Update Regarding Equine Herpesvirus Results at Winter Equestrian Festival

Apr 3, 2021 - 1:06 PM

Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) reports that a horse in Tent #17 was reported with a fever in the late morning of Thursday, April 1st.

The horse – Horse A – was isolated to the quarantine stalls immediately on Thursday for Equine herpesvirus testing and treatment. Nasal and blood tests were pulled and sent out for rapid testing.

Friday night at 7 pm (last night) the results came back from the lab that the nasal test was positive for EHV-1 and the blood was negative.

At 7:30 pm a teleconference was held with Palm Beach Equine Clinic Veterinarians and the State Vet. The decision to place the single barn aisle where the horse was stabled in quarantine was made.

Management met with the barn owner last night and established a barrier at the end of their aisle and went over biosecurity protocols.

The State Vet met with ESP management and the Horse A barn owner this morning. At this point, two aisles in Tent 17 are under mandatory quarantine, and a third aisle is voluntarily quarantining. The rest of Tent 17 is considered not to be at risk.

Horse (A) remains isolated and is currently bright and not showing any neurologic signs. The owner made the decision this morning to have the horse transported to the University of Florida for treatment.

ESP has been working closely and in direct communication with Palm Beach Equine Clinic and the State Vet to ensure we are receiving the most accurate information as quickly as possible since the fever was first noted in Horse A. 

ESP has long-standing strict protocols in place regarding rapid isolation and testing of febrile horses and we are confident these protocols will limit transmission and enable us to continue showing safely.

It is our shared responsibility to keep our horses safe. Similar to the suggested protocols in place for humans due to COVID-19, we urge all equestrians to please remember and abide by the following biosecurity measures: 

  • Take all horses’ temperature daily and report any horse with a temperature above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or any signs of respiratory or neurological disease to your veterinarian and/or show management
  • Take the temperature of all horses prior to shipping to WEF or AGDF, and do not bring any febrile horses to the show
  • Avoid mixing of horses where possible, practice equine ‘social distancing’
  • Ensure good hygiene and biosecurity at the show and your home farms
  • Make sure your horses are currently vaccinated for influenza and EHV.
  • You should be able to document your horse’s normal temperature before arrival. Please do not ship horses with elevated temperatures. It is recommended that you establish a log of temperatures taken at least twice daily. If there is an elevated temperature for more than a 24-hour period, please consult your local Veterinarian immediately
  • Every effort should be made to minimize stress and commingling of horses shipped long distances. Extra hours on a horse van or moving from stable to stable is the fastest way to compromise your horses’ and your neighbor’s horses’ health
  • Please take the time to review equine good hygiene practices and impress its importance to your grooms and barn managers in everyday care

Further biosecurity protocols and additional resources can be found here:

United States Department of Agriculture Information on Equine Herpesvirus

American Association of Equine Practitioners FAQ on Equine Herpesvirus

United States Equestrian Federation Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions

ESP has longstanding protocols to manage such events and will provide further isolation facilities if and as required. Experience has taught us that early identification is key when dealing with disease outbreaks, and this requires cooperation from everyone within the community.

If you have any questions or concerns about your horse’s health, please contact our veterinary partners, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, at 561-793-1599.

ESP Management

Categories: News, Press Releases
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