May 23, 2011 2:45 PM by Greg Boyce

Three horse events postponed due to virus

The Colorado State Fair has postponed three upcoming horse show events because of equine herpesvirus or EHV-1.

Nine horses in Colorado has contracted the disease and there are 22 suspected cases.  Two horses have been euthanized.

The Zamora Roping competition was scheduled over the weekend but has been postponed.  A new date is pending.  The Mountain Shooting regional competition scheduled for May 27-30 has been moved to October 7-10.  And the Sagebrush Slide Cow Horse Show scheduled for June 1-5 has been postponed until August 10-14.

Facts about EHV-1 Vaccines

The common vaccines available for EHV-1 immunization do not protect against the neurological form of EHV-1 disease which is commonly called equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM). These immunizations do protect against the respiratory and abortion forms of the disease.

The EHV-1 vaccines are thought to reduce the shedding of the virus and may decrease the amount of circulating virus in the system of infected horses. So vaccinations prior to infection may help reduce the severity of an outbreak.

In the face of an EHV-1 outbreak, the value of vaccinating EHV-1 affected horses or exposed horses is questionable and may be detrimental to the horse. When an EHV-1 outbreak occurs, it may be helpful to give an EHV-1 booster immunization in a previously vaccinated, unexposed horse.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best vaccination and treatment strategy for your horses in your particular situation.

New Travel Requirements for Horses Entering Colorado

Standard requirements for horses entering Colorado include a health certificate issued within 30 days of their arrival and a negative Coggins test within 12 months. The new requirement consists of a permit to enter the state. Horse owners who wish to bring their horse into Colorado must first call their veterinarian. That veterinarian can then contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture's State Veterinarian's Office at (303) 239-4161 and request a permit number. That number would then be included on the health certificate.

Additional Travel Tips for Horse Owners Traveling To or From Colorado

  • Contact the State Veterinarian's Office of the destination state to find out if travel requirements have changed for that state.
  • Call organizers of the event to see if they have new health requirements or if it has been cancelled.
  • If traveling, practice appropriate biosecurity measures. Biosecurity tips may be found at
  • Isolate any new animals and those returning to the home premises for three weeks when possible.
  • Use separate water, feed supplies and equipment.
  • Continue to monitor the CDA webpage.



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