On March 16, a horse stabled at the Beaufort Hunt Stables at Badminton House in Gloucestershire, England, was diagnosed with the neurological form of EHV-1. Officials believe a new horse that had recently been moved to the stables had been in contact with an outbreak of the disease at the nearby Heythrop Hunt in February.
The diagnosis comes less than a week after four horses at a dressage facility in Gloucestershire tested positive for the disease.
With six weeks to go until the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials CCI****, the diagnosis has eventers on high alert because horses coming to compete at the event are kept at the Hunt Stables.
“There is a confirmed case of Equine Herpes Virus in the Beaufort Hunt stables at Badminton. We are consulting with our veterinary advisers, including biosecurity experts from the Animal Health Trust so that we can ensure a secure environment for the international event horses, which are not due to come here for another six weeks. We will keep everyone informed of our plans. We will provide a further update in the next few days,” said a statement on Badminton’s website.
On March 21, a statement from Badminton director Hugh Thomas said that the threat of disease had been lifted. “Following confirmation of Equine Herpes Virus in the Beaufort Hunt stables at Badminton, urgent action has been taken to ensure the hygiene and biosecurity of the stables to be used for the Badminton Horse Trials in 6 weeks time. All horses have already been removed from the stables and thorough cleaning and disinfecting will follow shortly. The Equine Herpes Virus cannot survive outside the horse for any appreciable length of time. The Hunt horse that showed clinical signs of infection is improving and is expected to make a full recovery.”
The full report of the veterinary team that has advised the Horse Trials is available to download.