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Home > Scientific expertise > Specific information and recommendations > International competition horse movement > "High health high performance" (HHP) horses

High health, high performance (HHP) horses

Facilitation of International Competition Horse Movement - Regional conferences - Equine disease free zones


The HHP concept is built on the precondition that competition horses are under continuous veterinary supervision and of general high health status in order to be fit to compete in top level international competitions, and therefore pose a very low risk of transmitting infectious diseases.
Based on the established OIE principles of zoning and compartmentalisation, biosecurity, health certification, identification and traceability described in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code, the concept of a “high health equine subpopulation” and of individual HHP horses selected from this sub-population was elaborated and adopted in the Code in 2014 (Chapter 4.16 High health status horse subpopulation).
The health status of this equine subpopulation is safeguarded by the application of specific measures pertaining to veterinary supervision and certification, identification and traceability and compliance to biosecurity measures to create and maintain a functional separation between horses in the “high health equine subpopulation” and other equids, at all times, including the usual place of residence and venues of international competitions, and during transport by road or air. This compliance is assured and validated through continuous veterinary supervision.

Operationalisation of the HHP Concept

Management and Biosecurity Guidelines

At the request of Member Countries, the general principles as described in the Code Chapter 4.16 have been developed into guidelines on the management and biosecurity of this specific subpopulation of horses.

The OIE Handbook for the Management of High Health, High Performance (HHP) horses (“HHP handbook”) provides guidance to OIE Member Countries in their application of the concept for the temporary entry of sport horses for competition purposes.

In order to facilitate the practical application of the HHP concept, further guidance is provided in Industry’s Operational Guidelines developed by the FEI and the IFHA, in line with the principles established by the OIE.

The HHP concept remains a work in progress in terms of its operationalization and implementation at the global level. Therefore, the OIE values OIE Member Countries’ comments based on their experience in view of the continuous improvement of the HHP concept.

OIE Member Countries’ comments on the HHP framework are formally reviewed by the OIE Scientific and Technical Department, and if deemed appropriate brought to the attention of the Scientific Commission, the Terrestrial Code Commission, ad hoc groups, or the Horse Industry to be further considered. As a result, the HHP framework is continuously improved and amended versions of the HHP Handbook are posted regularly.





HHP Handbook V3 – Released in December 2016

Split the HHP Veterinary Certificate into two different Certificates serving two different purposes:

- A HHP Initial Veterinary Certificate for the initial travel from the country of usual residence to the first country of temporary residence

- A HHP Onward Veterinary Certificate for all subsequent onward travels between countries of temporary residence / event venues and for the last journey back to the country of usual residence

Additions to the Glossary;


 Edits and clarifications to Part I & II

Revisions to Part III & IV

HHP Handbook V2 – Released in May 2016

Updated guidance on biosecurity and HHP management based on member countries’ comments examined by the Scientific Commission as of February 2016

Additions to the Glossary;

 Edits and clarifications to Part I & II

HHP Handbook V1 – Released in September 2015 

Original Version


Model HHP Veterinary Certificate


A key element for the worldwide application of the HHP concept for international competition horse movement is the Veterinary Health Certificates to be used specifically for HHP horses. Model HHP Veterinary Certificates for the initial certification of HHP horses and for onward travels have been developed and are available as reference documents (HHP handbook). After a HHP Initial Veterinary Certificate has been issued to initiate a HHP journey, a HHP horse can travel to multiple destinations using multiple issues of the HHP onward Veterinary Certificate, up to a maximum of 90 days before returning to the country of usual residence. To begin a new HHP journey, a new HHP Initial Veterinary Certificate should be issued. Specific health requirements in the Model HHP Certificates are limited to the six diseases that were identified as essential for the HHP subpopulation, namely African horse sickness, Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis, equine influenza, equine infectious anemia, glanders and piroplasmosis (Learn more on  the selection of six diseases to be considered for international travel and HHP risk mitigation strategies).


Field testing

The Republic of Korea hosted the 17th Asian Games Equestrian Events in Incheon from 19 September to 4 October 2014. To facilitate the international participation of horses from Asian countries, Korea successfully applied the principles of the HHP equine subpopulation for their health regulations and certification and established an EDFZ to separate the location of the equestrian event from the rest of the country.
Import health requirements were developed in line with the HHP concept, allowing horses to undergo appropriate health preparation in resident countries, travel to the Republic of Korea to compete and travel back to their resident country without quarantine requirements.