EHV-1 Quarantine Lifted at Fair Grounds

from Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Officials from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana State Racing Commission have lifted the quarantine on a barn that had been in place since late December at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

All 66 horses in the barn tested negative for equine herpesvirus the week of Jan. 11. The barn, which houses horses trained by Dallas Stewart and Neil Howard, was placed under quarantine Dec. 26 after test results confirmed that a horse in that barn was infected with EHV-1. The quarantine was ordered after a Thoroughbred trained by Stewart displayed symptoms of the virus Dec. 23, and the diagnosis was confirmed a day later.

The lifting of the quarantine means horses that tested negative were able to resume training with the rest of the horse population, and can be entered to race.

The five horses that had positive tests for equine herpes Dec. 29 remain off grounds and were to be tested again Jan. 19. If the horses test negative, they will be allowed to rejoin the horse population at Fair Grounds.

“We are most grateful not only to the LSRC and the Department of Agriculture for their guidance and assistance, but to our horsemen for their diligence in dealing with the quarantine,” Fair Grounds vice president and general manager of racing Eric Halstrom said.

As a safety precaution, measures implemented for horses shipping to Fair Grounds will remain in place through the remainder of the racing season, Halstrom said. The measures, as recommended by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, include a normal temperature reading upon arrival, and records of a certified veterinary inspection within the last 48 hours and a herpes vaccination from not less than 14 and not more than 90 days ago.

The training schedule for the horses in question returned to the normal 6-10 a.m. CST Jan. 19.

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