A second horse has tested positive for EHV-1 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, La. The strain of the disease can be accompanied by neurological symptoms and can prove fatal in horses. The horse, trained by Jeff Thornbury, was housed in Barn 14 which is currently under mandated quarantine by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture. The infected horse has been isolated from the regular barn area and will have no interaction with the rest of the horse population on the backstretch.
A third horse has also tested positive for equine herpes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans, La. The horse, trained by Mike Stidham, resides in Barn 36 and contracted EHV-1 nonneurogenic type, also called “wild type” strain. This strain is different than the strain of EHV- 1 that has affected two horses in Barn 14 in the previous week. The infected horse has been isolated from the rest of the backstretch population in a different area than the previously isolated horse due to the differing strains.
The positive test from Barn 36 does not affect the currently mandated quarantine of Barn 14, and that barn’s 14-day quarantine period continues as is. The mandated 14-day quarantine of Barn 14 that originally started on Dec. 26 has
been reset following the second confirmed case and started anew effective Dec. 31. All horses in the affected barn will be monitored, and if no horses test positive for the virus and do not show symptoms, the quarantine may be lifted at the discretion of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture.
Fair Grounds officials continue to monitor the situation closely under the guidance of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and the USDA, and continue to follow all protocols as directed by those two governing bodies.
At this time, under the direction of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture, the quarantine continues to have no impact on horses shipping out or shipping in for races as long as they arrive with proper vaccination documents. All horses shipping in will be required to use the Belfort Street entrance.