Keeneland Seeks to Protect Sale Horses from EHV-1

Because of the recent equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak in Florida, Keeneland officials have issued additional requirements that must be met before horses enter the sale grounds in Lexington for the January horses of all ages auction.

"With the outbreak of EHV-1, we have to take all precautions to guarantee the health of all the horses that are going to be sold here," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "We have horses coming here from all over North America, so we want to make sure everything is taken care of."

The requirements were listed in a letter to consignors, dated Dec. 20. They are as follows:

--Health certificates (Certificates of Veterinary Inspection, CVI) must be provided upon arrival at the sale grounds. The CVI must be signed and dated by a licensed veterinarian within 72 hours prior to arrival.

--Each horse listed on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection shall have been vaccinated against EHV-1 a minimum of seven days and no more than 90 days prior to entry to Keeneland, and the CVI shall so state for each horse listed.

--The Certificate of Veterinary Inspection should also state that the horses listed have not been stabled with nor been in contact with any known cases of EHV-1.

Russell said Keeneland has added requirements of entry to deal with similar situations in the past.

According to the letter, the Kentucky State Veterinary Office has advised Keeneland that there is currently no indication of EHV-1 affecting Kentucky's racing population.

The January sale begins Jan. 8.