In anticipation of the imposed quarantine of Barn 86 at Saratoga Race Course being rescinded by New York regulatory officials, as early as August 1st, we have been conferring with Kentucky race tracks, racing secretaries, horsemen and veterinarians regarding the situation.
New York’s release of the quarantine will be based on findings from clinical observations of exposed horses, with no additional clinical cases identified for 21 days after the removal of the EHV-1 positive horse. Testing was not performed on the exposed population of horses (those residing in the barn where the original EHV-1 positive horse resided). In Kentucky, testing is typically performed on exposed horses to determine the extent of virus circulating in the exposed population. Thus, without testing of horses in Barn 86, there are concerns due to the unknown disease risk posed by movement of these untested horses.
Due to Kentucky’s inability to adequately isolate new arrivals on the grounds of Kentucky tracks and training facilities and out of an abundance of caution, additional requirements will be placed on horses from Saratoga Race Course requesting entry to Kentucky tracks and associated training centers after July 31st.
Horses which have recently (since July 31st) been on the grounds at Saratoga can qualify for approval to enter a KY track or sanctioned training center, if they have documentation demonstrating they were off the grounds prior to July 31st OR have been tested by PCR after July 31st and reported negative for EHV-1 on both nasal swab and whole blood – EDTA samples. A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for the horse(s) from the point where the sample was collected needs to be issued for movement to the Kentucky racing or training facility and must document the EHV1 testing and current health assessment in addition to meeting the normal entry requirements that includes EHV1 vaccination and EIA test certificate.
We will continue to evaluate information as it becomes available and will adjust our strategies accordingly. Our plan is for the current protocol described in this message to remain in effect through the second week of August when we will make determination and provide instruction on how to proceed.
E.S. Rusty Ford
Equine Operations Consultant
Office State Veterinarian
KY Department Agriculture