British Horse Racing to Resume on Wednesday After Equine Flu Outbreak
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that horse racing will resume on Wednesday (February 13) following an outbreak of the highly contagious equine influenza.
No horse races have occurred since last Wednesday (February 6) when it was revealed that three horses at Donald McCain’s Cheshire yard stable had contracted the disease despite being vaccinated against it. The infected horses had contacted other horses at Ayr and Ludlow stables and over the weekend, four horses were tested positive for the disease at Simon Crisford’s Newmarket yard.
Stables in the country were sent into lockdown and the BHA announced a meeting last night (February 11), to decide whether to resume racing on Wednesday (February 13) or suspend it further. The organisation announced that horse racing would resume on Wednesday after help from BHA’s team of veterinary advisers.
In a statement, Brant Dunshea, the BHA’s Chief Regulatory Officer, said: “After analysis of thousands of samples, and no further positive tests on Monday, we still have only two confirmed sites of infection. We have put robust containment measures in place around both. From the testing and analysis conducted the disease appears to be contained at present.”
David Sykes, the BHA’s Director of Equine Welfare, added: “We will observe closely those horses who are taken to the racecourse and will intervene as a precaution to prevent a horse running or accessing a racecourse if we believe it might put other horses at risk of infection.
“The veterinary committee are of the view that an unprecedented amount of this disease has been identified in Europe. This is not a typical endemic period and it was essential that precautions be taken to protect the horse population.”
BHA has stated that for now, they will only allow entries from horses that have received a flu vaccination within the last six months.
In addition to the above, the British Horseracing Authority also announced the rescheduling of two important races which had been cancelled last week. The races, the Betfair Hurdle and the Denman Chase, will be run at the Ascot on Saturday (February 16).
In addition, three other races were also rescheduled. The Kingmaker Novices’ Chase was rescheduled to Friday (February 15) and the Mares’ Hurdle and Mares’ Chase races were rescheduled to Saturday.
As horse racing resumes on Wednesday, you can keep up-to-date with the latest Placepot results right here.