A barn at Charles Town Races & Slots was placed under quarantine March 10 after a local veterinarian reported he was treating a 4-year-old filly for neurological symptoms of an unknown origin.
Live racing and training at the West Virginia facility have been suspended through the evening of March13 pending test results on the sick horse, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture said in a March 11 release.
“Because we are unsure of what we're dealing with at this particular time, the department’s state veterinarian, the Charles Town track veterinarian, and the racing stewards have agreed it would be best to quarantine the barn and suspend events at the track until we can determine what this horse is suffering from,” said West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Gus Douglass said in a statement.
Test results on samples taken from the horse should be complete later in the week, State Veterinarian Joe Starcher said.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture, in its own release, said there is no immediate threat to Maryland horses. “Maryland’s state veterinarian is satisfied that the West Virginia Department of Agriculture has taken all necessary and appropriate steps to control any diseases that may be present,” the department said in a release.
West Virginia and Maryland border each other. Racehorses regularly ship between Charles Town and Maryland racetracks and training centers.