Bransby Home of Rest for Horses has been forced to cancel its open day for the second time due to strangles.

The Lincolnshire-based centre, which has been open for 40 years, has been plagued by the highly contagious disease for the past two years.

Peter Hunt, the owner of Bransby, told H&H: “We have not been allowed any visitors since August 2006 — which obviously affects us.”

Measures are in place to rid the centre of the disease. Blood tests and nasal swabs have been taken, as well as an endoscopic examination to check for traces of the bacteria.

Mr Hunt added: “We are testing 285 horses, but it obviously takes a long time.”

As well as the ongoing issue with strangles, the centre was flooded in June leaving it struggling to find dry fields for the horses.

It is hoped that the centre will soon be able to reopen to visitors. Temporary isolation paddocks have been prepared for any carriers and it has bought an endoscope to speed up the clearance process.

Mr Hunt said: “We will remain closed to visitors until we get rid of strangles, which hopefully will be this summer.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (17 April, ’08)