ECTRA Recommendations on EHV Prevention

In light of the recent Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) outbreaks in Europe, Canada and many states, including some in our region, the Veterinary Committee and ECTRA Board feel there is a need for enhanced preventative and bio-security measures at our rides.

EHV is a highly infectious virus that can cause a mild respiratory illness but also in its severest forms, abortion and an often fatal neurologic disease.

The virus is shed in nasal secretions and can be transmitted between horses by nose-to-nose contact, aerosol droplets or contact with fomites (F/E buckets, troughs, stalls, trailers, contaminated human hands and clothing, etc.).

ECTRA guidelines for riders, ride managers and judges to minimize the risk of horses contracting or spreading the disease:

  1. Vaccination against EHV-1 and EHV-4 is strongly recommended for all entered and buddy horses in consultation with your Veterinarian for a proper vaccine schedule. Vaccination can help reduce nasal shedding of the virus and thus reduce the risk of transmission to other horses
  • Monitoring of Rectal Temperature of entered and buddy horses.
  • Rider – take horse’s temperature prior to leaving for ride. If above 101.5F, horse should be examined by a veterinarian before traveling. (If multi-day ride, continue to take temp at least once a day)
  • Ride Managers and Judges – at initial exam consider taking temp, log on scoresheet. If outside normal range (99-101.5 F) recheck (in one hour?)
    • Consider doing a CRI as further health exam. Vet judge to decide if horse can compete.
  • Riders are encouraged to monitor temperatures upon returning home
  • Reminder to all that stress is a major factor in EHV manifestation and shedding.

3.    Bio- Security Suggestions

  • Vet and Lay Judges to use gloves, to be changed or gloved hands sanitized between horses (Alcohol, with water rinse.
  • Thermometers sanitized with alcohol between horses.
  • Communal water is discouraged. Horses should only drink from their own tubs and the water brought from communal water trough with a clean bucket.
  • On Trail Water – add more than the usual number of troughs so that horses can space out.
  • Design flow of horses at P&R and judging area to allow for adequate distancing between horses.
  • Everyone needs to be mindful of ways to keep things safe.
    • Do not allow horses to touch noses/mingle with horses outside their group, rub heads on communal water troughs.
    • Don’t share equipment, buckets, feed tubs.
    • Socially distance your horse (and you!) from others.
    • Avoid touching horses not from your group, especially their nose/ face.
    • Remember to wash your hands.

For further information we refer you to https://www.equinediseasecc.org/ (EDCC and AAEP info). http://octra.on.ca/ (Ontario Trail Ride Org.) and AERC – www.aerc.org.

If we can be of any further help, please contact a member of the ECTRA Vet Committee or the Board.

Upcoming ECTRA Meetings

  • April 20, 2021
  • May 18, 2021
  • June 15, 2021

Please note all meetings will start at 7pm and will be held via Zoom.  For more information on joining the meetings please contact Carolyn Blocker.

2020 Horse and Rider Mileage

The 2020 Year End Mileage totals for riders and horses are now available HERE.  Please check this list for updates and if you have any questions please contact Beth Sheldon.

2021 ECTRA Ride Season

Once again due to the pandemic the ECTRA Board will be limiting awards for 2021 to Volunteer and Rider/Horse mileage milestones. No versatility, rookies, junior, medallions, endurance or top ten awards. 

The rides will be run as they were in 2020 for as long as COVID restrictions exist. ECTRA will only recognize a pass or fail designation. Ride scores will not be used by ECTRA for any purpose this year. Ride management may use a Pass/Fail format without offering the standard judging format. ECTRA encourages the use of the Pass/Fail format as it may reduce possible COVID exposure. 

The sanctioning of any CTR requires submission of specific items as described in the 2021 Sanctioning Criteria. These items along with the usual sanctioning requirements will be reviewed by the sanctioning director and panel appointed from the Board.  Please submit questions about sanctioning to our Sanctioning Director, Lucha Malato. Other questions about the ride season may be submitted to board members. 

2021 ECTRA Additional Sanctioning Criteria

All Competitive Trail Rides to be held will be required to submit the following additional items in order to receive sanctioning from ECTRA in 2021. The criteria is designed to make sure the ride is legal and that the insurance for the ride will not be cancelled. We are also suggesting that each ride establish a protocol for running the ride keeping Covid-19 best practices in mind and in line with state, county and local regulations. (Endurance rides are subject to the requirements for sanctioning by AERC.)

The following items will be required by ECTRA and submitted no later than 2 weeks prior to the event to our Sanctioning Director, Lucha Malato. Knowing that state/county/local regulations regarding group size and travel restrictions can change weekly, we must have the sign offs at a date closest to a ride.

1. The ride is limited to no more than the number of people allowed by the state/ county/local government to be in attendance, including volunteers, ride management, crew, riders, family members and spectators. (Provide website link or approval of the group size from officials. See Item 3.)

2. Confirm that the state permits recreational events.( Provide website link or ap-proval from officials. See Item 3.)

3. Show proof of approval or provide contact information of officials who indicated that the event could be held. Officials may be county commissioner, other county officials, health department, or officials of local government. (Name and phone number of contact or copy of emails, letter required.)

4. Provide letter/documents confirming the Land Use permit.

5. If your state, county or town has travel restrictions you will need approval in writing from officials. (See Item 3.) Ride management is required to provide de- tails of such travel restrictions to all participants prior to the ride.

6. Submit your ride Covid-19 plan and make sure all participants have been made aware of the plan prior to the ride. That would be a plan as to how you are reducing close contact amongst riders, judges, volunteers, etc., handling vetting in and out and mid-point, serving foods, pre-ride briefing and awards ceremony, etc. (AERC has prepared some guidance. You may want to review it through this link. https://aerc.org/static/temp/COVID-19_Guidelines.pdf)

Upcoming ECTRA Meetings

Board of Directors meeting via Zoom – Jan 19, 2021 – 7 p.m.

Board of Directors meeting via Zoom – Feb. 16, 2021 – 6:30 p.m.

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP meeting via Zoom – Feb 20, 2021- 4 p.m.

For information on joining the meetings contact Rebecca Wachtel

Outside Mileage Form

Anyone who is submitting outside mileage is encouraged to use the online form available HERE.  You may also download the form on the Rider/Driver Form page and submitting in by mail if you prefer.  Click HERE to be taken to the download page.