Equine Vaccination Requirements for BE and FEI Events 2022
Whether you are competing in a BE National Event or an FEI Event, your horse or pony must be vaccinated against equine influenza, and the vaccination rules for national and international competitions are the same.
Equine influenza outbreaks occur worldwide and most often affect horses that are unvaccinated, or those that have been vaccinated but not within the required time intervals set by regulatory bodies or vaccine manufacturers. Equine influenza can cause significant losses to the equine industry and infections can be fatal.
Although vaccination against equine influenza cannot guarantee immunity, it is a mandatory biosecurity practice required by BE and the FEI to reduce the risk of circulating virus at events.
BE National Events
The BE Rule Book states that no horse may take part in a BE National Event (which includes entering competition stables) unless it has a current vaccination against equine influenza which complies with the following conditions:
- Two injections for primary vaccination, not less than 21 days and not more than 92 days apart, are required before being eligible to compete;
- A first booster injection must be given within seven months (not more than 215 days) after the second injection of primary vaccination;
- Subsequent booster injections must be given at intervals of not more than one year, commencing after the first booster injection;
- In order to compete a horse must be vaccinated in accordance with the above rules and MUST also have had a vaccination within 6 calendar months and 21 days of the competition, BUT;
- A horse may not compete if it has been given a relevant injection on any of the seven days before it is to compete at the event. Thus, a horse vaccinated on Friday 1st, may not compete before Saturday 8th.
The Record of Vaccination(s) in the Horse’s passport must be completed by the appropriate veterinary surgeon, in which the record of injection(s) is completed, signed and stamped line by line.
In some circumstances, at the discretion of the Event Veterinary Officer, in consultation with the BE Steward, in cases where there are other historical discrepancies in a horse’s vaccination record, that horse may be permitted to take part in an Event on such conditions as the Veterinary Officer considers appropriate, but the circumstances must be noted on the certificate. The horse must be re-vaccinated so as to comply with this rule and the certificate duly completed before it becomes eligible to compete in its next Event.
The FEI advises the Person Responsible (PR) to check their horses’ vaccination dates carefully before applying for FEI passports and entering FEI Events. Vaccination rules for International Events are the same as those set out under BE rules above, and in the table below.
It should be noted that no vaccination must have been administered within the previous seven days before the commencement of competition or entry to FEI stables. If the horse is scheduled to take part in an FEI competition, the last booster must have been given within 6 months and 21 days of arrival at the FEI Event. (The 21-day window has been provided to enable vaccination requirements to fit in with the competition schedule.)
Every horse’s passport is checked at events to ensure that the horse has been vaccinated according to the FEI Veterinary Regulations, therefore all equine influenza vaccines that have been given to the horse must be recorded in the horse’s passport.
FEI Vaccination Intervals for Equine Influenza
(see Article 1003, FEI Veterinary Regulations)
Eligibility to Enter Venue
1st Vaccination: day 0 (e.g. 1 March 2022).
2nd Vaccination: day 21-92 (e.g. 1 April 2022).
Horses that have only received the first vaccination of the primary course are not allowed to compete or enter the FEI stables.
Horses that have received the primary course can compete provided that the vaccine has not been given within 7 days of arriving at an event venue.
Within 7 months of the 2nd vaccination of the Primary Course (e.g. 1 October 2022).
Horses must have been vaccinated to comply with the requirements for the Primary Course.
Horses that received their primary course before 2005 are exempt from the first booster requirement within 7 months. Subsequent boosters are to be given at intervals of no later than 1 calendar year after the primary course.
Horses can compete for up to 6 months +21 days after the 2nd vaccination of the Primary Course, however they cannot compete if they have been vaccinated within 7 days of arriving at an event venue. (e.g. 8 October 2022)
MINIMUM: within one year of previous booster vaccination.
COMPETING: must usually be in the 6 months +21 days of previous booster vaccination.
Horses must have been vaccinated to comply with the requirements for the Primary Course, First Booster and all subsequent boosters.
Horses must have been vaccinated within 6 months +21 days of arriving at the Event however they cannot compete if they have been vaccinated within 7 days of arriving at an event venue.
Tetanus and Other Vaccinations
Although vaccination against tetanus is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Horses may require other vaccines to protect them against equine infectious diseases that may be prevalent in their environment, e.g. Equine Herpes Virus and West Nile Virus. Some horses can also be given the GnRH vaccine. These vaccines should also be recorded in the horse’s passport.
Vaccination against Equine Herpes Virus is mandatory in some countries/jurisdictions, e.g. France. It is strongly recommended by the FEI and likely to become mandatory under its rules. The vaccination schedule is according to the vaccine manufacturers’ recommendations.
Vaccine Administration and Record Keeping
All vaccinations must be administered by a licensed veterinarian. The vaccines given must be recorded in the horse’s passport, signed by the veterinarian administering the vaccines and the passport must be stamped with the veterinarian’s clinic stamp.
If a mistake is made whilst recording vaccination information in the horse’s passport, draw a single line through the entry and re-enter the information on a new line. Do not use correction fluid or try to change dates that have already been written in.
Where vaccination details are to be recorded into new FEI Passports, Recognition Cards or duplicate documents, the certified statement "The vaccination history of this Horse is correct to date. Last vaccination on 00/00/00 (date)” may be used to summarise a long vaccination history.
Responsibilities of the ‘Person Responsible’
It is responsibility of the ‘Person Responsible’ (PR) for the horse to ensure that their horse has been vaccinated according to the FEI Veterinary Regulations. Sanctions can be given at events for not entering details of equine influenza vaccinations in the horse’s passport.
It is the PR’s responsibility to ensure that their horse has been vaccinated at the correct time intervals to comply with the FEI Veterinary Regulations.
Sanctions may be given by the Ground Jury to PRs whose horses do not comply with the FEI’s vaccination requirements. PRs may be issued with a fine, ineligibility to compete or disqualification from the event. A full list of sanctions can be found in Annex VI of the FEI Veterinary Regulations.
Further information can be found on the FEI website here.