A meeting was held yesterday between trainers and four California state veterinarians at HITS Thermal in Thermal, Calif., to lay out precautionary measures for dealing with the recent case of EHV-1 found in neighboring Indio.
The affected horse, located at the Empire Polo Club approximately 7 miles from HITS Thermal, was euthanized Jan. 24 after showing neurologic symptoms, and a necropsy confirmed the EHV-1. The polo club has instituted a 21-day quarantine.
HITS set out the following precautions:
- No daily ship-ins allowed, effective immediately.
- Upon arrival of horses to the show grounds, full disclosure for each horse as to where it came from, where it has been and how much contact with other horses it has had.
- Keep control of contact among horses.
- Procedures laid out for horse owners to take the temperature of each horse twice a day. An unexplained fever of 102 or higher should be reported to Dr. Peters of Hagyard Vet Clinic on grounds, for evaluation.
- In a precautionary measure, horses in question will be relocated to one of several isolation stalls currently being erected on the grounds for further evaluation.
“When directly asked, ‘Is the HITS show a safe place to bring horses to compete for the circuit?’ all four of the vets quickly and emphatically answered, ‘Yes, the risk is low and being monitored by all of us and the state. Information will be quickly relayed to horsemen. Keep checking the California Department of Food and Agriculture website for updates,’ ” said a statement released by HITS on Jan. 25.
There have been 16 confirmed cases of EHV-1 at a separate facility in Orange County, Calif., with one horse showing neurological symptoms. That horse is recovering. A horse was euthanized at that facility on Jan. 18 after becoming recumbent, but a necropsy did not confirm the recumbancy was due to EHV-1.
For more information on the California cases, visit the CFDA website.