Thursday, February 2, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 2, 2006 . . . State veterinarian Robert Stout on Thursday rescinded the quarantine order on Barn 27 at Turfway Park, the last order in place following an outbreak of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) at the track. The release signals the end of all quarantine restrictions at Turfway.
Barn 27 was quarantined January 6 when some horses stabled there tested positive for exposure to the virus, which can attack horses’ upper respiratory and neurological systems. The 52 horses stabled in Barn 27 will resume training with the general population on Friday, February 3.
Said Turfway Park president Robert N. Elliston, “On behalf of all of us at Turfway, I want to express my appreciation for the outstanding cooperation we received from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, KHRA state veterinarian Nancy Davis, and the diagnostic lab at the University of Kentucky. We also appreciate the patience and understanding our horsemen have shown as we worked to ensure the safety and well-being of all the horses at Turfway.”
The outbreak was discovered and the original quarantine imposed on December 21 when the filly Coupe Aux Marrons exhibited neurological manifestations of the disease; she was euthanized two days later. Barn 26 was released from quarantine January 19 following negative test results from the 48 horses stabled there.
The outriders’ barn housing six horses was included in the quarantine on December 30 after an outrider pony exhibited signs of the neurological disorder; the pony was euthanized January 1. The barn housing 28 lead ponies was added to the list January 4 after two ponies tested positive for exposure. All lead and outrider ponies were moved to the Boone County Fair Grounds on January 6 and their barns sanitized. The quarantine affecting lead and outrider ponies was lifted January 23 and they returned to work the following day.
Turfway Park management instituted stringent measures to contain the virus as soon as it was discovered, including 24-hour security at the affected barns. In addition, all gate crew and the horse identifier were required to wear and change gloves each time they came in contact with a different horse, and the receiving barn was disinfected every day. Effective December 28, horses shipping in or leaving Turfway must show health certificates issued within the preceding 10 days. Effective January 11, all shippers and all horses providing pony-to-post services must show proof of inoculation against EHV-1.
Said E. S. “Rusty” Ford, equine program manager for the Office of the State Veterinarian, “We take this opportunity to again commend the horsemen, attending veterinarians, Turfway Park's management and the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for the quick response and proactive direction taken to effectively manage and minimize the spread of this disease. In addition we thank Steve Sells at the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center for the countless hours he provided with the diagnostic testing.”