Second Horse Tests Positive for EHV After Racetrack Quarantine

A second horse from New York-based racehorse trainer Chris Englehart's string has tested positive for equine herpesvirus (EHV) in the wake of a 4-year-old Thoroughbred filly contracting and subsequently being euthanized as a result of the disease.

"The second horse had a temperature spike of 102.4 on Nov. 22, which prompted an immediate sample collection for EHV-1 tests," said New York state veterinarian David Smith, DVM. "We had positive EHV results in hand the following day."

Smith confirmed that the horse has not been moved from its location.

Englehart's barn at Finger Lakes Racetrack, located in Farmington, and his nearby farm were placed under quarantine after the filly She's Smokin Hot began displaying clinical neurologic signs of EHV on Nov. 17. She was admitted to Cornell University's isolation facility the same day. She later tested positive for the virus and was euthanized on Nov. 19.

Smith said that the strain of EHV the filly contracted is currently unknown.

Both of Englehart's locations will remain under quarantine until 21 days after the last clinical signs of the virus are observed.

"As of this time, all quarantined horses, including the second horse that tested positive, are doing very well with normal temperatures and no clinical signs of disease," Smith said.

There are no additional horses exhibiting signs of EHV, he added.

"We have contacted all recipients we know of who have received horses we believe to have been potentially exposed to the virus," Smith said. "At this time, we have no reports of ill horses beyond the two quarantined premises. So I would say the investigation has progressed quite well."

EHV is a highly contagious virus that can cause a variety of ailments in horses including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease mostly of young horses), abortion in broodmares, and myeloencephalopathy (the neurologic form, which can lead to death).

No one from Finger Lakes Racetrack was available for comment.


Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.