The equine herpesvirus outbreak at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots continues to have repercussions throughout the industry, with the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. becoming the second major sales company to restrict horses from Louisiana.
Ten horses stabled at Fair Grounds in New Orleans have reportedly tested positive for EHV-1 and a quarantine is in place, precluding any horses from entering or leaving the track.
Following similar action taken by Keeneland for the January horses of all ages sale currently underway, OBS will not allow any horse that has been in Louisiana since Dec. 10 onto its grounds for the Jan. 25-26 winter mixed sale. In an advisory to consignors, OBS said the restrictions apply to horses entered in the mixed portion of the sale as well as those consigned as racehorses.
"OBS appreciates the burden this restriction places on some of our consignors and their owners for this sale, but we feel it is important to take these measures in order to provide as safe a sales environment as possible for both buyers and sellers for the January sale as well as our upcoming sales in March, April, and June," the memorandum stated. "Additionally, by joining facilities both in Florida and other states, we hope to assist in preventing the spread of this disease, thereby ending this current outbreak quickly. We apologize for any inconvenience."
OBS said sale entry fees would be refunded for any horses forced to withdraw due to the restrictions, and reminded consignors to make sure all other horses in their consignment have completed all vaccinations, including EHV-1.
"It is unfortunate but we believe it is important to join the rest of the industry to try to contain this situation and also to protect the horses in our sale," said OBS sales director Tod Wojciechowski.
Wojciechowski said he is uncertain how many horses will be impacted by the sales company's action, but noted it included "some nice yearlings, racehorses, and broodmares."
Meanwhile, some horses withdrawn from the Keeneland sale due to restrictions on horses from the Bayou state have been supplemented to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale Feb. 6-7 in Lexington.
Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency said Cinnamon Spice, a Candy Ride mare who has won or placed in six of nine starts, was among the two horses withdrawn from Keeneland that have been supplemented to the Fasig-Tipton sale. Although Taylor Made's veterinarian believes both horses that had been at Fair Grounds are outside the incubation window, Taylor said both horses are quarantined from other horses at the farm.
Included among the additional horses withdrawn from Keeneland due to the restrictions were Uchenna, a grade 3 winner in Canada; Savings Account, a stakes-winning, grade 1-placed daughter of Medaglia d'Oro ; and Queen Jolene, a daughter of Bernardini from the family of champion Stevie Wonderboy.
After the Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian imposed an embargo on any horses that have been at a Louisiana track or training facility since Dec.10 from shipping to any track or training facility in Kentucky, Keeneland placed restrictions on any horse that had been In Louisiana following that date.
In addition to some of the horses withdrawn from Keeneland being supplemented to the Fasig-Tipton sale, Keeneland was assisting potential buyers in how to arrange to see the horses on Central Kentucky farms.