VINTON, LA. – Due to recent positive tests for Equine Herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) at Turfway Park in Kentucky, Delta Downs has issued a temporary ban on horses stabled at that racetrack from entering its stable area. This action is being taken to ensure the health and safety of Delta Downs horse population and will serve the best interest of local horsemen.

For more information about racing at Delta Downs visit the track’s website at Fans can also get information through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

EHV-1 Quarantine Lifted At Belmont Park



The quarantine of Barn 44 at Belmont Park for Equine Herpesvirus-1 has been lifted, after a subsequent test has come back negative on one horse that had tested positive two weeks ago.

Officials at the New York Racing Association and New York State Gaming Commission have removed the quarantine, effective immediately. Horses in Barn 44 are now able to run and enter races, as well as train among the general horse population during regular training hours.

All horses in Barn 44 were monitored daily for fever and other signs of illness. No other horses showed any symptoms of the disease.

The affected horse, an unnamed, unraced 3-year-old male, had tested positive for EHV-1 on Tuesday, January 9, after being sent to the Cornell Ruffian Equine Hospital near Belmont Park after developing a fever and a mild respiratory issue. Last week, follow-up testing returned a second EHV-1 positive on the same horse.

The horse, trained by Linda Rice, was tested for a third time on Wednesday, January 24. Officials received the negative results Thursday evening.

Since leaving the Ruffian Equine Hospital, the affected horse was quarantined in isolation in a separate barn on the Belmont grounds, where he has remained afebrile and asymptomatic. As an additional precaution, the horse will remain in isolation through the coming days.

Fair Grounds: Maryland Horses Cleared To Enter After EHV-1 Quarantine Lifted; New York Horses Still Disallowed

Fair Grounds released the following statement late Thursday regarding a recent ban on entries from horses shipping from Maryland:

Following negative tests for equine herpes virus-1 involving a horse based at Laurel Park, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots have announced that, as of Thursday, January 25, all horses based in the state of Maryland are all clear to enter the backside. Meanwhile, those that are based in New York are still disallowed to enter the premises until further notice.

Oaklawn Issues Ban Amid EHV-1 Positives

Horses from Belmont Park and Laurel Park will not be allowed on the grounds.


Following the news of equine herpesvirus-1 positives at both Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., and Laurel Park in Baltimore, Md., Oaklawn Park announced Jan. 21 that horses stabled at either track will be prohibited from entering the Hot Springs, Ark., grounds until further notice.

The first case of EHV-1 was reported by the New York Racing Association after an unraced 3-year-old trained by Linda Rice from Belmont’s Barn 44 tested positive Jan. 9.

NYRA placed the horse in an isolation barn immediately after the first positive test was revealed at the Cornell Ruffian Equine Hospital, where the horse was treated for a fever and what was described by officials as “a mild respiratory issue.”

All horses in Barn 44 were then placed under quarantine and barred from racing at Aqueduct Racetrack or training with other horses.

Subsequently, the Maryland Jockey Club issued a ban of three horses housed in Barn 44 that were scheduled to run in the Jan. 20 Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel.

A follow-up test of the initial affected horse returned positive Jan. 19, which resulted in an extension of the precautionary quarantine at Belmont.

Sal Sinatra, president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, issued a statement Jan. 20 that a horse who shipped to Laurel tested positive for EHV-1.

The horse was removed from the grounds and the barn he was stabled in was placed under quarantine. A follow-up test is scheduled for Jan. 23. Plans call for quarantine restrictions to remain in place until Jan. 30 if the horse should test positive a second time.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture and University of Pennsylvania also reported a horse transported from a Baltimore County farm to the New Bolton Center was euthanized Jan. 18 after testing positive for EHV-1.

“(On Jan. 16) a horse that had been hospitalized for an unrelated medical issue developed signs compatible with equine herpes myeloencephalopathy and tested positive for equine herpesvirus,” a release on the New Bolton Center’s website stated.

The release also stated: “The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has traced and quarantined horses suspected of having been exposed to the virus that had already left New Bolton Center prior to the diagnosis of EHM at that location. In Pennsylvania orders of special quarantine have been posted at premises that received these potentially exposed animals to control the spread of this disease.”

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has urged caretakers to watch their horses for any neurological symptoms and to monitor for fever.

EHV May Remain Viable In Water For Three Weeks



A new study has shown that some equine herpes viruses (EHV) can remain viable in untreated water for over three weeks, becoming a source of infection for equids, reports Vet Times.

In many parts of the world, water sources are shared by horses, other equids and other species. If a horse that is actively shedding the EHV-1 virus visits the water and sheds the virus, the virus can remain there long after the animal has left.

The study challenges the long-held belief that the herpesvirus is unstable outside the host; it was believed that they are spread by direct aerosol transmission. However, animals like rhinos and polar bears have contracted EHV though they had no direct contact with horses or their relatives.

Conducted by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and the Institut für Virologie of the Freie Universität Berlin, the results were reported in Science Daily. The team tested this assumption by spiking the water with EHV under various conditions over three weeks. They then examined  it to see if the viral DNA could be retrieved and how infectious the virus was after having been in the water.

It was shown that the EHV-1 virus remains stable and infectious for up to three weeks. Water temperature and pH played the biggest role in whether or not the virus stayed alive. The addition of soil, which would mimic a natural body of water, actually seemed to “pull” the virus out of the water and into the soil, where it stabilized. This result suggests that EHV-1 can persist for an extended amount of time without infecting other animals. This also shows why some animals can be infected from these bodies of water long after the animal that shed the virus has left.

Read more at Science Daily 

EHV-1: KY Dept. Of Agriculture Issues Revised Protocol For Horses Shipping In From Louisiana

“Earlier this year, in response to the EHV-I outbreak at Fair Grounds Race Track in New Orleans and pursuant to 302 KAR 20:040, we initiated a directive addressing horses originating from or having been stabled in the past 30 days at a premises in Louisiana where EHV-I infection had been diagnosed. The directive required these horses test negative prior to gaining entry onto a Kentucky racetrack or associated training facilities. Our objective in requiring this testing was to help us better define (understand) what if any elevated risks horses originating from these environments might pose to our equine populations here in Kentucky. Unfortunately, the reluctance of trainers to test their horses to qualify for movement to KY has not provided enough testing of those horses to enable us to conclude the risk is not elevated. With the lack of needed evidence, we do today continue to have concern that allowing unrestricted and less regulated movement of those horses to a Kentucky track continues to pose elevated risk (albeit undefined) of disease introduction to our racing environments.

“We did last week initiate conversation with regulators and animal health officials in Louisiana, and they shared their thought and comments that they are not aware of suspicion of EHV1 cases on the track. Additionally, there has apparently been a number of horses moved from Fair Grounds to other racing jurisdictions, and we’ve had no reports of disease events having occurred in those jurisdictions.

“Appreciating, while there remains concern today, we do have an identified need to facilitate interstate movement of horses from those environments to KY race tracks is a safe and efficient manner. Based on the above factors we are today amending our directive by removing the requirement that horses originating from (or having recently resided) Fair Grounds be tested prior to entry onto the track. We will though continue to require these horses (Fair Grounds) to enter Kentucky via an Entry Permit (described below) issued by our office and recorded on the CVI. Copies of this CVI and the EIA testing certificate are to be on file in the track’s stable office and a copy also available in the barn. Post arrival, temperatures for each horse are to be taken three times daily and recorded on an individual log sheet that is to be maintained in the barn. Regulatory and/or track officials will be making periodic visits to the barn.

“Feel free to contact us should you have any question, comment or concern regarding this revised directive.

“Qualifying Horses to Move from Fair Grounds in New Orleans LA onto KY Race Tracks = Effective Wednesday, March 15, 2017

1. A licensed accredited veterinarian shall examine and issue a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) within the day preceding a horse’s departure from Fair Grounds*.
2. The veterinarian issuing the CVI shall obtain an entry permit from the Office of KY State Veterinarian 502-782-5901, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (EST).
3. The issuing accredited veterinarian shall record the entry permit number on the CVI.
4. The issuing accredited veterinarian shall record the EHV-1 vaccination on the CVI.
5. A statement is to be included that each horse(s) listed on the CVI has not demonstrated any evidence of infectious illness during the preceding 30 days nor exposure to any such illness.
6. Trainers shall provide to the stable office copies of the CVI and EIA test certificates in addition to keeping a copy of each document in the trainer’s assigned barn. These documents will be presented to regulatory and/or track officials when requested.
7. Animal health officials, racing officials and track officials will be conducting random inspection of horses, the stabling environment and applicable health documents that does include temperature logs during the race meet.
8. These requirements shall remain in effect until further notice.”

*or having been located at Fair Grounds during the 30 days preceding departure for Kentucky

Equine Herpes Virus Confirmed in Denton County Texas

AUSTIN, TX – Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) confirmed Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), the neurologic disease linked to Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), in a Denton County barrel racing horse on February 21, 2017.

The horse showed signs of ataxia, loss of coordination of the muscles, and other neurologic signs consistent with EHM when evaluated by a local veterinarian. The premises is under quarantine and TAHC staff is working closely with the owner and veterinarian to implement testing protocols and biosecurity measures.

Prior to confirmation, the positive horse attended barrel racing events at the NRS Arena in Decatur, TX on February 15 and Northside Arena in Fort Worth, TX on February 14. The TAHC has been in contact with event management and veterinarians to ensure enhanced biosecurity measures are taken on the premises and event participants are notified.

While the risk of exposure to the virus was likely low at these events, owners of horses potentially exposed are encouraged to take precautions. Exposed horses should be isolated and have their temperatures monitored twice daily for at least 14 days after last known exposure. If an exposed horse develops a fever or other signs consistent with EHM, diagnostic testing may be performed. Owners should work with their veterinary practitioner to establish appropriate monitoring and diagnostic plans for any potentially exposed horse(s). To learn more, visit

Symptoms of EHV-1 include fever, which is one of the most common clinical signs and often precedes the development of other signs. Respiratory signs include coughing and nasal discharge. Neurologic signs associated with EHM are highly variable, but often the hindquarters are most severely affected. Horses with EHM may appear weak and uncoordinated. Urine dribbling and loss of tail tone may also be seen. Severely affected horses may become unable to rise.

It is important to remember these signs are not specific to EHM and diagnostic testing is required to confirm EHV-1 infection. Many horses exposed to EHV-1 never develop clinical signs. If you suspect your horse has been exposed to EHV-1, contact your veterinarian.

For more information on protecting your livestock from EHV-1, contact your local TAHC regional office To learn more about EHM visit

The equine industry is encouraged to obtain the latest information on this outbreak and other disease events across the country by visiting the Equine Disease Communication Center at:

Final Fair Grounds Horses Released From EHV-1 Quarantine

The final horses remaining in the testing protocols for the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) outbreak at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots have returned two negative tests and have been released back into the general horse population on the backstretch.

Since the first case of EHV-1 was reported on Dec. 26, any horse testing positive was promptly isolated under the protocols set forth by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and then required after 14 days to return two negative tests, not less than 72 hours apart, before being permitted back into the general horse population.

“The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, USDA Veterinary Services and the Louisiana Racing Commission responded to an EHV-1 outbreak at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Track on Dec. 26, 2016,” said State Veterinarian Brent Robbins, D.V.M. “On Feb. 14, 2017, the last horse in isolation tested negative and was released after a prescribed observation period. We at the LDAF extend our appreciation to all agencies involved as well as horse owners, trainers and officials at the New Orleans Fair Grounds for their cooperation and understanding in dealing with this outbreak.”

As of Feb. 15, no horses remain in the EHV-1 testing protocols at Fair Grounds and all quarantine restrictions have been lifted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Several Horses Released From Fair Grounds EHV-1 Quarantine; Five Remain Positive

The Equine Disease Communication Center posted the following update on the Fair Grounds Racetrack EHV-1 outbreak on Wednesday: 

On January 23, all horses in isolation at the Fair Grounds racetrack were retested blood and nasal for EHV-1 after at least seven days of isolation. Five of 37 horses remained positive for EHV-1 non-neuropathogenic based only on nasal swab with 32 horses testing negative. Five horses that have completed quarantine were released. Trace-out horses from the receiving barn were released from restrictions following testing and or isolation. Scheduled retesting will continue on isolated horses until release requirements are fulfilled. No new symptomatic horses have been reported in any barns and increased monitoring and biosecurity remain in force.

Fair Grounds Quarantine Could be Lifted Jan. 21

The quarantine of Fair Grounds Race Course imposed due to an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1) could be lifted as early as Jan. 21, the State of Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry announced in a release Wednesday. The last detected case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM)–the more progressed form of the virus–was discovered Dec. 31, 2016. Horses continue to be monitored for both EHM and EHV-1 and, if no new cases are discovered by Jan. 21, phasing out of the quarantine will begin with the 42 Fair Grounds barns in which horses never showed signs of the virus.

“We are encouraged that the disease seems to be contained,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “These measures were taken for the health and safety of all horses in the state. We continue to work with the Fair Grounds and Racing Commission to ensure that biosecurity measures will be maintained.”

A total of 39 horses and one barn remain in isolation. Horses who have tested positive for EHV-1 will remain isolated until their tests come back negative, while horses who were exposed but never tested positive will be released on a case-by-case basis.

“After consulting with the state veterinarian, USDA Veterinary Services, LSU and outside experts on infectious diseases, we feel this is a logical plan to allow the release of unaffected horses, Strain added. “The horses that remain in isolation are most at risk. We will continue to monitor these horses until they are in the clear. However, should there be another case of EHV-1 or EHM, we will respond accordingly.”