- February 9, 2019
- Katie Scott
- 1 Comment
Three days now since the news broke of the 3 cases of Equine Influenza from within the Cheshire yard of Donald McCain. As we were at Ayr with runners on Wednesday and could potentially have been exposed to the McCain trained ‘Raise A Spark’ who has since tested positive for the virus we are currently on British Horseracing Authority enforced yard lockdown. The prompt response from the BHA will hopefully minimise the spread of the virus, keep horses healthy and in the long run allow us to get back racing sooner rather than later.
Our horses remain symptom free, we have been monitoring temperatures and keeping an extra close eye on all them all. The horses were all tested yesterday and the swabs sent away to The Animal Health Trust for analysis, we are currently awaiting our results. They have received 2000 swabs from different yards yesterday and are working over the weekend to get through them.
All racehorses are vaccinated against flu with a yearly booster thereafter, but as in humans the vaccines are not 100% effective against every strain of the virus. All of our horses that were due a booster in the next 6 months have been vaccinated again to ensure our best chance of avoiding contracting the virus.
Flu symptoms in horses are similar to those in humans, raised temperatures, coughing and a snotty nose. The fact that our horses are vaccinated will mean that even if they contract the virus the symptoms would be very reduced in comparison to horses that are not vaccinated.
The staff on the yard have been amazing this week in difficult and stressful circumstances, especially since I have been extra crabby. The horses are all working away as usual and the show must go on, we want to have our horses fit and ready to run when racing resumes. I must say that all of our owners have been fantastic in these less than ideal circumstances.
The British Horseracing Authority are going to make a decision at the start of next week in regards to racing getting started again with entries currently made for Wednesday onwards. However, for me right now I just want to get these results back and know that our horses are healthy and well.