Downeast Medal Finals

April 2019
Downeast Medal Finals
September 12-15, 2019
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Spring Vaccines- Why Do We Vaccinate?
By Dr. Monika Calitri, DVM
Seacoast Equine

Most horse owners know that their horses should see the vet in the spring to get vaccinated, but what are they for and why are they important? 
A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. They are important because they help protect your horse from becoming sick. AAEP, American Association of Equine Practitioners, provides guidelines to help formulate a vaccination program for each individual horse based on its potential exposure to various infectious diseases. 
“Core” vaccines are considered to be safe, efficacious and protective against diseases endemic to a region. Core vaccines include Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, West Nile, Tetanus and Rabies. “Risk-based” vaccines are recommended for horses with increased exposure to certain infectious diseases. Some “risk-based” vaccines commonly administered in New England include Influenza, Equine Herpesvirus, Strangles, and Botulism. 
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), also known as sleeping sickness, is transmitted by mosquitoes. It causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in a variety of clinical signs, some of which include fever, depression, blindness and recumbency. EEE is almost always fatal. Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) is also transmitted by mosquitoes, however it is primarily found in the western states. WEE results in similar clinical signs as EEE, but is less fatal with approximately 50% of infected horses recovering. Another virus transmitted by mosquitoes is West Nile Virus. Not all horses infected with West Nile Virus will exhibit clinical signs. Some clinical signs exhibited by affected horses include fever, depression, ataxia (“wobbly gait”) and muscle fasciculations (twitching). 
Tetanus is a disease caused by a neurotoxin originating from Clostridium tetani (an anaerobic bacterium). The spores of Clostridium tetani can live in the environment for years and infect puncture wounds, lacerations, and surgical sites. Common clinical signs resulting from infection include muscle contraction/spasm primarily of the head and face and protrusion of the third eyelid. 
Rabies is contracted through the bite of an infected animal. It is always fatal and poses a risk for humans. Horses infected with rabies can exhibit a wide range of clinical signs, ranging from depression to colic. A few more commonly seen signs include hyperesthesia (irritability when touched), inability to swallow, and salivation. 
Vaccinations against EEE/WEE, West Nile, Tetanus, and Rabies are highly effective and recommended for all horses residing in New England. 
Recommendations for “risk-based” vaccines are based on a horse’s potential exposure to the following diseases. 
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus spread through aerosolized droplets when a horse coughs. Typical clinical signs include fever, serous nasal discharge, enlarged submandibular lymph nodes, and cough. Equine Herpesvirus (EHV Type 1 and EHV Type 4), also known as Rhinopneumonitis, causes respiratory disease that is spread through direct and indirect contact with nasal secretions. EHV-1 is also associated with neurologic disease. The vaccine provides protection against the respiratory form of the disease but not the neurologic form of the disease. Strangles is caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus equi subspecies equi. It is transmitted by direct or indirect contact with infected horses or sub-clinical carriers (ie. carriers of the organism that are not outwardly showing clinical signs). The ability for the organism to survive in the environment, in addition to subclinical carriers, makes Strangles a difficult disease to control during an outbreak. 
The vaccines for Influenza, Equine Herpesvirus, and Strangles provide a degree of protection against the disease and can help lessen the course of disease, however, do not completely prevent disease. Therefore, it is important to decrease potential exposure when possible. 
Botulism is the result of toxins produced by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. Horses ingest the toxin from eating decaying plant material or animal carcass remnants in feed, most commonly round bales of hay. Clinical signs include inability to swallow and muscle weakness progressing to paralysis. 
It is important to understand the various potential infectious diseases and the protective vaccines available to the horse population to allow you to formulate an appropriate vaccination protocol for your individual horse under the guidance of your veterinarian. 

Thank you to Dr. Monika Calitri of Seacoast Equine for this article.
Get to Know- Ella Kaniclides
The 2018 Modified Junior Medal Final at the 10th anniversary Downeast Medal Finals was won by Ella Kaniclides. In this Get to Know series, we will be highlighting the champions of our 2018 Medal Finals classes as well as our 2018 Hunter Derbies. Here is what Ella had to say:

" Hi, I'm Ella Kaniclides, I live in West Newbury, MA and I'm 13 years old. I have been riding for eight years with Olana Laffey at Evenstride in Byfield. I found my interest in horses when my mom signed me up for lessons to try something new and from there my journey took off! I have never owned a horse but have leased many. This summer of 2018 I had decided to lease Peanut. Having him to ride six days a week for five months was a turning point for my riding career. I had never gone to Downeast before so winning the modified junior medal was unbelievable. One of the best parts about riding that has kept me going this long is working with a fantastic team of horses and people. This sport brings you closer together with the people you spend hours with at horse shows and around the barn. It also brings you closer together with the horses you ride and spend time with, and that's what makes this sport so amazing. My experience at Downeast was great! I met tons of new, talented, and friendly people. I really hope to be there this year in 2019! "
Upcoming Shows with Downeast Qualifying Classes
Apr. 14 Evenstride Newbury, MA
Apr. 14 Wild Iris Equestrian Hiram, ME
Apr. 20 Cornerstone Haverhill, MA
Apr. 28 Central Mass Horse Show Spencer, MA
Apr. 28 Lucky Clover Stables Sanford, ME
May 4 Senator Bell Derry, NH
May 10-12 NHHJA Spring Show Northampton, MA
May 19 Central Mass Horse Show Spencer, MA
May 19 Cornerstone Haverhill, MA
May 19 Lucky Clover Stables Sanford, ME
May 25 Senator Bell Derry, NH
Want to see your show listed here? Fill out our  Downeast Classes Form !
Become a Downeast Medal Finals Sponsor:
All levels accepted and appreciated! 
Visit  for more information.
For more information, to list your show with Downeast qualifying classes, to be featured as a Downeast spotlight rider, or to become a sponsor, please email Ginger at .

Thank you to Spotted Vision Photography and Riitta Fortier for providing us with many wonderful photographs from the Downeast Medal Finals.
Bernard Klingenstein/Euclide Albert Memorial
Lucky Clover Stables (207-651-1881)
Maggie Mae Memorial
My Horse Heroes Memorial
Peter N. Thompson Memorial
SeaHorse Stables
Seery Hill