Strengthened EHV Counter Measures Imposed at Wellington’s Dressage & Jumping Show Grounds

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WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 3, 2021–Strengthened requirements have been imposed at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center dressage and jumping shows, including barring entries for horses that have not shown this year at the Global Dressage and Winter Equestrian Festivals, to protect against possible Equine Herpes Virus. No cases of EHV-1 have been reported at the show grounds.

The new measures were announced Wednesday night by Equestrian Sport Productions that organizes the two Wellington shows following a positive EHV-1 case of a warmblood mare in the Ocala area, 240 miles/386km north of Wellington.

The strengthened biosecurity protocols and requirements are:

1. ESP will not accept entries from horses that have not previously shown this year at WEF and AGDF starting immediately (Wednesday, Mar. 3) until further notice. Decisions to lift the rule will be made after consultation with the U.S. Equestrian Federation, Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Industry and Palm Beach Equine Clinic, the official veterinarians of GDF/WEF. Although no known positive cases of horses have been identified in Wellington, ESP is attempting to control transmission of the EHV-1 virus by restricting access to the PBIEC and Equestrian Village showgrounds of horses from outside the immediate vicinity of Wellington. Anyone shipping horses into the shows will be required to sign a declaration stating the horses have not competed at other Florida venues or been in close contact with horses that competed in other Florida venues within 10 days before arriving

3. Starting Monday, Mar. 8, any horses shipping onto both the Global and grounds will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead dated by veterinarian within seven days of arriving.

4. All barns on both show grounds will be required to maintain a log with twice-daily temperature readings and posted on each horse’s stall door. Random checks by approved veterinary staff may be implemented.

5. ESP and USEF strongly recommend equestrians do not ship horses throughout the state for the foreseeable future and encourage ceasing any European imports that may be scheduled to Florida. Recently imported horses should be isolated and monitored for 10 days. Horses imported from Europe in the last 14 days and going forward will not be allowed on the show grounds.

6. The statement of health must be signed by a licensed veterinarian within seven days of arrival at the show grounds documenting that the horse has:

a. Received regular and consistent vaccination against Equine Influenza and EHV-1/4 with most recent booster being within 180 days and not within seven days. Under no circumstances should a horse that has been vaccinated compete within seven days;
b. Not shown symptoms or been treated for EHV-1/4 within the past 28 days;

c. Not been at a facility under quarantine for EHV-1/4 or exposed to any horses showing symptoms of EHV-1/4 within the past 28 days, and
d. Current vaccination against West Nile Virus, Eastern and Western Equine encephalomyelitis (EEE, WEE), Tetanus and Rabies are strongly recommended.

“Given the seriousness of the EHV-1 outbreak in Europe (the case in Ocala is similar in nature but unrelated to the neurological strain of EHV-1 impacting Valencia, Spain, and other European countries), which has unfortunately resulted in multiple horse deaths, ESP implores everyone to do their part in order to keep your own horses safe, as well as those of your fellow competitors,” the statement said.

Any horse on the show grounds with a fever of unknown origin or of suspicious origin must be reported to ESP management, it said, and isolation stalls will either be available on the grounds or at a local veterinary practice if necessary.