease introduction and spread. Competition staff can reduce risk by focusing efforts on the following:

  • Restricting horse contact with other animals, humans, and equipment.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and common areas.
  • Isolating and removing sick horses.


Equine Health and Biosecurity Responsibilities

To ensure equine health and healthy competition grounds, the United States Equestrian Federation has implemented the highlighted general rules listed below. For assistance with questions or concerns related to these rules contact USEF Sr. Staff Veterinarian for Equine Health and Biosecurity at [email protected] or call 859-225-6991.

  • Onsite Veterinarian Requirement - GR 1211: Every competition with rated or non-rated divisions or sections with 300 horses or greater to have an official veterinarian present onsite. (Breeds and disciplines may require lower threshold.) Competitions without a veterinarian onsite must have an agreement with veterinarian to be on call.
  • Prize List Listing of Veterinarian - GR 901: The name and phone number of veterinarian must be listed in the prize list if not known it must state where information will be posted. Competition management to provide to the federation designated veterinarian contact no less than 7 days prior to the start of the competition.
  • Written Isolation Plan - GR 845: All competitions are required to have an isolation protocol in place and submitted to steward or technical delegate prior to the start of the competition.
  • Mandatory Sick Horse Reporting- GR 845: Competitions must report within 24 hours:
    • Any horse identification to the competition management as showing signs of infectious disease.
    • Any horse put into isolation on the competition grounds, or any horse that departs the competition grounds to receive treatment for a potentially infectious disease
  • Horse/Pony Collapse Reporting - GR 849: Steward/TD Mandatory reporting to competition management within one hour of horse/pony collapse and submit report form to the federation within 24 hours. 
    • Steward/TD shall  ensure any horse/pony which has collapsed is subjected to drug and medication testing.
Equine Fatality Reporting - GR 849: The steward/TD shall immediately notify the Federation and Competition management as soon as practical and submit completed fatality report within 24 hours.


Licensed Competitions COVID-19 Toolkit for Competition Organizers & Participants - updated 12/09/22

includes the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan for USEF-Licensed Competitions


Additional Resources

Additional Resources

FEI Approved Safety Cup Certificates

List of FEI-Approved safety cup certificates

Vesicular Stomatitis Health Declaration

Optional form to be utilized by competitors to declare residing outside a Vesicular Stomatitis State for the prior 14 days.

Temperature Log

Individual Stall Temperature Log

Vesicular Stomatitis Fact Sheet

The Equine Disease Communication Center Vesicular Stomatitis Fact Sheet for Horse Owners. Basic disease information including modes of transmission, clinical signs and prevention.

Vesicular Stomatitis Infographic

Vesicular Stomatitis basic disease infographic poster.

USDA Vesicular Stomatitis Presentation Slides

USEF hosted a Vesicular Stomatitis Webinar on May 31, 2023. These are the presentation slides of Dr. Angela Pelzel McCluskey, Equine Epidemiologist with USDA who gave an overview of the disease and previous outbreaks.

Top Tips for Keeping Horses Healthy Poster

Biosecurity Poster with five top tips for keeping horses healthy at competitions.

Exhibitor Biosecurity Measures Pamphlet

Pamphlet provides exhibitors biosecurity measures to keep competition horses healthy.

Competition Biosecurity Brochure

Biosecurity Measures for Competition Management

Isolation Protocol Template

Isolation Protocol Template