Please note: Our main number has changed. Dial 859-810-8733 to reach our Member Services department.

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.



CURRENT SITUATION : VS Affected States and Counties (As of June 3, 2023)

California- Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties

Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is a viral disease of horses and other animals. Infection results in vesicles (blisters), crusts, and ulceration of the lips, muzzle, nose, tongue, ears, sheath, teats, and/or coronary band. Transmission is predominantly by black flies, sand flies, and biting midges. The virus is in the active lesion, thus animals with active lesions can transmit the virus by direct contact, shared feed/water sources, and other carriers contaminated by infective lesions, vesicular fluid, and/or saliva. The lesions are self-limiting and typically resolve within 14 days. Humans can be infected from exposure to this virus and have mild flu-like symptoms.


USEF supports continuing competitions in VS Affected States and competitions which include horses from VS Affected States provided the biosecurity measures listed below are implemented. 

As we have learned over the last few years, we live in a world of equine infectious disease events which are outside of our control. Thus, we must make adjustments to best support competitions while protecting our equine athletes through the implementation of necessary biosecurity measures.

Critical Control Measures For ALL USEF licensed Competitions– Reporting of Vesicular Lesions

  • All competitions to institute immediate mandatory reporting of horses with vesicular lesions to competition management.
  • All competitions to require immediate isolation of horses with vesicular lesions or temperatures over 101.5°F.
  • All competitions to immediately report any horses with vesicular lesions to State Veterinarian’s office in the state in which the event is held AND to the USEF Equine Health and Biosecurity Veterinarian Dr. Katie Flynn ([email protected] or 859-225-6991)



In light of the current vesicular stomatitis situation, the USEF is requiring competition management to consult with a veterinarian to evaluate their situation related to potential introduction and spread of vesicular stomatitis and determine which of the following options would be most appropriate.


Option A 

  • Restrict entries from USDA confirmed VS Affected States under the condition that notification is made to the Federation and all potential participants no less than five (5) days prior to the start of competition and the notification is published in an obvious location on the competition's website homepage and social media sites.
  • Note: This option would apply if no horses from VS Affected States are entered in your event or expected to attend your event. 

Option B

  • Accept horses from USDA confirmed VS Affected States and implement ALL the following required biosecurity requirements:
    • Timed Certificate of Veterinary Inspection issued within 5 days prior to the start of the competition which includes a VS Statement. TImed CVIs are required for any horse originating from any area within in a VS affected State. 
      • For example as of June 1, 2023, any horse from California entering an event venue for any reason (inlcuding schooling) in any state, including California would be required to have a timed CVI.
    • Onsite Veterinary or their technician examination of all horses from VS Affected States for vesicular lesions at time of entry to venue. No horse will be permitted entry to stabling, schooling, or competition area without veterinary examination.
      • Rejection of any horse or load of horses with suspect lesions.
    • Separate designated stabling area for horses from VS affected states.
    • Monitoring of horses from VS Affected States for the duration of the event. Stall temperature logs required to be completed with twice daily temperature recordings. (See resource section below to download temperature log template) 
      • Individual designated by competition management to directly observe horses originating from VS affected states for vesicular lesions daily.
    • Immediate notification of State Veterinarian’s office and USEF Equine Health and Biosecurity Veterinarian of any suspect lesions.
    • Implement Vector Control Measures on the premises including but not limited to encouraging the use of individual vector control of fly sprays, wipes, or protective covering and premises control measures to eliminate fly breeding areas.

Option C

  • Cancel the event - In cases where the prevalence of disease is high and/or there is an inability to implement appropriate biosecurity mitigation measures to control or mitigate risk, the most appropriate decision to best protect our equine athlete may be to cancel the competition.


For June events, the attached form should be utilized by competition management to notify the federation of which option they choose for their June events. The completed from shall be emailed to [email protected]. For events after July 1, 2023, please hold off completing this paper form as we expect to have an electronic version of the form on the USEF Competition Manager dashboard soon.



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


Biosecurity Toolkit for Equine Events

Equine Disease Communications Center

Concussion Safety Poster

Drugs and Medications Guidelines Booklet

Fire Safety Information

Additional Resources

Competition Management VS Acknowledgement

Competition Management VS Acknowledgement Form to be utilized by all events to notify USEF of how they choose to proceed with competition during a VS Outbreak.

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.

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

Sample Incident Response Manual for Competition Management

A guide designed to provide general guidelines for managing serious incidents in the unfortunate event that one occurs at a US Equestrian Licensed Competition for US Equestrian Competition Management.

Isolation Protocol Supplies List

In the event of an incident which requires activation of an Isolation Protocol, this checklist may be used to track the acquisition and location of each suggested item.