The Sunday Jog-Up

RadnorJog3-1.jpg Do you ever stare in awe at the sleek shiny horses, the glistening brass, perfect braids, and dazzling white marks at a CCI trot up?  Do you ever wonder how they get that way?  (LOTS of hard work is the correct answer!)  Each Sunday morning we will bring you a little insider info on how the big-time grooms manage an upper level event horse.  Feel free to email or comment with specific grooming questions if you have a topic in mind!






Three-day Preparation Step 1:  Passport


With the coming of autumn, that can mean only one thing: time to prepare for a fall three-day!  In the coming weeks, we’ll explore the ins and outs of CCI preparation, including my favorite subject: the (REAL) ten-minute box.  But before we can get to the groom’s shining moment, let’s take care of some little stuff.





Besides a qualified rider and a good groom, any CCI horse needs a passport.  At the CIC* to CCI** level, a national passport is sufficient.  However, at the CIC*** and above, an international (FEI) passport is required. 


What is a passport?  Essentially a “mandatory donation” to an equine governing body ($50 for USEF, $300 for FEI).  In actuality, it is a booklet recording the horse’s identity, ownership, influenza vaccination records, and travel/competition history.  It expires every four years (requiring a $175 renewal fee).




To be elligible for a passport (USEF or FEI), the horse must be life recorded ($200) with the USEF.  The owner should be an active member of USEF, and a US Citizen. 


Have you noticed this passport deal is an expensive process?  And you thought the CCI entry fee was the big ticket item!  Luckily the lower FEI levels can get by on a national passport, and the international booklet lasts for four years.


How to fill out your FEI passport:  (from the USEF site)

Familiarize yourself with the passport, the horse identification booklet (if you can’t find this, you can go get the information from the FEI web site), and the passport directions provided. Make certain that these documents are then given to the veterinarian for use in completing the passport. The cover page of the passport has the horse’s name, passport number, and the issue and expiration dates. This passport will remain with the horse for the remainder of its life but must be revalidated every four years. The next area to review is the Details of Ownership section. The owner is responsible for filling out a portion of the Details of Ownership page; this is explained in the directions.

Next, a licensed equine veterinarian must examine the horse and document their findings in the passport itself. At this point, it is imperative that all material sent with the passport be read carefully – especially by the veterinarian, but also by the owner. Passports are often returned for corrections because the directions were not followed completely and correctly. On the last page of the directions, there is a sample diagram sheet that the veterinarian can use to practice before permanently marking anything in the passport.


Filling out the passport, especially the horse identification diagram, is extremely particular.

The markings, which must be accurately drawn in red ink, together with the description of the horse must be dated and certified with the stamp and signature of the veterinarian approved by the NF.   



From the passport directives:

Complete “Outline Diagram” using a red ball point pen to outline white markings.  There should be no shading, but it can be lightly hatched.  A black ball pointe pen should be used to indicate whorls and other markings.  Particular attention should be paid to whorls (show “x”) on the head, neck, and jugular region, and to rear view of fore and hind legs.  A permanent scar is indicated by an arrow pointing to the site.  A depigmented area on a hoof is indicated by a sketch and colored in red.  Horses without any markings and with only three or less whorls must have the outline of each chestnut drawn on page 9.


Influenza Records

Besides drawing a pretty picture of your horse, the main purpose of the passport is to record flu vaccinations.  From the USEF site:

When the veterinarian has completed the diagram and description pages, they must document that the horse has had its primary series of influenza vaccinations. The primary series consists of two influenza vaccinations using the same method of administration (IM or IN) given between 21 to 92 days apart. A booster vaccination must be administered within every SIX MONTHS following the primary series. The booster can be intramuscular or intranasal. This information must be entered in the passport on the influenza pages: date of administration, place, country, name of vaccine, batch number, vet stamp and signature. All details must be recorded in order for the vaccination(s) to be considered valid. Only the veterinarian who administers the vaccine to the horse may record the inoculation in the passport. Transferring vaccines on behalf of another veterinarian is not acceptable. Make sure the veterinarian signs and stamps the passport in the appropriate places (see directions sent with new passports for examples).




So now you have a completed passport…now you must send it back to the FEI (via USEF) for validation and approval.  Do not wait until the last minute!  This process may take 4-6 weeks, so start well in advance of your FEI competition.


And just when you think you’re done… remember that horse and rider must be registered with the FEI (yes, this is separate from the passport!).  This is an annual recording, $25 each, renewable every year.  If needed, this registration can be completed in a very timely manner…like the week of the event, when you realize you forgot to do it at the beginning of the year. 


So now the USEF and FEI is many dollars richer, but you are up to date and legal in all registries.  Next week we will (attempt) to dissect the murky region of FEI qualifications.  Bring a flashlight and a snorkel, as the rulebook can be difficult to navigate.  When all else fails, call the USEF office and ask for help!

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