By Erin Ryder
Officials at Charles Town Races and Slots are again allowing horses to come and go after test results indicated that a sick horse on the property does not have equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).
"Everything is back to normal," said Dickie Moore, general manager of the Charles Town, W.V., facility. "We're back to racing tonight and we're letting horses ship in and ship out."
Charles Town currently offers live Thoroughbred racing four days a week. The track stables 1,300 horses, and horses often travel between Charles Town and Colonial Downs in Virginia; Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia; and Hollywood Casino at Penn National in Pennsylvania.
Equine movement on and off the grounds was called to a halt earlier this week when a racehorse in the stabling area displayed neurologic signs. A veterinarian who examined the animal suspected EHV-1 and notified track officials and state animal health authorities.
Moore said the affected horse was "still not 100%" as of July 18, but it was under veterinary treatment and was reported to be eating.
EHV-1 is a form of herpesvirus that can cause fevers and neurologic signs that range from incoordination and weakness in the hind limbs to paralysis. Precautions are necessary because EHV-1 is highly contagious and can spread through the air. It can also be passed on shared tack and barn equipment, as well as human hands and clothing, making tight biosecurity essential to stop it from spreading.