Sagacious HF Undergoing New Tests for Glanders, Results to be Known Thursday

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Chase Hickok and Sagacious HF in the Falsterbo Nations Cup Grand Prix. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Aug. 23, 2017–Sagacious HF, the Dutch gelding quarantined for three weeks after being found positive for deadly virus glanders, was being tested Wednesday to determine whether the horse is infectious.

Blood was drawn for two tests–the standard complement fixation test (CFT) used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture but regarded by many veterinarians as not the most accurate, and another procedure called “Western blot.”

The results should be known Thursday, Al Guden, owner of the 18-year-old horse, told dressage-news.com.

The positive result for Sagacious was reported after the horse returned from a successful European tour, competing in two Nations Cups for the United States.

Sagacious will remain quarantined at Miami International Airport until USDA tests clear the horse for release and a return to Wellington where he’s based with rider Chase Hickok.

If Sagacious is not cleared in these tests, the USDA could extend the quarantine until he is cleared or if not, the horse will have to be returned to Amsterdam as the point of origin or euthanized.

The horse was given a reprieve 12 days ago after first testing positive for glanders with the CFT test then cleared by the Western blot procedure.

Glanders is an infection that can be passed to humans as well as other animals. Europe and the United States have been mostly glanders-free for seven decades, though an outbreak in Germany two years ago led to Australia imposing a six-month quarantine on horses being shipped Down Under.

Al Guden, the owner for virtually the entire lifetime of Sagacious (Welt Hit II x Cocktail), enlisted Lexington, Kentucky lawyer Chapman Hopkins who had been involved in a similar case of an Irish racehorse last Christmas to help get U.S. government veterinarians to conduct the test considered to be more accurate.