Charlotte Dujardin withdraws Uthopia from Addington over equine herpes fears

  • Several dressage riders — including Charlotte Dujardin— have pulled out of Addington CDI3* this weekend (29-31 March), due to fears about the equine herpes (EHV-1) outbreak.

    Charlotte was due to compete her mentor, Carl Hester’s Olympic mount, Uthopia. But Carl announced yesterday that the stallion had been withdrawn.

    “Sadly, due to various outbreaks we have decided to be safe and think of the rest of the season,” he tweeted.

    Michael and Maria Eilberg, Richard Davison, Dan Watson and Gareth Hughes have all followed suit.

    “We will not be running Fideramber. It’s just not worth it!” wrote Dan on Facebook.

    Tim Price of Addington told H&H he was disappointed by the loss of high profile names — because he had done “everything British Dressage asked of us and more”.

    Mr Price said strict bio-security measures were in place.

    “We’ve power hosed and disinfected all the stables, and every horse will be checked over in an isolation box when it comes in,” he said.

    EHV-1 can cause paralysis and abortion in pregnant mares.

    It first surfaced in a hunting yard in Moreton-in-Marsh associated with the Heythrop in early February.

    Two weeks ago, it resurfaced in Lady Inchcape’s yard in Evenlode, Glos, where Dan Greenwood is based. One horse had to be euthanased.

    On 17 March, a case of EHV-1 was confirmed in a hunt horse in the Duke of Beaufort’s stables at Badminton.

    Since then, one case has been confirmed in a dressage horse on a yard in Aberdeen, in a horse that had competed at Myerscough Premier League (6-10 March).

    Two further cases have been confirmed in Gloucestershire.

    The Gloucestershire cases — thought to have been transmitted in the hunting field — are not thought to be related to the incident in Aberdeen.

    There has been consternation amongst dressage riders, with some calling on British Dressage (BD) to postpone the winter championships at Hartpury (10-14 April).

    Yesterday (27 March), BD announced that the championships would go ahead.

    A spokesman said the decision was based on “extensive veterinary advice” and stringent bio-security measures would be put in place. All horses will undergo a health check before entering the venue and stables will be disinfected between horses.

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