Turfway Initiates Steps to Safeguard Against Spread of Equine Herpes

Edited Turfway Park release
Turfway Park officials, representatives from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky Horse Racing Authority officials, and representatives from the Kentucky HBPA met Monday morning at Turfway Park to provide a current status of horses exposed to equine herpes in Barn 26 at Turfway Park.

According to Dr. Robert Stout, Kentucky state veterinarian with the Department of Agriculture, there remains only one case of equine herpes where clinical evidence confirms the manifestation of the neurological variety of the disease. The horse, Coupe Aux Marrons, trained by Charles Simon, was euthanized at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky, on Friday, December 23, 2005.

Based on blood samples analyzed at the University of Lexington Livestock Diagnostic Center in Lexington, Kentucky, other horses housed in Barn 26 have been exposed to the virus. None of the horses who have tested positive for the presence of the virus exhibit any symptoms of the neurological manifestation of the virus. According to Stout, "At the current time, other horses in Barn 26 who may have been exposed to this virus are not exhibiting clinical signs of EVH-1 infection. We have reports that each of those horses appears to be in satisfactory condition with no negative effects resulting from exposure."

All horses domiciled in Barn 26 were required to be tested to determine if virus were present in their bloodstream or nasal secretions.

Stout, KHRA veterinarian Dr. Nancy Davis, and chief state steward John Veitch all confirmed that no evidence exists that any horse beyond those housed in Barn 26 have been exposed to the virus.

In addition to precautionary steps implemented by Turfway Park on Wednesday, December 21, 2005, Turfway Park officials announced the following additional precautions:

--Effective Wednesday, December 28, 2005, all horses shipping onto Turfway Park grounds will be required to show a current health certificate issued within 24 hours of arriving at Turfway Park.
--Effective Wednesday, December 28, 2005, all horses shipping from Turfway Park will be required to show a current health certificate issued within 24 hours of leaving Turfway Park.
--Effective Wednesday, January 11, 2006, all horses providing pony-to-post services will be required to demonstrate inoculation against equine herpes no sooner than January 4, 2006, and no later than 90 days prior to the date of arrival.
--Effective Wednesday, January 11, 2006, all horses shipping onto Turfway Park grounds will be required to demonstrate inoculation against equine herpes no sooner than January 4, 2006, and no later than 90 days prior to the date of arrival.

Turfway Park president Robert N. Elliston commented, "These steps, while perhaps inconvenient, will continue to provide confidence to our horsemen and other racing jurisdictions that we are taking whatever steps necessary to ensure the safety of these animals. With the assistance of Dr. Stout‚s team, the KHRA, and Kentucky horsemen, we are trying to ensure a safe environment and a return to normalcy as soon as possible for those horsemen adversely affected in Barn 26."

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