Horse With Equine Herpes Virus EHV-1 Confirmed at Winter Equestrian Festival, Isolated 3 Days Ago Along With Nearby Horses

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WELLINGTON, Florida, April 3, 2021–Equestrian Sport Productions confirmed Saturday a case of equine herpes virus EHV-1, a neurological strain of the infection, in a horse at the Winter Equestrian Festival at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The horse was in tent 17 at WEF, about a half-mile/1km from the Global Dressage Festival grounds, and has been isolated since Thursday when a fever was first detected, along with other horses in nearby rows of stalls. Other horses further away were voluntarily isolated by the owners.

The horse had not been on the Global grounds where a hunter competition is being held alongside the 12th week of the winter-long Global dressage circuit.

Nasal and blood tests were taken and sent away for rapid testing, ESP said.

Friday night at 7 pm (0100 Central European Time) the results came back from the lab that the nasal test was positive for EHV-1 and the blood was negative.

A teleconference was held immediately with Palm Beach Equine Clinic veterinarians and the Florida State Vet. The decision to place the single barn aisle where the horse was stabled in quarantine was made.

Further barriers were placed on the tent.

The State vet met with ESP management and the horse owner Saturday. Two aisles in Tent 17 are under mandatory quarantine, and a third aisle voluntarily quarantined. The rest of Tent 17 is considered not to be at risk.

The horse remains isolated and is currently bright and not showing any neurologic signs. The owner made the decision this morning to have the horse transported to the University of Florida for treatment.

ESP said it has been working closely with Palm Beach Equine Clinic and the State Vet to ensure it is receiving the most accurate information as quickly as possible.

Strict protocols for EHV as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have prevented any serious outbreaks. Competitions have been held at the Palm Beach show grounds since the end of last May through the winter-long dressage and jumping events with thousands of horses from around the world competing.