The role and responsibility of the official veterinarians for competitions established as official policy by the American Association of Equine Practitioners is as follows:

• The official veterinarian will serve as a professional consultant on veterinary matters to advise competition management, the stewards and the judges.

• The official veterinarian will advise the management, cooperating persons and agencies concerning the care and welfare of the horses present at the show or event and will provide veterinary care to affiliated horses when the need arises.

• The official veterinarian will utilize their professional training to advise associated personnel on veterinary-related matters. These consultations will align with immediate medical needs of the horse, the spirit of competition and fairness of sport.

• The official veterinarian will not assume, nor be expected to assume the role, responsibilities or prerogatives of the management, judges, stewards or other regulatory agencies. To this extent, the official veterinarian will serve as an unbiased advocate for the horse, with the horse’s best interest at the center of their decision-making process.

Download the resource to access the full document and read about competition veterinarian responsibilities, guidelines for official competition veterinarians, biosecurity guidelines, treatment of the acutely injured horse, suggested veterinary equipment and medication, definition and classification of lameness, the collapsing and falling horse, competition associations.

Resource Type

  • Guideline


  • First Aid/Emergency Care
  • Welfare

Publish Date

March 13, 2020