The Maryland Department of Agriculture lifted the "General Animal Hold Order" at Pimlico Race Course on Barn 6 after 33 of its 35 horses tested negative for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) on both Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and virus isolation tests. Two horses from Barn 6 did not clear the testing process and are being isolated in Barn 8, the detention barn.
The Barn 6 horses will begin training with the rest of the horse population Friday morning, and may race at Laurel Park beginning Feb. 15. Horses in Barn 6 have been prohibited from mixing with the general horse population since the Department of Agriculture placed a Hold Order on the barn Jan. 13.
"This is positive news and another sign that we are turning the corner at Pimlico," said State Veterinarian Guy Hohenhaus.
The Maryland Jockey Club lifted its self-imposed quarantine on Pimlico Feb. 8, allowing its horses to compete at Laurel Park for the first time since Jan. 21. Three of the 12 Pimlico-based horses were victorious and seven finished in the money.
One barn at Pimlico remains under a Hold Order. The Department of Agriculture plans on taking nasal swabs on the horses stabled in Barn A next week to determine if the virus is present in their nasal secretions.
Three horses from three different Pimlico barns were euthanized last month. The last clinical case of the virus at Pimlico happened Jan. 19.
There have been no outbreaks at Bowie where approximately 600 horses are stabled.