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Traveling to events...without health certificate?

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  • Traveling to events...without health certificate?

    I read through a bit of the post on the off-course thread but didn't really see the answer I was looking for. It's been one of those "I really want to ask, but if I find out the 'wrong' answer, will it complicate my life?" questions that's been brewing in my mind recently.

    So here it goes. The states around here are all crammed together and we travel often between Maryland and Virginia to shows/events. Are we supposed to have a health certificate every time we travel? Where would we be inspected? It seems like I remember seeing a weigh station on I-70 but I've never thought to stop.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Probably technically you are supposed to get one, though we never have...and probably as close as MD and VA are and how much people travel between the two with horses (when we were still in MD, we were still going to Middleburg with horses for various reasons on a near weekly basis), you may not even technically need one.

    We always get them when we travel south for the winter and occasionally if we head up to Area 1 during the summer. The ONLY time we've ever actually been inspected was when we traveled to FL, where you are required to stop at the border...there are signs everywhere a few miles prior to crossing, and I have heard stories of troopers chasing trailers down that pass the station.


    • #3
      PS- Some venues to require them if you are coming from out of state (though I can't think of any in MD). I believe the Kentucky Horse Park, and I want to say we've had to get them for Southern Pines, possibly.


      • #4
        I believe you are required to have one if your horse is going to spend more than 48 hours at an out-of-state competition/event/etc..

        We don't get ours to go to MD because we always only go for the day

        Anytime we're hauling long distance, like today, to go to Pine Top, we get one.

        KHP is serious about those forms. So is the Florida Ag station.


        • #5
          I believe Yellowbritches is correct. I have never gotten one for close events, etc.. I also trailer to Pa almost daily to ride in a friends indoor and definately don't get one for that! I think if you are going on a major HWY drive say to New England or down south it is safest to have one. I know people say that the truck stop in NC has asked for them but I have yet in about 20 some years to need one except for the Fla AG station... but I do get one just in case for events more then a couple hours away. Murphys law....
          "A little less chit-chat a little more pitter-pat"


          • #6
            I have been stopped in KY traveling to the Horse Park from Georgia. I have also heard of several friends with Georgia trailer tags that have been stopped in Aiken by the law to view interstate travel papers. So it does happen. And, of course, it is a manadatory stop heading into/out of Florida.

            In Georgia, you can get a 6 month health travel paper through the Dept of Agriculture. I got one on each of my horses with their coggins this year, makes it a lot easier.


            • #7
              Don't you only get stopped going into FL and KY?


              • #8
                KY does not have a mandatory stop -- I was pulled over by patrol car and asked for papers. In Florida you must stop going in AND leaving -- the leaving part I know for sure because I missed the exit and the flashing lights came after me!


                • #9
                  I think this is one of those things that is heavily dependent on state law.

                  Not just the KHP, but Kentucky is very strict about this.

                  I have a friend that lives in Kentucky (so has KY plates) and was stopped and inspected by a KY Dept of Ag official on a road not too far out of Lexington for health certs and other items. And another friend of mine, has been stopped by State police and has been asked to produce paperwork.

                  I've never been stopped, and maybe I just have some unlucky friends, but I always carry health certs/coggins with me. For KY, instate travel, certs are good for five months. Out of state travel, good for 30 days.

                  I would recommend talking to your vet; they can best advise you as to what you should do.


                  • #10
                    long term health certs in KY

                    Now, in KY, you have to have a 120 (or is it 160) day cert, all the time. Even if you never leave your barn. We had "inspectors" come to the barn and ask to see a cert on every horse on the farm (nearly 25). We complied... I think it is another way to keep the vets in their high dollar cars

                    So, if you go to the horse park, masterson, a friends barn, schooling shows etc., anywhere in KY, you have to have a cert!


                    • #11
                      At least you guys don't live in Illinois. This year the IL Dept. of Ag. is requiring "Premise Identification Numbers." All farms, barns, stables must have an ID number. Any IL horse traveling to any Illinois equine event must have their "home" farm/stable/barn premise ID number available. Can you imagine getting every barn/stable owner to comply with this law? Good luck. Out of state horses are required to get an "entrance number" to come into the state of IL for any equine activity.

                      I don't know all of the ins and outs of the law, it's very confusing. I know that the premise ID will be required for horses showing at the Illinois State Fair horse shows this summer.

                      More fun from the government!


                      • #12
                        I live in WI and travel to events in IL. Last year I had one health certificate (they last for one month) but was never asked to present it. I'm interested in the 'entrance number' because I hadn't heard about that yet. Guess I'll ask my vet when he comes for spring shots!
                        Harmonys Maestro: 1992-2008 RIP
                        Harlequinn - redhead extraordinaire


                        • #13
                          I have only at one show been required to show a health cert. That was for the Pinto World show in Tulsa OK. They don't let you in the gate wihtout one. They also check to see that your coggins test really matches your horse. This was a problem for me because my vet is no artist and I have a loud overo paint that also changes colour thoughout the year.

                          I have been to the KY horse park for Rolex five years in a row and have never had to present a health cert even though I always had one. I went to the AECs in IL last year and got a cert but never had to show it.

                          I go to Il about once a month for foxhunting, hunter paces, schooling, etc. It's a PIA and expensive to get a health cert every time. I basically don't.

                          I have a two horse trailer. I have heard that in Illinois they will pull you over and that the fines are steep (hundreds of dollars). They tend to concentrate their efforts on large trailers on major highways. Most of my trips to IL are on back roads.

                          If you figure the cost of getting the vet out for a health cert every month compared to the cost of the fine if you don't have one I think it is cost effective to take the risk. I could easily spend several 100 dollars a year on vet calls etc. Or if I take my horse to the vet it still costs gas and time.

                          So I basically take a calculated risk. Big shows like anything at Lamplight or Ky horse park I get a health cert. Otherwise I dont' bother.

                          Sometimes if you time it right you can get one health cert that covers a few trips. I did one last year that covered Dunnabeck, AECs, and a hunter pace. It's a matter of timing.
                          -Painted Wings

                          Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gahawkeye View Post
                            KY does not have a mandatory stop -- I was pulled over by patrol car and asked for papers. In Florida you must stop going in AND leaving -- the leaving part I know for sure because I missed the exit and the flashing lights came after me!
                            I know about the stops for FL... haha we had one guy who actually got in our trailer and inspected the horses to match them to their coggins, my trainer said she had never seen someone be so thorough!


                            • #15
                              I keep ALL the horses coggins test in the truck so that I never have an issue, and like I said this morning, we always get them when going south. This year, I even made sure to have Stella the dog's rabies certification and vaccination record in the same binder with the horses' health papers. Funnily enough, we weren't there 24 hours and I needed Stella's papers!!! She was wrongfully accused of "attacking" someone (mistaken identity...though she had gone exploring ). When the oh so charming animal control officer came by, I was prompt in showing him her rabies certificate, especially considering she last her collar and rabies tag shortly after getting her last rabies shot.

                              I must have been a boyscout in a former life...I'm all about being prepared!!!


                              • #16
                                You need to check the regs of the state you are traveling to. Most interstate travel requires a health certificate issued within the last 30 days. I go to GA and KY a lot, and although I have never had to whip mine out, I ALWAYS travel with one when going out of state. I'd rather not be quarantined on the side of the road or face a stiff fine.

                                My coggins never leaves my trailer, as you can get pulled over on a local haul and get checked. It is not a big deal to have the right paperwork on hand, and can save a lot of headaches on the rare occasions that you need it. And these regs are put in place to help protect our horses!


                                • #17
                                  As mentioned by several posters already, Florida is *very* serious about it -- in fact, even after my horses from Ky and MN had been in Florida for more than 6 months, I was frequently questioned closely about health certs for them, just because they had out of state Coggins tests.

                                  Going east, we have to pass through an Ag station on I-10 -- anyone coming to Red Hills from Ocala that hasn't before, be aware of this -- they *will* stop you if you don't stop and if your paperwork isn't in order, they will quarantine you.

                                  The state equine vet is a close personal friend of mine, and I got quarantined when I brought Taz back from Ocala -- when faxing his Coggins with a show entry, someone had darkened the writing on the original to make it easier to see when copied.

                                  Even though nothing was changed, writing on the Coggins test paper is a big NO-NO.

                                  You WILL be quarantined, and if you aren't lucky, they can also charge you with a felony, as an altered health document.

                                  I was quarantined until the MN vet could fax a cleaner copy to the Ag Department, and fortunately I was allowed to take the horses home and have them quarantined on my farm, but you DO NOT want to go through this!

                                  Just FYI, I know two different eventers who have been pulled over on Georgia back roads and asked to show their Coggins test papers and Health Certificates, so it does happen in states other than Ky and FL.

                                  There are now 9 states that participate in an extended health certificate program with Florida, so that they honor one if you apply to your Dept of Ag to get it extended. Also in Florida, you can now get a "passport" which is a card the size of a driver's license that serves as your Coggins and Health Certificate for 6 months.

                                  Very handy, though I never can rememberto do it!

                                  I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                                  Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap


                                  • #18
                                    ^ But isn't a health cert only good for 1 month? So how can the card last for 6? I don't keep a current health cert, since it is a PITA to get the vet out every month, not to mention a pain in the wallet.


                                    • #19
                                      I was stopped in KY few years ago and have always gotten papers since the time I was stopped in TN. That was the late 70s on I-65. Three teenages coming home from Rally--the only time it would have ever occurred to us to get papers (since PC made you.) Of course the van after a week of Rally was trashed and we couldn't find them. So two of us got out to chat with the officer on the side of the road while the third seached the van.

                                      My friend: "If you work for the TN Ag dept do you know my mom? (she gives her name)"

                                      Officer: "Why Miss Helen is our secretary!"

                                      Me: "Well if you know Miss Helen, do you know my big brother? (I give his name)"

                                      Officer with stunned look in his face: "Big Tom is my boss! In fact we flipped a coin this morning and he got I-40...you want to say 'hi' to him on my radio?"

                                      It was one of those moments when I realized that even though I knew what my brother's job was I really didn't know what he DID.

                                      About this time the my friend's big sister shouts from inside the van that she found the papers and we smuggly told her that if wasn't really necessary anymore...


                                      • #20
                                        It is a state by state issue and if there are temporary invectious outbreaks, VS for example.
                                        In our neck of the woods, CA, AZ and UT do control. Some places in CO have controlls. Law in CO, over 70 miles you need health, but nobody cares.
                                        Rule of the thumb, you cross state lines you need health.
                                        Law in the South West, you need brandinspection papers, either temp or permament if your livestock leaves your property. If you don't have them they are not legal and can be impounded
                                        That I have no use for them, does not mean, that I don't know them and don't know how to use them.
                                        Caveman extraordinair