Wellington, FL – Stadium Jumping, Inc. hosted a meeting in The Jockey Club at the Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds to discuss the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) outbreak. Approximately 500 concerned horsemen attended and many pertinent questions were asked of the panel.

Dr. Doug Byars, former head of Internal Medicine at Hagyard, Davis and McGee in Lexington, Kentucky, was brought in to monitor the progress and process in which the EHV-1 is being handled in Wellington. Dr. Byars is considered an expert on the virus and was invited to give his independent perspective. He explained that he thought the community has been doing a good job of limiting the spread of the virus and remarked, “You are within days of this disease running its course.”

Most of the questions asked of Dr. Byars and the dozens of veterinarians in attendance were in regard to a time frame for safe entry into and out of the area. Dr. Byars said that the areas outside of the state-mandated quarantine could go about normal business safely. The horses in quarantined areas may be released safely 21 days after the last positive test. That countdown clock is rapidly coming to an end.

The quarantine facilities will be monitored and cleared to open on an individual basis depending on the health of their residents. He explained that EHV-1 is fragile and if treated appropriately, it will go away and no longer be an issue for the coming season.

The Village of Wellington announced that they will open the 57-mile network of trails beginning on January 10. Dr. Byars seemed to agree with that time frame and reassured the audience that the equestrian community of Wellington would soon be as safe as any other highly populated equine area.

After careful consideration, Stadium Jumping Inc. officially opened the gates to Winter Equestrian Festival competitors and is expecting to begin the 2007 season as planned on January 24 with the inaugural show. “I think today was a very positive meeting,” said Eugene R. Mische, president of Stadium Jumping, Inc. “The vets in attendance, along with Dr. Doug Byars, all agreed that this crisis is coming to an end. We look forward to a successful 2007 show season.”

The complete video of the EHV-1 forum on January 4, 2007, will be posted at PhelpsSports.com. As a public service, the video will be available to both subscribers and non-subscribers at no charge.

The requirements for right of entry to show grounds for the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival are available at stadiumjumping.com. All competitors who wish to enter the show grounds must meet these requirements.