Equine Herpesvirus Restrictions Soon to Be Modified at Equestrian Sport Productions Events

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2021 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) management is pleased to announce that the protocols currently in place regarding Equine Herpesvirus (EHV) will be modified as of Monday, March 29, 2021. This measure will include activities at both the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) and Equestrian Village, the homes of the Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, respectively.

This decision was made after conferring with state and local veterinarians, as well as the US Equestrian Veterinary Department, who all agreed that the restrictions were no longer needed due to the containment of the recent outbreak in Ocala. As of this upcoming Monday, horses that are located outside of Wellington, FL, or any that have traveled recently will be allowed on-site for competition.

ESP urges all horse owners to continue biosecurity protocols and note that modified restrictions are still in place at PBIEC in order to maintain the health of all of the horses on the property. They are as follows:

1. Anyone shipping horses into the PBIEC and Equestrian Village facilities will be required to sign a declaration stating that the horses entering the facility are healthy and have not been exposed to any horses with a fever of unknown origin. 

2. Starting Monday, March 29, only horses shipping onto the property that have not previously competed (both WEF and AGDF grounds) will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead and must be dated by a veterinarian within seven (7) days of arriving.

3. ESP will continue to 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.

4. ESP and USEF strongly 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.

5. 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 continue 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.

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 their 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. 

Press release