Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, and Hotel ended May 10 the additional equine herpesvirus-1 biosecurity protocols implemented April 18.
"Barns that were placed under restriction will be able to resume their normal operations and schedules in the stable area and on the racetrack," said Dr. John Sweeney, Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission state veterinarian at Prairie Meadows. "Trainers can enter horses that were on restriction in races now. We took proactive and aggressive action when we implemented the additional protocols, and we are confident that it was the right decision given the situation last month."
The additional EHV-1 bio-security protocols were implemented after horses shipped in to Prairie Meadows from Fonner Park just before three horses at the Nebraska track tested positive for the virus. Prairie Meadows never had any horse test positive for EHV-1 or show any symptoms of the virus, according to Sweeney. Starting May 17 Prairie Meadows will begin allowing horses from Fonner Park and Nebraska into the stable area.
"Now that the restrictions are lifted, we expect to see our horse count increase," said Chad Keller, Prairie Meadows assistant racing secretary. "That should lead to more horses in every race and more competitive racing."