AQHA Biosecurity: It’s All About the Horse

AQHA Biosecurity: It’s All About the Horse

AQHA implements new biosecurity measures to protect the health of the American Quarter Horse while traveling and competing at AQHA-approved events.

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Biosecurity is a top priority of show personnel when planning and hosting an AQHA championship show.

The American Quarter Horse Association is adding a new check-in procedure at all AQHA championship shows to protect the health of all of the horses at the event.

Exhibitors must provide proof of vaccination or a booster within the allowed time period before the show to be eligible to enter the grounds. For more information on the allowable time to vaccinate before the show, visit the show resources page for the AQHA championship show at which you plan to compete.

The AQHA Horse Health Check-In form is designed to supplement the required health certificate and Coggins/EIA certificate by ensuring horses are vaccinated against equine herpes virus (EHV-1) and influenza. The form is recommended for all AQHA championship shows, but is not required unless designated by AQHA show management and /or host facility.

The welfare of the horse is the Association’s No. 1 priority. This Horse Health Check-In assists show staff in its efforts to ensure that only healthy horses are able to enter the show facility. Exhibitors are still responsible for monitoring their horses’ behavior and vitals to be vigilant of illness that could occur. Early diagnosis prevents further transmission of diseases as well as increases the chances of a fast and full recovery for the horse.

Traveling to competitions can compromise a horse’s immune system by exposing it to new germs, which increases the risk of contracting infectious disease. Vaccinations and other health precautions help prevent the transmission of disease.

There are other precautions outside of vaccination that help horse owners protect their equine athletes on the road and during competition. Sanitizing stalls, tack and equipment before and after each use, as well as limiting direct contact with horses and communal spaces, such as pastures, also decrease the risk of disease transmission.

Check out this biosecurity checklist from AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis for more information on how to protect your horse.

Follow these tips from Zoetis to help prevent disease outbreaks at home and on the road.

For more information on EHV-1, visit the AAEP website. Additional resources and information such as state entry requirements are available at

About AQHA Championship Shows

AQHA hosts championship shows for every level of exhibitor. Regional Championships are offered for exhibitors at a grass-roots level. The next step for Rookie and Level 1 competitors is to move up to the Level 1 Championships, which are offered in West, East and Central locations, with a separate event for exhibitors in cattle classes. The Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show is the pinnacle event of AQHA competition for the top riders and horses in Level 2 and Level 3.

Youth competitors are able to qualify and compete at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show and amateur exhibitors ages 50 and up are able qualify to compete at the AQHA Select World Championship Show presented by Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan).

AQHA also hosts the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships, Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals and the AQHA Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Championship to award exhibitors for their accomplishments in their specific discipline within AQHA competition.

For more information on AQHA championship shows, visit

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit