Equestrian centres across north Wales have shut down for two weeks following an outbreak of strangles in the area.
Some competitions and training sessions in North Wales have been cancelled following the outbreak.
The first yard to shut down two weeks ago was Marian Back Equestrian Centre near Holywell.
Owner Rose Brooke told H&H she has cancelled three competitions due to take place in April, and two dressage clinics.
“My gate is closed to everybody,” said Mrs Brooke.
Mynydd Delyn Riding Club has postponed its first show on 24 April on vets’ advice.
“Unfortunately it seems that cases are on the rise and not being isolated therefore we do not want to put our competitors and ourselves, as horse owners, at risk,” the club said on its website.
Replacement dates are being considered and entries refunded or transferred to the next show.
Lloc & District Riding Club also cancelled its first show of the year on 3 April following fears of new suspected strangles cases nearby.
“Can we please ask people to not to travel off yards with strangles or suspected strangles as if we do not contain it now there may be no shows to attend in 2016,” the club warned on its Facebook page last week.
On 30 March, Coleg Cambria announced its Northop Equine Centre would be closing to horses and the public for at least four weeks following the spread of the strangles outbreak.
The situation will be reviewed and a decision as to when to reopen taken on the advice of the vet.
Students will still be able to attend the college with biosecuriy precautions put into place for those coming on to the equine centre.
The Flint & Denbigh Hunt Pony Club has cancelled all mounted rallies and training sessions on vets’ advice for the next two weeks.
One of the largest yards to shut down is Maelor Equestrian Centre in Hope, Flintshire, which has cancelled all activities, including shows and training, until 17 April.
The date may change if more cases of strangles are confirmed in the area.
“We have not taken this decision lightly, but with numerous yards being confirmed with strangles, owners continuing to move horses and compete, we are unwilling to allow our competitors to become at risk from this disease,” said the centre on its website.
Vet nurse Christine Roberts, of RD Owen Equine Clinic, said vets are confident the outbreak is under control “but to assist in this a lot of local competitions and equestrian venues have shut down for the next two weeks as a precaution”.
“We urge people to maintain good hygiene at all times as it is a contact disease and strangles is always around,” she told H&H.
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The outbreak in North Wales follows another in Hampshire in March, which caused equine centres to cancel Easter shows (see H&H 17 March). The horse who had contracted the disease, Blue, has since died.