Biosecurity at the AQHA VRH World

Biosecurity at the AQHA VRH World

AQHA implements additional biosecurity measures for the 2023 AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championship Show to protect the health of the American Quarter Horse.

ranchers at dawn (Credit: Journal)

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Biosecurity is a top priority of show personnel when planning and hosting a championship show. The American Quarter Horse Association is implementing additional biosecurity measures following a vesicular stomatitis outbreak in the Western United States for the 2023 AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships; AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals; AQHA Cattle Level 1 Championships, presented by the Four Sixes Ranch; and National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance National Championship Show slated for June 20-24.

The following measures are being implemented by AQHA show management:

  • Requiring a Timed Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (Health Certificate) issued within five days prior to the horse arriving on the show grounds which includes a VS statement for any horse originating from any affected county within in a VS-affected state. 

    • Note: Certificates of veterinary inspection should include this statement: “I have examined all the animals identified on this certificate within 14 days of the shipment date and have found them to be free from signs of vesicular stomatitis virus. During the past 14 days, these animals have not been exposed to VSV nor located on a VSV-confirmed or a VSV-suspected premises.”

  • Show staff will be monitoring horses from affected states for the duration of the event. Thermometers and stall temperature logs will be offered to all exhibitors and available at the show office.

  • Immediate notification of state veterinarian’s office and show management of any suspected symptoms.

  • Implementing additional fly control measures on site. All exhibitors are encouraged to use fly sprays, wipes or protective covering and premises control measures.

  • Isolation stalls will be designated and available for use for any horse with an elevated temperature and/or suspect lesions.

For more information on VSV, visit the EDCC fact sheet. Visit the Equine Disease Communication Center for updates on current disease outbreaks at

Symptoms and side effects of VSV to look out for include:

  • Unsightly and painful blister-like lesions which are typically self-limiting and resolve within 14 days.

    • Horses which are immunocompromised or have metabolic conditions are likely to suffer from more severe clinical signs.

  • Studies have shown only 10% of horses on premises with infected vectors will present with clinical signs that are self-limiting, and most resolve within 14 days. This reinforces the need to follow biosecurity protocols at all times. 

About the AQHA VRH World
The AQHA VRH World combines four premiere ranch horse events into one: the AQHA VRH World, AQHA RHC Finals, AQHA Cattle Level 1 Championships and NRSHA National Championship Show. This prestigious event draws ranch-horse competitors from around the globe to the Lazy E Arena each June to crown nine AQHA VRH world champions along with champions in the AQHA RHC Finals, Cattle Level 1 and NRSHA championship shows in addition to awarding approximately $250,000 in purse and prizes.

For more information on the AQHA VRH World and corresponding events, visit

Learn more about the Four Sixes Ranch, the presenting sponsor of the 2023 AQHA Cattle Level 1 Championships.

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