All horses staying or racing at Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa, Fla., during the 2010-2011 racing season will be required to test negative for equine piroplasmosis (EP) before admission to track stabling, according to a statement on the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association's website.
Stable and lead ponies, in addition to racehorses, must display a negative EP test result on their health certificates. The mandate comes following a recommendation from the Florida Department of Agriculture.
"All horsemen have indicated compliance and we are not expecting any problems," says Margo Flynn, vice president of marketing and publicity at Tampa Bay Downs.
Flynn says that both Gulfstream Park in Hallandale and Hialeah Park in Hialeah will also require EP testing.
In 2010 four horses tested positive for EP at Calder Race Course in Miami Gardens. Subsequently, on Sept. 12, restrictions were placed on horses stabled in one barn at the race track as well as those that were stabled at a nearby training facility. The restrictions were finally lifted on Oct. 16.
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.