Outrider's Pony at Turfway Park Euthanized as Result of Herpesvirus

An outrider's pony at Turfway Park that had run a fever last week and tested positive on Dec. 29, 2005, for herpesvirus developed neurologic signs on Jan. 1, declined rapidly, and was euthanatized, according to Rusty Ford of the Kentucky state veterinarian's office.

As of Jan. 2, no other ponies in the outriders' barn had shown clinical signs of neurologic herpesvirus. The remaining six horses in that barn were sampled again Monday night, Jan. 2, with results expected back at the end of the week.

Ford said no additional horses at Turfway have shown clinical signs of neurologic herpesvirus.

Those horses in Barn 26 (where the outbreak began) that were examined Tuesday, Jan. 3, were not running a fever, and had tested negative for equine herpesvirus, were to be allowed restricted access to the track for training Tuesday morning after regular training hours, noted Ford. He said with Turfway being dark for racing Tuesday, it would give officials a good idea of how much time it would take to secure the regular population of horses at the track after regular training hours, and to get the horses from Barn 26 on and off the track.

The outrider's pony is the second horse from Turfway to be euthanized as a result of the herpesvirus. The first horse, Coupe Aux Marrons, trained by Charles Simon, was euthanized at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky, on Friday, Dec. 23, 2005.

Ford commended the officials, trainers, owners, and veterinarians at Turfway Park for their cooperation in containing the herpesvirus outbreak. He said the proactive means of testing and examination have proven effective thus far in keeping the number of sick horses at a minimum.

A check Tuesday morning at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., determined that no new neurologic cases of equine herpesvirus had come from any location into the clinics.