While microchips are required for some competitors, we also want to remind you about the additional benefits of a microchip in your horse and answer some commonly asked questions.
Microchipping for Competitors
As many of you are aware, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) have rules requiring a microchip for horses and ponies competing in classes that require horse registration. The microchip verifies the horse’s ID, which allows the horse to compete for points and prize money and to be eligible for certain US Equestrian and USHJA programs and awards. US Equestrian requires microchips to be ISO 11784/11785 compliant (see USEF Microchip FAQ). This microchip has a unique 15-digit number that will be assigned only to your horse.
Why Microchipping is Important for All Horses
Microchips are a great way keep your horse identifiable in many situations, even if you are not participating in competitions that require them. The recent fires in Northern and Southern California serve as a reminder that disaster preparedness is essential and a microchip can significantly increase the odds that you and your horse are reunited as soon as possible. While other means of identification certainly have their use in these situations, such as information taped onto the halter or animal-safe paint directly on the horse, these methods are not permanent – halters can come off and paint can fade.
A common misconception is that microchips can be used for tracking purposes, but this is not the case. Microchips contain a small amount of information that is only accessible when scanned and read with specialized scanners. They are also very safe, as is the procedure to insert them – we have seen no adverse reactions in decades of use.
Getting the microchip is a quick, easy process. If you do choose to have your veterinarian microchip your horse, please remember that you are responsible for registering the microchip number.
The USEF provides an informative video on microchipping, as well