Horse racing at Doncaster cancelled due to equine flu outbreak

Faith Castro
February 8, 2019

This means that The Queen's horse, No Trumps, will no longer race at Lingfield next Tuesday.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that racing will not resume until next Wednesday at the earliest amid the equine flu outbreak.

The decision has been made by the British Horseracing Authority after three vaccinated horses in an active yard were tested positive for the disease on Wednesday.

Whilst the infected horses had not been racing this week, McCain has had runners at Wolverhampton, Ayr and Ludlow.

Despite this, racing at Chantilly in France did go ahead under "protection measures" on Thursday, the governing body France Galop issuing a six-point caution to all horse racing personnel.

That decision has been extended to ensure there will be no racing into next week in Britain.

Under the rules of racing, Irish horses in training must be vaccinated for equine influenza, a disease which shows symptoms ranging from increased temperature, coughing, nasal discharge, being off feed, and more severe respiratory signs.

"The BHA has worked quickly to identify which yards could have potentially been exposed today and identify the further actions required".

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He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We have a team of six vets here now - taking nasal swabs off all of our 150 horses - and they are then going to be driven immediately to the Animal Health Trust at Newmarket, where they will be analysed".

A spokesperson said: "It is crucial for all horse and pony owners to be vigilant and follow recommended guidelines on how to detect and prevent the spread of this infectious disease". BHA procedures state that a racecourse can not race for at least four days following a deep clean having taken place.

McCain, who saddled Ballabriggs to win the Grand National in 2011 and has more than 100 horses in his stable, said "the BHA were contacted immediately" once the positive result for equine influenza had been confirmed and that he is "liaising closely with them about biosecurity and management of all the horses at Bankhouse".

Potential risks are magnified given the amount of Irish runners overseas in recent days which could have come in contact with equine influenza.

The fact that the cases have been identified in vaccinated horses presents a cause for significant concern over welfare. Humans are not at risk from the virus although they can carry and transmit it.

Equine influenza is as it says on the tin; a flu that affects equines.

The Jockey Club Estate's schooling grounds in Lambourn have been closed to outside horses as a precaution, a move which was reciprocated for Newmarket's gallops.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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