Updated test results from an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) at Hawthorne became available Nov. 7, at which time 85 track ponies were all declared negative.
According to a release, 40 racehorses which tested negative were moved from Barn A to Barn 8 at Hawthorne three weeks after the confirmed neurologic cases were discovered within Barn A. Under the directive of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, those horses are now eight days into the 21-day period before they will be tested again to be reintroduced into the horse population. Because of state regulations, no new horses can be added to the group within Barn 8 as their reintroduction period has already begun.
"While we understand there are logistic problems in locating/relocating horses during this timeframe, we have been able to limit the areas to Barns A, 8, and K2," the release read. "As more horses are being tested and coming up negative, we are able to create another area for negative horses so they may begin their reintroduction to the horse population. Those horses which have still tested positive will be moved to Barn K2 as all will be put onto the same timeline for testing/reintroduction."
The new negative horses will be allowed to begin training out of Barn A as they begin their 21-day reintroduction process, according to the release. Additionally, those horses within barn K2 which are asymptomatic and have had no fever within the last week will also be able to return to the track to train. Their 21-day reintroduction period will begin when the horses within Barn K2 test negative.
Based on the number of horses that will be returning to the track, training hours at Hawthorne will be adjusted beginning Nov. 10. Regular training hours will be from 6 to 10 a.m. CST with one break at 8 a.m. The starting gate will be available from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Training for horses from Barns A, 8 and K2 will begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon.
"We understand this is a logistical nightmare for many and we thank everyone for their cooperation through this process," said the release. "There are many owners, trainers, veterinarians, and employees that have been displaced through this process. This is time consuming, but we are working to get as many healthy horses back to the track as quickly as possible under the guidelines presented to us by the Department of Agriculture for the State of Illinois."
For more information on Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), please view this fact sheet from our sister publication TheHorse.com: Equine Herpesvirus-1 Fact Sheet