The Maryland Department of Agriculture announced Jan. 22 that horses stabled in Barn 7 at the Bowie Training Center cannot leave until test results are completed for a horse showing symptoms similar to those for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1).
Equine herpesvirus-1 (also known as "rhino"), which causes upper respiratory infection, can also cause neurological disease.
Blood samples and nasal swabs were taken on the horse in question Jan. 22, and the animal was relocated to an empty barn on the grandstand side of the road as a precautionary measure, according to a news release from the Maryland Jockey Club. The "investigational animal hold order" placed on Barn 7 remains in effect until the lab results on these samples are returned, which should be later in the week.
It isn't known exactly how many horses are in Barn 7 but about 500 horses are currently stabled at the Bowie Training Center, according to Mike Gathagan, vice president of communications for the Maryland Jockey Club. The horses in Barn 7 are only allowed to walk the shedrow.
“We are monitoring the situation and taking the proper precautions,” said Chris Dragone, president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “We faced this situation two years ago and wanted to be proactive in communicating what we know.”