December 15, 2006

Three horses are reported to have died in Wellington, Florida, in an outbreak of what is suspected to be EHV, or Equine Herpes Virus. It is also known as Equine Rhinopneumonitis Virus. More information / Colds and flu in horses

Rider Debbie Stephens's horse Cosequin's CEO was one of the fatalities. Three farms in Wellington's Grand Prix Village, next to the Equestrian Club, are in lockdown.

EHV is an airborne disease and can also spread through direct contact. Signs include fever and nasal discharge, and can progress to an inability to control the hind limbs and tail, and late-term abortions.

This weekend's AGA National Championship and the Christmas Festival Horse Show have been cancelled. "Until we know more about this situation, and get further advice from the veterinarians and professionals that are on the scene and on top of this emergency, it would be irresponsible for us to move forward with this weekend's competition," said Stadium Jumping, Inc. President Eugene R. Mische.

"Safeguarding the horses in our community and the protection of the equestrian industry in Wellington is our utmost and primary concern. We would much prefer to err on the side of caution than to put even a single horse at risk," Mische said.