March 8 UPDATE: Three possible cases of EHV-1 have been connected to Barn D at WEC. On Saturday, March 6, a horse in Barn D with a high fever was removed from the show grounds and transported to the University of Florida for testing. Previously, two other horses originating from Chestnut Hill Farm in Ocala that had been stabled in Barn D developed high fevers after leaving the WEC property and have since tested positive for EHV-1.
World Equestrian Center – Ocala management has been made aware that a horse in the Ocala area has tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1). The infected horse is an 8-year-old Warmblood mare at a boarding facility in Marion County. There have been no positive cases at World Equestrian Center – Ocala but out of an abundance of caution, management has issued increased biosecurity measures and the following to keep showing horses safe:
- Effective immediately, World Equestrian Center – Ocala will no longer permit ship-in horses to the property
- No new entries travelling from other events in Florida will be accepted including the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) , HITS, Venice or the Ridge.
- All World Equestrian Center – Ocala stabling areas will be strictly limited to essential personnel – riders, trainers, grooms, vets and farriers. No non-essential people will be admitted to the stabling areas.
WEC management recommends that all exhibitors follow a heightened hygiene protocol adding extra precautions to prevent any issues from arising at the horse show:
- Take temperatures of all horses twice daily and maintain a log.
- Isolate any horse exhibiting symptoms or illness and report any cases to the show veterinarian and horse show management. Horses with symptoms will be moved to an on-site isolation area.
- We recommend no sharing of equipment between horses including feed and water buckets.
- Handlers should wash hands in between handling horses and maintain proper biosecurity protocols in the barn.
- Maintain distancing between horses at the ring and in the barn. No nose-to-nose contact between horses.
WEC – Ocala will continue to observe proper biosecurity protocols and disinfect the barns and property on a regular basis. All stalls are fully disinfected weekly as they are turned over between barns. At this time, events will continue as scheduled.
The FEI announced March 1 that competition has been cancelled until March 28 in 10 European countries including France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia due to the outbreak of the equine herpes virus.
~ with files from WEC-Ocala