Nearly 500 Thoroughbreds in training at Payson Park Thoroughbred Training Center in Indiantown, Fla., will be quarantined for three weeks after a horse tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 Feb. 29.
Payson Park general manager Mary Gallagher said the 21-day quarantine begins today, March 1, for all horses on the grounds. Under that quarantine, the estimated 480 Thoroughbreds in training at Payson Park will be able to continue to exercise but will not be able to leave the grounds. No new horses will be allowed to enter the property.
Gallagher said March 1 that state regulatory veterinarians have been on the grounds since yesterday. She also noted that the horse in question was moved from her barn to a quarantine barn immediately after she showed symptoms of lethargy. Blood tests came back positive Feb. 29 for EHV-1.
"We had moved the horse just based on the fact that she was lethargic. At that point two of our vets here got involved and did the blood work and necessary procedures," Gallagher said. "She was placed in our quarantine barn at the end of our property so that's when we found out it was a positive and immediately we took up with the state about what we needed to do next."
In a series of Tweets, trainer Christophe Clement acknowledged the quarantine and Payson Park's efforts to handle the situation.
Today, a horse in another barn was diagnosed with EHV1. As a precautionary measure, all horses from Payson are under quarantine for 21 days.— Christophe Clement (@clementstable) March 1, 2016
That being said, I don't think there is any better place for all the horses to be quarantined than Payson.— Christophe Clement (@clementstable) March 1, 2016
All we can do now is patiently wait until we can run again and know that we have taken all the proper precautionary steps to be safe.— Christophe Clement (@clementstable) March 1, 2016
Besides Clement, other trainers with horses at Payson Park include Bill Mott, Shug McGaughey, and Roger Attfield among many others. Gallagher credited Payson Park trainers with their efforts to assist with the protocol.
"They've given us our instructions and we're following them to the 'T,'" Gallagher said. "We'd already jumped on it ourselves with every precautionary measure we could possibly think of then we waited from orders from the state, which we've followed explicitly."
The Equine Disease Communication Center said the horse had been imported from Virginia and traveled with additional horses that off loaded in South Carolina. Both Virginia and South Carolina have been notified and placed these premises under quarantine.