Calder Casino & Race Course on Oct. 29 lifted its racing and training restrictions on approximately 40 horses after they tested negative for equine piroplasmosis (EP), a tick-borne non-contagious blood disease. Tests were conducted by the Florida Veterinary Medical Association.
Those horses, all stabled in one barn, are now allowed to train during regular training hours and race at the Miami Gardens, Fla., track.
The Oct. 29 action completes Calder’s lifting of restrictions it put in place on approximately 120 horses Sept. 12 after a horse that had recently been moved from New Mexico to Florida tested positive for EP.
On Oct. 16, Calder lifted racing and training restrictions on 78 horses stabled at Racetrack Training Center, which is adjacent to Calder’s stables, after those horses tested negative for EP. The training center is not affiliated with Calder.
Equine piroplasmosis results from infection by the protozoa Babesia caballi or Theileria equi (formerly Babesia equi). In most cases, piroplasmosis presents an acute infection, with fever, loss of appetite, malaise, labored or rapid respiration, and congestion of the mucus membranes. In rare cases the disease can be fatal.
On Sept. 24, four Calder-stabled horses that tested positive for that virus were euthanized by decision of their owner. Those horses were among those under restrictions.
Calder did not identify the owner, who chose euthanizing the horses rather than the other options of permanent quarantine or export out of the United States. The horses were trained by Giuseppe Iadisernia.
Separately, Tampa Bay Downs on Oct. 26 sent a notice to horsemen that upon the recommendation from the Florida Department of Agriculture it is requiring that all horses stabling and racing during its 2010-2011 season be tested for EP.
The Oldsmar, Fla., track said all horses must have noted on their health certificate a negative result for the EP test prior to admittance to the stable area. The test is in addition to all previous requirements and is also applicable to stable ponies and lead ponies.
Tampa Bay Downs will begin its 2010-2011 race meet Dec. 11.