EHV outbreak: two more horses put down as centres close their doors

  • FOUR horses have been put down during the ongoing Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) outbreak in Hampshire – as more show centres announce closures.

    Crofton Manor Equestrian Centre announced on 8 January that positive cases had been diagnosed at the yard, the first case on the evening of 7 January, and placed the centre on lockdown.

    Two horses were put down last week, and yesterday (12 January) Crofton confirmed two more had been put down.

    “While we are still waiting for all of the blood tests and swab results to come back from the laboratory we can say that the majority are coming back negative,” said the statement.

    “We would like to clarify, and reiterate, that the first case wasn’t confirmed until the evening of 7 January.”

    Blue Barn Equestrian Centre in Kent was among the venues to announce restrictions last week on horses attending who had visited Crofton, but today (13 January) it announced all shows, clinics and arena hire have been cancelled.

    “If no other cases are confirmed and it appears that the disease has been contained then we will review the situation with a view to re-opening next week,” said a statement.

    “We are many miles away from the disease location, but affiliated riders travel far greater distances than unaffiliated ones and having evaluated all the facts as we have them the potential for cross-contamination was just too great for us to take the risk.”

    Other venues including Tweseldown and Sparsholt Equine Centre in Hampshire, Wellington Riding School and BCA Equine Shows and Events in Berkshire, Pyecombe at Brendon Stud in West Sussex, Merrist Wood Arena and Parwood Equestrian Centre in Surrey, are closed owing to the outbreak.

    Tweseldown said staff will review the situation at the end of the week and contact everyone who had booked to hire the venue.

    In a statement Wellington Riding School said it is on lockdown to outside equines until further notice.

    “We have our own horses and ponies as well as liveries on site who have to date not been in contact – we wish to protect support and the equine community with tackling this virus,” it said.

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    “We will update with further information if you are due to visit the centre in the next 14 days, including any transfers on entries accordingly.”

    Pyecombe said if no further outbreaks are confirmed it plans to run its scheduled competitions on 18 and 19 January.

    “We will monitor the ongoing situation on a daily basis” said a statement.

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