Jim Lisa Photos

Calder Quarantines Fourth Barn

Second horse is showing symptoms of Equine Herpes Virus.

Calder Race Course Dec. 3 placed a fourth barn under quarantineafter a track veterinarian determined that a horse in the barn was showing neurological signs of illness.

John Marshall, Calder vice president and general manager of racing, said the symptoms were similar to those of a horse that became ill at Calder over the Nov. 28-29 weekend and tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1).   That unidentified horse was transported to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, Fla., where it was euthanized Nov. 30.

Equine herpesvirus-1 can spread through direct contact or through the air, which makes the disease a concern where groups of horses congregate. The clinical signs of EHV-1 include fever and nasal discharge, and more rarely, neurologic signs (including an inability to control the hind limbs and tail).
Calder on Nov. 30 placed the barn where the horse was stabled and two other barns under quarantine. Bill White, trainer of that horse, has horses in all three barns.

The expanded quarantine raises the number of horses under quarantine from 56 to 118. The Miami Gardens, Fla., track has about 1,800 horses in its stable area.

Calder expects results of tests on the second horse will be back by Dec. 5. The track will then determine whether to remove the fourth barn from quarantine.

Under the quarantine, horses in the four barns are not permitted to race until Dec. 21. As part of not being part of the general population, they can only train during designated hours. The quarantined horses cannot be moved to other barns during the quarantine.

Calder has begun additional precautions to help prevent any spread of illness, Marshall said.  That includes foot-washing stations in the quarantined barns, and extra hand sanitizing measures for workers in those barns.

Calder will not allow horses to ship in for stabling or to race through Dec. 14.

That is  the main reason that Calder on Dec. 1 announced the indefinite postponement of two graded stakes that were scheduled for Dec. 5. The $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) and the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT) had likely favorites and other horses that have been training at South Florida locations other than Calder.

Otherwise, Marshall said Calder is not planning changes in the schedule for its meet that runs through Jan. 2.

“We are taking all precautionary measures for our horses, and to ensure the health of the horse population at Gulfstream, other locations in South Florida, Tampa, and in Ocala for our breeder friends,” Marshall said.

Calder is working with the Florida Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture in that effort, he said.

On Nov. 30, Tampa Bay Downs said it will not permit horses currently stabled at Calder to be on its backside.

“There are no cases of EHV-1 at Tampa Bay Downs,” the Oldsmar, Fla., the track said in a statement that day.   The track will begin its race meet Dec. 12.

EVH-1 is a contagious disease spread among horses with flu-like symptoms, including fever or respiratory infection.