E.S. “Rusty” Ford, equine operations consultant for the Kentucky Office of the State Veterinarian, released the following update regarding a diagnosis of EHV-1 at Saratoga Race Course.

On Thursday evening (7/15) we received notification that Barn 86 at Saratoga Race Course had been placed under quarantine by NYRA Veterinary Officials and New York’s Gaming Commission following a diagnosis of EHV1 in a horse that had been stabled on the grounds. Since that time, we have maintained open lines of communication with both NYRA and the NY Department Agriculture’s State Veterinarians Office and have been working with the KY Horse Racing Commission and KY racetrack’s management teams.

A description of the disease event can be viewed on the Equine Disease Communication Center’s website.

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Additionally, we did reaffirm earlier this morning that the status is unchanged and there have been no new EHV cases reported.

Dr. Flynn and I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that mitigating risk of disease introduction and transmission is a shared responsibility with success dependent on multiple parties all working together to achieve the common goal of maintaining safe and healthy environments for our horses. Since Thursday, we have worked closely with our tracks and training facilities to establish procedures and protocols that continues to allow movement of horses originating from Saratoga Race Course onto Kentucky tracks. With that in mind, we want to ensure that other equine facilities receiving horses understand the importance of having strong biosecurity protocols in place and practiced daily when processing and managing new arrivals onto your facility. Your veterinarian is a valuable resource to review and give recommendations based on your individual premises and we, too, will be happy to review your plan and share our thoughts on best practices.

Kentucky’s Position at This Point in Time: With horses in the affected barn remaining under quarantine, segregated from the general population, and being closely monitored for evidence of illness, we are satisfied horses residing in other barns at Saratoga can qualify and be permitted entry onto our Kentucky tracks and training facilities by fully meeting our established entry requirements. These requirements include a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) certifying examination and issuance of the certificate was made during the 72-hour period preceding the horses arrival at the Kentucky track/facility and includes certification of the horse meeting our established EHV1 vaccination requirement as well as EIA testing.

Additionally, I am encouraging tracks to have the shipping of horses from Saratoga onto the grounds be scheduled with the stable manager and that the arrival and stabling information be shared with the track’s Equine Medical Director or his designee.

We appreciate the opportunity to provide factual information resulting from the open lines of communication with NYRA and NY Department of Agriculture veterinary officials. We will continue to monitor this developing event and provide updates as new information is learned or a change in the status occurs.

Visit the Kentucky Department of Agriculture here.



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