No Sign of Vesicular Stomititis Found at Lone Star

(from Lone Star report)
Lone Star Park officials reported Wednesday that Texas Racing Commission veterinarians examined each of the 1,450 horses stabled in its barn area and none showed signs of vesicular stomititis (VS).

The isolated viral disease that infected three horses on a nine-horse ranch nearly 500 miles southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

"Because Lone Star Park is hosting important national stakes races on Memorial Day and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships this October, it's only natural that we pay close attention to this case, no matter how isolated and remote it is," said Jeff Greco, Lone Star Park general manager. "To cast fears aside, we asked the Texas Racing Commission to oversee these independent examinations so that horsemen around the globe could be assured that it's safe to bring their horses to Lone Star Park."

A team headed by Dr. Stewart Marsh, the chief veterinarian for the Texas Racing Commission, administered the physical examinations.

According to the Texas Animal Health Commission, VS can affect horses, cattle, pigs, and occasionally, sheep, goats and deer, causing blisters to form in the animal's mouth or along the hooves.

The precautionary examinations were triggered May 19 when the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed that three horses on a ranch in a remote and sparsely populated area near Balmorhea, Texas, had clinical signs of VS.

All livestock on the affected ranch – located approximately 480 miles southwest of Lone Star Park near the New Mexico border – are quarantined for several weeks.

No other livestock in the area, including six additional horses and eight head of cattle on the affected ranch, have been diagnosed with the viral disease.