Kentucky is known to be the Horse Capital of the world.  With the miles of black and white equestrian fencing dancing along the sprawling bluegrass countryside leading to the historic horse racing cathedrals as well as dozens of legendary Kentucky horse farms, many of Kentucky’s trainings facilities have raised horse legends as well as trainers.

The Kentucky Derby is one of many highlights of how strong the equine industry is to Kentucky.  Some other highlights include the breeding and rearing of equine in Kentucky pastures.  Equine in Kentucky has helped boost the tourism and the economy by providing many jobs.

There are over 242,000 horses in Kentucky, with close to 50% of them involving in showing or recreational activities.  The average thoroughbred farm is 300 acres.


We have compiled the following best practices.

1. Barns should be open to allow as much exchange of fresh air as possible

2. Equipment (leads, shanks, twitches, grooming etc.): Should be assigned to a barn and not passed to different individuals. This equipment should be cleaned and disinfected daily.

3. Surfaces (desk, rails, gates etc.) having contact with individuals or equipment should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.

4. Paperwork: Paperwork should be completed and submitted electronically.

5. Communication should be via phone call, email or text.

6. Veterinarians/Veterinary Assistants (and others who visit farms daily): Limit the number of individuals assisting the veterinarian. Veterinarians and other individuals who visit multiple facilities daily must understand and accept the additional steps they must take to avoid becoming contaminated and potentially transferring the contagion to other environments. 
a. Veterinarians, assistants, and others should take their temperature 2x daily and not report to work if an elevated fever is detected. Any fever detected should be reported to a supervisor or manager. 
b. Veterinarians, assistants, and others should wear gloves, coveralls and consider wearing a mask when deemed appropriate. These would be changed between farms and cleansed for reuse at end of day. 
c. When feasible, the vet assistant should be the individual holding/restraining the horse. 
d. Palpation – The manner by which you palpate or examine a mare is based on your assessment and familiarity with the individual animal. Ideally, the tail would be pulled and tied or the assistant wearing gloves would hold the tail. Alternatively, a farm employee could serve this role so long as he or she has the proper PPE while maintaining the defined social distance. Our objective is to minimize the number of individuals working in close proximity. 
e. The veterinarian assistant should cleanse the gloved hand or use new gloves moving horse to horse. The veterinarian should change or cleanse gloves between horses. 
f. Avoid transfer of paperwork – reports support contagions are easily transferred to/from paper products. All administrative processes should be completed electronically when possible. This includes daily worksheets, payment.

7. Farm Employees (there should be no physical contact between individuals and they should practice social distancing). 
a. Farm employees should check their temperatures 2x daily and if an elevated fever is detected they should report the fever to their supervisor and not interact with veterinarian. 
b. Where possible, employees working on the farm should be ‘consistently compartmentalized’, meaning individuals day-to-day routines should be that they work with the same people daily, and do not work different shifts having interaction with new or different individuals. 
c. Ideally, there would be one farm employee per barn working with the veterinarian. This individual should be at or near the head of the horse and away from the veterinarian. The veterinarian or accompanying assistant is holding tail. 
d. Foals requiring restraint, will be attended to by the veterinarian's assistant.

Implementing these practices, and any other action you can take to eliminate people from congregating in common areas will be beneficial and could be critical in our ability to continue business is as normal manner as possible. 


As of April 1, 2019, the Kentucky Office of the State Veterinarian will no longer issue the Equine Interstate Event Permit, also known as the Equine Passport.  However, please be advised that any Equine Passport issued by our office before 04/01/2019 is still valid for interstate travel to accepting states six months from the CVI issue date or until the EIA (Coggins) expires.

Introducing the Extended Equine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (EECVI): a better solution for frequent horse travelers to keep moving and stay compliant, and offered by GlobalVetLINK.  Participating states include: Alabama (AL), Arkansas (AR), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Kansas (KS), Kentucky (KY), Maryland (MD), Missouri (MO), Mississippi (MS), Montana (MT), North Carolina (NC), New Mexico (NM), South Carolina (SC), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Virginia (VA), West Virginia (WV), and Wyoming (WY).  Many additional states plan on participating, but are not able to at this time due to requirement of a legislative rule change period.  We will share information as additional states join the program in the future.

How does the EECVI help you?

Click the links provided below for more information about the EEVI, helpful to Kentucky horse owners and veterinarians alike. 
EECVI Owner-Agent Checklist 
EECVI Veterinarian Checklist 
For more information about the EECVI and FAQs, please visit GlobalVetLINK.com.