One more horse has died in the European outbreak but as the last four British horses in Valencia are being prepared to return home, the FEI has confirmed there had been no new reported outbreaks linked to Spain. H&H finds out what happens next
THERE have been no new reported outbreaks of equine herpes virus (EHV-1) linked to Spain – although one more horse has died – as the remaining British horses in Valencia prepare to return home, and plans are discussed for the resumption of international competition.
More than four weeks since the European outbreak started at the CES Valencia showjumping tour on 20 February, plans for the departure of the remaining horses at the venue are continuing.
Last week seven British horses left Valencia – and on 29 MArch, the FEI said the final four British horses are scheduled to leave on 31 March, subject to negative test results.
To date 18 horses have died during the outbreak – including one horse in a clinic in Barcelona reported to the FEI on 28 March. On 25 March the FEI confirmed there had been no new reported outbreaks linked to Spain; figures “remained static” at 31 outbreaks in 10 countries.
As international competition prepares to restart from 12 April, the FEI held a stakeholder consultation on 24 March to discuss how to “prevent a recurrence of the devastating EHV-1 outbreak”. Attendees included the FEI veterinary committee, athlete representatives from across the disciplines, international grooms, and chairs of the FEI technical committees. Biosecurity protocols and “mitigation plans for outbreaks” were discussed, which were due to be revealed this week – including “bylaws for temporary measures”.
“The measures we put in place – both short-term and long-term – and especially how effective they are, will depend on our ability as a community to collaborate, to agree to the same set of principles and to fully endorse and implement them in each of our respective areas of responsibility,” said FEI president Ingmar De Vos, adding that he was confident the consultation was “another milestone in a collective effort” to overcome and learn from the European outbreak.
Emergency measures were brought in for jumping and dressage to allow organisers to schedule events with reduced deadlines for calendar applications and without date-clash rules applying. Similar measures have now been announced for eventing and endurance.
Calendar applications for CCI5*-L, CCI4*-L and CCIO4*-L or CCIO4*-S events have reduced from six weeks to four – and all event organisers may, until the end of the Tokyo Games, organise events on their selected dates (subject to calendar application deadlines) with no date-clash rules applying.
In endurance, measures have been approved for the World Championships, scheduled to take place on 22 May in Italy, including an extension of the nomination entries deadline from 9 April to 21 April – and an increased number of nominated entries for horses and athletes from 10 athletes and 14 horses to 15 athletes and 15 horses.
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