AVMA Guidelines for Horse Show Veterinarians

Comment on this policy

The AVMA 1) encourages its members who serve as horse show veterinarians to become familiar with United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (USEF) rules that govern conduct of horse show participants (USEF General Rule 1204) and with applicable state or federal laws relating to Horse Shows, 2) encourages the scheduling of pertinent educational subjects at veterinary meetings and conventions, 3) encourages the publication and dissemination of educational material to veterinarians who are interested in horse show medicine, 4) encourages its members who are interested in horse show veterinary practice to become members of the USEF and to practice within the rules of the sanctioning body of the horse show or event.

The USEF Rules are available from the USEF at: United States Equestrian Federation, 4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511; Tel: 859-258-2472; or at the USEF Website at www.usef.org.

With the consent of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the AAEP policy on Horse Show Official Veterinarian is quoted below for the benefit of all members. This policy was reviewed by AAEP in 2010 and can be found in the AAEP publication "Ethical and Professional Guidelines." The policy defines areas of veterinary responsibility and provides guidelines on the conduct of horse show veterinarians.

A. AAEP Policy on Horse Show Official Veterinarian (1971)

The responsibilities of the official veterinarian for horse shows and other equestrian events are as follows:

"He or she shall serve as a professional consultant on veterinary matters to the show management, the stewards and the judges."
"He or she shall advise the management and cooperating persons and agencies about the health care of the horses present at the event and shall administer to them if the need arises."
"He or she shall do everything within his or her power and training to aid the sport in general and the event in particular."
"He or she shall not assume or be expected to assume the role, responsibilities or privileges of the management, judges, stewards or other officials or agencies at the event."
"He or she shall not assume or be expected to assume a dual role in conjunction with that of Official Veterinarian."

B. Areas of Veterinary Responsibility

There are always two and may be as many as five areas of veterinary responsibility at a horse show: (1) The Official Horse Show Veterinarian's responsibility to Show Management; (2) the Attending Veterinarian's responsibility for providing professional services for exhibitors; (3) enforcement of U.S. Department of Agriculture (APHIS) requirements generated by the Horse Protection Act of 1970; (4) collection of samples for drug and medication testing by various sanctioning organizations; and (5) enforcement of regulatory requirements of the state where the show is held.