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FAQ: USEF Return to Competition Protocols and California Hunter/Jumper Calendar in March

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Feb 28, 2022, 7:21 PM

  1. What is required for my horse to return to USEF competition if it participated at Thermal or Rancho Murieta?
    USEF requires either one of the following to clear your horse for eligibility to compete:
    • Two samples taken using nasopharyngeal swabs must be analyzed by PCR testing on day 7 and day 14. Day 0 is considered to be the day your horse left the venue at Thermal or Rancho Murieta, whichever occurred later. Both swabs must result in negative test results to EHV-1.

      If either of the tests generate a positive result, the horse must remain in isolation and be re-tested. It is necessary to have two negative test results, taken at least seven days apart to fulfil USEF requirements.
    • The horse must be isolated for 21 days, rectal temperature must be taken and recorded during the isolation period, and samples must be taken after day 21 using a nasopharyngeal swab to test for EHV-1 via PCR analysis. Day 0 is considered to be the day your horse left the venue.

      The swab must result in negative PCR test result to EHV-1. If the tests generate a positive result, the horse must remain in isolation for a further seven days and be re-tested.
  2. Are these restrictions applicable to horses returning to their home barns?
    No, the criterion for testing only applies to those horses entering USEF competitions. However, it is always a good practice to isolate, as much as possible, those horses returning to their resident barn after attending a competition.
  3. Do I need to 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 twice daily temperature log for the last 14 days of the isolation period. In light of the fact there are no currently scheduled Hunter/Jumper competitions to be held in the state of California until March 30, the 28-day approach may the best option for many, and would eliminate testing asymptomatic horses. 
  4. Where do I send evidence of negative test results?
    Test results must be submitted via email to [email protected] to obtain clearance to compete.
  5. Did USEF cancel all upcoming California competitions?
    USEF has not canceled any upcoming CA competitions. Competition Managers voluntarily canceled all CA USEF hunter/jumper competitions that would have occurred before March 30. Currently, hunter/jumper competitions in CA will resume on March 30.
  6. Why are only hunter/jumper competitions shut down in California?
    At this time, we are not aware of any confirmed positive associated with non-hunter/jumper horses.
  7. If the EHV-1 infection rate begins to decrease, will USEF approve new competitions to the CA hunter/jumper calendar for March?
    No, USEF will not approve any new competitions to the CA hunter/jumper calendar that would occur before April 1.
  8. How will cancellations affect qualifying criteria and selection procedures?
    Each Discipline is reviewing the impact on Selection and Qualification and further announcements will follow.
  9. Do I have to take my horse to a different location before going to a USEF competition, after isolating at one of the venues that have had confirmed positive(s) for EHV-1; i.e. Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) or Rancho Murieta?
    No so long as the horse isolated for 21-days at the venue and obtained a negative PCR test. Day 0 will be the date of the last fever that is associated with a confirmed positive EHV-1case at the venue. New confirmed positive cases will reset Day 0.
  10. Why is this affecting vaccinated horses?
    Similar to COVID-19 in humans, vaccinations do not provide 100% protection from the virus. EHV-1 vaccines have been shown to decrease nasal shedding of the virus, and, in some cases, to reduce the amount of virus present in the blood.  Vaccination for EHV-1 can also lessen 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 have been exposed to the virus before they are ever vaccinated.
  11. Should non-competing horses (training or sale horses) be taken to a horse show?
    It is USEF’s recommendation that any horse that is not competing should not be on competition grounds at this time. This makes it easier for the tracking of on-site horses, if necessary, and reduces the number of horses that are potentially exposed or might be carrying the active virus.
  12. Do I need to show evidence of my horse’s vaccination status at USEF competitions?
    All competitions are encouraged to check vaccination status of all horses coming onto their competition grounds and to verify they are compliant with GR844. You must have evidence of compliance upon request.
  13. What is the difference between the reportable disease classifications of “Reportable and Monitored” and “Reportable and Actionable”?
    Individual states consider a variety of equine diseases as ‘reportable’ but they do not take action on it. California considers a case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) as a “Reportable and Actionable” disease in equids.  This means that the CDFA will manage a quarantine. They do not manage quarantines for EHV-1 cases unrelated to EHM.
  14. How can I isolate horses at home when I don’t have separate facilities?
    Talk to your veterinarian and consult the 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 any time a horse is traveling to a high-density population; this is a disease of control, it cannot be eradicated. We encourage you to carefully review with you veterinarian healthcare measures to safeguard you horse, as well as biosecurity resources that can found at the CDFA and EDCC websites.