Proper Testing and Need to Know

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Growing up, one of my favorite places to be was horseback riding in the Uwharrie National Forest with my daddy. We always earmarked at least two weekends out of the year for a trip, and from dusk to dawn we would ride mountainside. If we were not traveling to the Uwharries, we may have been trying our luck at a show ring. I was too young to remember all the nitty gritty details of paperwork and requirements then, but now I know there are usually requirements for horse owners that travel or show often.

Horse shows require a negative Coggins test, usually within 12 months. Depending on state-to-state travel and their requirements, you may be required to have a Coggins test done more often. A Coggins test requires blood to be drawn from your horse and sent off by a veterinarian to be tested for the presence of antibodies. The test will determine if a horse is a carrier for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). EIA is a bloodborne illness that is transmitted by biting flies. A fly biting a carrier horse, and then another horse, can spread the disease very quickly. It has no known cure or vaccine protocol. The test should have a “negative” result in order to be safe for travel or show. Your results will be sent to your vet (and possibly yourself) and the paperwork should be kept with the rest of your horse’s health papers.

On all Coggins tests, the following information is usually provided: Owner information name, address, and phone number; Stable information point of contact, address, and phone number; Veterinarian information name, clinic, accreditation number, and address;  Horse’s identifiable information name, barn name, breed registration number, breed, sex, color, age, microchip/tattoo, and pictures or drawings of markings on the animal; EIA test information type, lab that performed the test, reason, date received, date reported, and results.

Before attending shows or traveling be sure to check the requirements.

For more information, please contact Taylor Chavis, Extension Livestock Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 910-671-3276, by, or visit our website at //