Turfway Park Barn Quarantined After EHV Diagnosis

A 3-year-old Thoroughbred found unable to rise in his stall was euthanized after testing positive for EHV-1.
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Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

A barn at Turfway Park, in Florence, Kentucky, after a horse residing in it was euthanized after testing positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).

An update from E.S. Rusty Ford, of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) State Veterinarian’s Office Equine Programs, stated that the KDA learned on Feb. 2 that a 3-year-old Thoroughbred colt was found down and unable to rise in his stall at Turfway. The KDA “locked down” the barn (no horses were allowed in or out) and collected samples for diagnostic testing. The horse tested positive for wild-type EHV-1 on both nasal swab and blood testing. The horse’s condition continued to deteriorate and he was euthanized, the update stated, and sent to the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, in Lexington, for necropsy.

“With the diagnosis of this patient being affected with an active EHV-1 with neurologic deficit, an official order of quarantine was issued and biosecurity on the affected barn was raised to ‘alert status’—restricting entry of persons to only those having an essential task and with proper biosecurity measures implemented,” Ford’s update said. “Each individual departing the quarantine area is directed to leave their protective outerwear in the quarantine, cleaning/disinfecting on exit and movement to any other area with equine prohibited. Security personnel are assigned to supervise and record all movement of personnel. No movement of horses into or out of the quarantine barn is permitted without KDA approval.

“Kentucky office of the state veterinarian, Kentucky horse racing officials, track management, attending veterinarians … and horsemen were invited to attend an information sharing meeting on Saturday (Feb. 3) morning to ensure factual information is available to them,” he added

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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