Ocala HITS Show Grounds Says to be Released from EHV Quarantine

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HITS Post Time show grounds in Ocala, Florida
HITS Post Time show grounds in Ocala, Florida

OCALA, Florida, Mar. 13–Organizers of the Horse Shows in the Sun HITS competitions at Oacala announced that a quarantine imposed on the show grounds for the past three weeks over the outbreak of EHV-1, the equine herpes virus, will be lifted Wednesday in time for the season finale.

Florida’s Department of Agriculture listed the HITS show grounds as among facilities still quarantined, but said the quarantine would remain in effect for only 21 days from the last outbreak (Feb. 20) which would mean the end of the quarantine on Wednesday.

“Movement of horses on or off the show grounds is prohibited,” the state Animal Industry Division reported “The quarantine will remain in effect for a minimum of 21 days from the last exposure.”

Horses that contracted the virus were transported 240 miles south to barns near the much larger Palm Beach International Equestrian Center which clamped down on movement of animals preventing significant interruption to the Winter Equestrian Festival and Global Dessage Festival.

“HITS Ocala elected to test all the horses under observation at the three-week mark, rather than waiting one more week and allowing the quarantine to extend 28 days and time out,” said HITS, Inc. President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “All the horses tested negative which speaks volumes for the excellent biosecurity measures practiced by HITS exhibitors and staff alike.”

The protocol measures that HITS began putting in place this winter will be required at all future HITS shows, including Culpepper, Virginia, and Saugerties, New York.

The protocol required for HIS Thermal, California this year will now be required for all future HITS shows, he said,