At Oakham Veterinary Hospital we are passionate about the promotion of preventative healthcare. Part of this is to make sure your horse’s vaccinations are kept up to date. Horses need to be vaccinated to prevent unnecessary suffering and to promote horse health. The consequences of lapsed vaccinations can be expensive and disruptive.

  • Costs of treatment can far outweigh the costs of vaccination.
  • An unwell horse cannot be ridden or exercised until it has completely recovered.
  • It can lead to yard closures and sporting cancellations.
  • Disease spreads to other equines.

Which Vaccinations does my horse need?

The most common diseases to vaccinate horses in the UK against are equine ‘flu’ and tetanus. It may also be advisable to vaccinate your horse against strangles and EHV (Equine Herpes Virus). Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like some advice on which vaccinations your horse or pony needs.

How often should I vaccinate my horse?

Your horse will begin its initial vaccination course which will then be followed by booster vaccinations at specified time intervals. You will be advised on this depending on which vaccination your vet is administering.

Does my horse need vaccinating even if we don’t compete?

All horses need vaccinating, even if they don’t have contact with other horses. Equine flu can travel up to 5km meaning any horses in the surrounding area are at risk. All horses are also at risk of contracting tetanus. The majority of cases are fatal and the only way to prevent your horse from tetanus is by vaccinating.

Combining the correct vaccination programme and good stable management practice will help reduce the spread of disease and ensure your horse’s health is maintained to a high standard.

Other things to consider…

Horses can appear off-colour after being vaccinated. This is not usually a cause for concern, but if you are worried you should talk to your vet.

Brood mares - it may be advisable to vaccinate your broodmare against rotavirus and herpes during pregnancy. Speak to one of our vets for further advice.

Stallions - vaccination against Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) may be needed. Please get in touch for advice.

Pregnant mares - It is advisable to keep your pregnant mares up to date with flu and tetanus vaccinations so that immunity can be passed to her foal via the colostrum. Speak to one of our vets about the most suitable time to administer a booster your mare.

Vaccination Rules:

At Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine, we recognise that we have a large number of clients competing in many different disciplines and each governing body has different vaccination rules in place. In light of that, please find below a guide to each governing bodies current guidelines.


Horses must have been vaccinated within 6 months + 21 days of arriving at the event. Horses must not have been vaccinated within 7 days of arriving at an event venue.

British Eventing

Horses must have had a booster within 6 months of the event. Vaccinations must not have been given on the day of the event, but the day before is allowed.

British Dressage

Boosters no more than 1 year apart, no vaccine within 7 days of competing. Six monthly boosters are strongly recommended.

British Showjumping

Boosters must be no more than 1 year apart.

Pony Club

For all competitions at area level and above – Boosters must be no more than 1 year apart but 6 monthly boosters are recommended. Rallies/Camp/training – vaccination policy specific to venue.

Riding Club

Boosters no more than 1 year apart. Vaccinations are not permitted within 7 days prior to competition.

British Horseracing Authority

Horses must have been vaccinated within the last 8 months. There is currently a one month grace period but this will be removed as of January 1, 2020.

*** Please check with your regulatory body regarding their current vaccination policy in light of the Covid 19 pandemic***

If you would like to make an appointment or book a visit for a 6-monthly booster, please contact our reception team on 01572 722647