Folly House, Lambourn


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Thursday 7th February 2019 - Equine influenza outbreak

07-February-2019 16:57
in General
by Admin

I am pleased to report that our yard hasn’t suffered from the Equine influenza outbreak, and all of our horses are 100% fit and healthy.

Three horses that are believed to be from Donald McCain’s yard tested positive to Equine flu yesterday.  Those three horses had all been vaccinated as per the rules of racing, but the Equine Flu virus seems to have mutated faster than the pharmaceutical companies have updated their vaccines, and hence these three horses have tested positive.

Equine influenza is a highly infectious disease of horses, mules and donkeys, occurring globally caused by strains of Influenza A virus. It is the most potentially damaging of the respiratory viruses that occur in UK equines.  Equine flu can be highly contagious and – unlike other infectious diseases – can be airborne over reasonable distances as well as transmitted indirectly, including via people.

Unfortunately Donald McCain had runners at Wolverhampton on Monday as well as Ludlow and Ayr yesterday so there is a risk that the Equine Flu has spread to anyone with runners at those meetings.  All trainers who had runners at those meetings have received a letter by email from the BHA closing their yards.  The BHA also announced that all racing was cancelled today as a precautionary measure to restrict the movement of thoroughbred race horses and prevent any further spread of the Equine flu virus.

We are obviously keeping vigilant here and are putting in appropriate biosecurity measures but we are still exercising the horses as per normal. However, we are stopping the movement of people in and out of the yard so it is with regret that we are cancelling any ‘mornings on the gallops’ for the time being.  Your horses’ welfare is of the utmost importance to us. 

The BHA have just announced that racing will be cancelled until Wednesday 13th February at the earliest, in order for the BHA and Animal Health Trust (AHT) to get on top of this outbreak.  I’ll keep you updated with anymore news when we receive it.