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EHV-1 Statements from Florida Show Circuits

What you need to know from each of the Florida show circuits.

Winter Equestrian Festival

PBIEC Update on EHV-1 Measures Wellington, FL – March 3, 2021 – In light of new information that Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) received this morning regarding a positive Equine Herpes Virus-1 case in the Ocala area, management is taking active measures to protect horses at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) and Equestrian Village during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). There are currently no reported cases of EHV-1 in Wellington. The following announcements regarding biosecurity protocols and requirements are as follows: 1. Due to this development, ESP will not be accepting entries from horses that have not previously shown this year at WEF and AGDF starting immediately on Wednesday, March 3, until further notice. Decisions regarding lifting this rule will be made following consultation with USEF, the State of Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Industry, and WEF/AGDF Official Veterinarians, Palm Beach Equine Clinic. 2. Although no known positive cases of horses have been identified in Wellington, ESP is attempting to control transmission of the EHV-1 virus by restricting access to the PBIEC and Equestrian Village showgrounds of horses from outside the immediate vicinity of Wellington. Following veterinary advice, anyone shipping horses into the PBIEC and Equestrian Village facilities will be required to sign a declaration stating that the horses entering the facility have not competed at other Florida venues or been in close contact with horses that competed in other Florida venues within ten (10) days prior to their arrival. 3. Starting Monday, March 8, any horses shipping onto the property (both WEF and AGDF grounds) will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead and must be dated by Veterinarian within seven (7) days of arriving (see number 6 below). 4. ESP will require all barns on PBIEC and Equestrian Village show grounds to maintain a temperature log with twice-daily temperatures recorded and recommend posting on each horse’s stall door. Random checks by approved veterinary staff may be implemented. 5. ESP and USEF strongly recommend that equestrians do not ship horses throughout the state for the foreseeable future. In addition, we encourage you to cease any European imports you may have scheduled to Florida. We urge those with recently imported horses to isolate and monitor them for 10 days. Horses imported from Europe in the last 14 days and going forward will not be allowed into PBIEC or Equestrian Village show grounds. 6. A Statement of Health must be signed by a licensed veterinarian within 7 days of arrival at PBIEC, documenting that the horse has: a. Received regular and consistent vaccination against Equine Influenza and EHV-1/4 with most recent booster being within 180 [CORRECTION] daysand not within 7 days (as per USEF GR 845). Under no circumstances should a horse that has been vaccinated compete within 7 days. b. Not shown symptoms of or been treated for EHV-1/4 within the past 28 days c. Not been at a facility under quarantine for EHV-1/4 or exposed to any horses showing symptoms of EHV-1/4 within the past 28 days d. Current vaccination against WNV, EEE, WEE, Tetanus and Rabies is strongly recommended Information on the current known positive EHV-1 case can be found here: Given the seriousness of the EHV-1 outbreak in Europe (the case in Ocala is similar in nature but unrelated to the neurological strain of EHV-1 impacting Valencia, Spain, and other European countries), which has unfortunately resulted in multiple horse deaths, ESP implores everyone to do their part in order to keep your own horses safe, as well as those of your fellow competitors. Any horse on the show grounds with a fever of unknown origin or of suspicious origin must be reported to ESP Management. It is always better to err on the side of safety. Isolation stalls will either be available on the grounds or at a local veterinary practice if the need arises. It is our shared responsibility to keep our horses safe. Similar to the suggested protocols in place for humans due to COVID-19, we urge all equestrians to please remember and abide by the following biosecurity measures: • Take all horses’ temperature daily and report any horse with a temperature above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or any signs of respiratory or neurological disease to your veterinarian and/or show management • Take the temperature of all horses prior to shipping to WEF or AGDF, and do not bring any febrile horses to the show • Avoid mixing of horses where possible, practice equine ‘social distancing’ • Ensure good hygiene and biosecurity at the show and your home farms • Make sure your horses are currently vaccinated for influenza and EHV. Under no circumstances should a horse that has been vaccinated compete within 7 days. • You should be able to document your horse’s normal temperature before arrival. Please do not ship horses with elevated temperatures. It is recommended that you establish a log of temperatures taken at least twice daily. If there is an elevated temperature for more than a 24-hour period, please consult your local Veterinarian immediately • Every effort should be made to minimize stress and commingling of horses shipped long distances. Extra hours on a horse van or moving from stable to stable is the fastest way to compromise your horses’ and your neighbor’s horses’ health • Please take the time to review equine good hygiene practices and impress its importance to your grooms and barn managers in everyday care Further biosecurity protocols and additional resources can be found here: United States Department of Agriculture Information on Equine Herpesvirus American Association of Equine Practitioners FAQ on Equine Herpesvirus United States Equestrian Federation Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions ESP has longstanding protocols to manage such events and will provide isolation facilities if and as required. Experience has taught us that early identification is key when dealing with disease outbreaks, and this requires cooperation from everyone within the community. If you have any questions or concerns about your horse’s health, please contact our veterinary partners: Palm Beach Equine Clinic at 561-793-1599. Thank you. Sincerely, ESP Management

World Equestrian Center Ocala

OCALA, Florida – March 3, 2021 – The FEI announced March 1 that competition has been cancelled until March 28 in 10 European countries including France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia due to the outbreak of the equine herpes virus.

As the virus has now been identified in Ocala and out of an abundance of caution, World Equestrian Center – Ocala management has issued increased biosecurity measures and the following to keep showing horses safe:

  • Effective immediately, World Equestrian Center – Ocala will no longer permit ship in horses to the property

  • No new entries travelling from other events in Florida will be accepted including the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) , HITS, Venice or the Ridge.

  • All World Equestrian Center – Ocala stabling areas will be strictly limited to essential personnel – riders, trainers, grooms, vets and farriers. No non-essential people will be admitted to the stabling areas.

As we continue to closely monitor the situation, the World Equestrian Center management recommends that all exhibitors follow a heightened hygiene protocol adding extra precautions to prevent any issues from arising at the horse show:

  • Take temperatures of all horses twice daily and maintain a log.

  • Isolate any horse exhibiting symptoms or illness and report any cases to the show veterinarian and horse show management. Horses with symptoms will be moved to an on-site isolation area.

  • We recommend no sharing of equipment between horses including feed and water buckets.

  • Handlers should wash hands in between handling horses and maintain proper biosecurity protocols in the barn.

  • Maintain distancing between horses at the ring and in the barn. No nose-to-nose contact between horses.

World Equestrian Center – Ocala will continue to observe proper biosecurity protocols and disinfect the barns and property on a regular basis. All stalls are fully disinfected weekly as they are turned over between barns.

At this time, World Equestrian Center – Ocala events will continue as scheduled.

If you have questions please contact horse show manager TJ Campbell, director of operations Vinnie Card or on site veterinarian, Dr. Larry Wexler DVM

HITS Ocala

I wanted to reach out to my customers around the world and give you assurances of the safe environment for both horses and humans at HITS Ocala. As the only USEF sanctioned hunter jumper show in Ocala this winter we have been fortunate to have been given a blueprint from the Federation on the correct protocol to follow to help combat the Covid challenge that is gripping our country. By implementing these standards, which include mandatory mask wearing and no spectators at the events, we are working extra hard to ensure our human clients have a safe show setting.

At the same time we work to keep the environment safe for horses and are pleased at this point to have a safe bio-friendly facility here at Post Time Farm. While there have been reports of sick horses nearby here in Ocala, we have been fortunate enough to have avoided this EHV calamity as of this date. We are actively monitoring the arrival of horses from certain properties and limiting their entering the show grounds. We have a very strong memory of 2013 when Post Time was the facility that proved to be the lightning rod for a run of this very serious virus and believe that we have learned a great deal, as horsemen, from that experience and hope that this prior education helps us as we go forward.

For now, help us with following the USEF Protocol:

  • Review and ensure you are prepared for quick implementation of an isolation plan at a competition grounds and/or at your home farm or facility

  • Check your horse's temperature twice daily and maintain a temperature log (temperature logs are available in the HITS Horse Show Office if you need one)

  • Isolate horses at first signs of symptoms or illness and contact your vet immediately

  • Any horses with a fever about 101.5-102.5°F should isolate in separate facilitates on the competition grounds or at separate veterinary facility off-site

  • Keep separate feed buckets, brushes, rags, and tack/equipment for each horse

  • Ask your veterinarian about appropriate sanitizing solutions

  • Eliminate communal or shared water troughs and buckets

  • Practice hand washing in between handling horses

  • Maintain social distancing for horses; limit nose to nose contact with other horses at the ring

  • Ensure your horse is vaccinated for EHV (Rhinopneumonitis vaccine) in line with GR845

Rest assured that we do not take this responsibility lightly and we have found from our past experiences that even the safest environment can turn out to be a petri dish for this virus to grow, but as gatekeepers of a facility we will be judged by our actions and stand ready to help all of our clients, two legged or four.

Looking forward in a few weeks to this year’s edition of the Ocala Million, the Richest Class in America.

Tom Struzzieri

HITS will continue working proactively to keep exhibitors informed, and to keep horses safe. Should you have any questions, please contact the HITS Show Office at 352-620-2275 or email us. As you make your plans to join us for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, please be sure to review the USEF Covid Protocol and the HITS Covid Protocol prior to your arrival. If we can answer any questions or provide any additional information as you make your plans for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, please do not hesitate to contact us at 352.620.2275 or

Venice Equestrian Tour


In response to the case of EHV-1 (neurological) that has been reported in Ocala, Fla., Fox Lea Farm is immediately implementing the following protocols:

  1. Any new arrivals to Fox Lea must obtain pre-approval; please contact Jennifer Gamboa 803-295-2759 before you travel

  2. A “Statement of Health” completed by a veterinarian within the past 7 days is required for any horses arriving at Fox Lea

  3. All approved new arrivals will be housed in separate stabling areas, and socially distanced from horses currently at the show and from each other

  4. Only essential personnel will be allowed in the stabling areas, and must practice bio-security protocols

  5. Night Watch will discontinue watering horses and feeding to eliminate contact between barns

  6. Separate entrance and exits will be implemented at all rings to limit any contact between horses as they are entering or leaving rings

  7. Under Saddle classes will be controlled to ensure horse social distancing

  8. Number of horses in schooling areas at one time will be further restricted.

  9. All stalls and barn areas will be disinfected with Synbiont between horse turnovers

Fox Lea Farm is working closely with the USEF and other Competition Organizers to closely monitor this situation as it evolves and will update protocols as we receive additional information. Please be sure to contact our office prior to making plans to attend our shows to ensure you have the most current information. Below are some best practices you can implement immediately:

  1. Review and ensure you are prepared for quick implementation of an isolation plan at a competition grounds and/or at your home farm or facility

  2. Check your horse's temperature twice daily and maintain a temperature log

  3. Isolate horses at first signs of symptoms or illness and contact your vet immediately

  4. Keep separate feed buckets, brushes, rags, and tack/equipment for each horse

  5. Ask your veterinarian about appropriate cleaning solutions

  6. Eliminate communal or shared water troughs and buckets

  7. Practice hand washing in between handling horses

  8. Maintain social distancing for horses; limit nose to nose contact with other horses at the ring

  9. Ensure your horse is vaccinated for EHV (Rhinopneumonitis vaccine) in line with GR845

You can find a list of additional resources on the USEF website here:

The Ridge

Dear Riders, Trainers, & Exhibitors, We have seen the recent press release issued from World Equestrian Center regarding cases of Equine Herpes Virus in Europe and Ocala, and their Bio Security changes. Please note, while likely unintentional, they list The Ridge shows, which have nothing to do with WEC. That being said, The Ridge has had NO cases of EHV, and if anyone inferred that from the WEC press release, we hope this clarifies those points. In response to recent events, The Ridge has upped our Bio Security Measures, and is strictly enforcing "Safe Social Distancing" for both horses and humans, and will do everything in our power to keep our competitors safe. Thank You For Your Support, Nona Garson Horse Show Manager The Ridge At Wellington


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