02/06/2006 12:00AM

Bowie horse negative for herpes


A horse based at Bowie Training Center in Maryland who had displayed neurological symptoms similar to those associated with equine herpesvirus has tested negative for the contagious disease, officials of the Maryland Jockey Club said on Saturday.

The horse, trained by Chris Grove, has been isolated at Bowie since last Wednesday. After receiving the test results, the Maryland Department of Agriculture lifted a hold order on Grove's barn at Bowie on Sunday morning.

The negative test result was welcomed by officials at the Maryland Jockey Club, which owns Bowie, Laurel Park, and Pimlico Race Course. Pimlico has been under a quarantine since Jan. 21 because of an outbreak of equine herpesvirus, a disease that attacks a horse's upper respiratory and neurological systems.

The quarantine at Pimlico is expected to be lifted on Wednesday if no new cases of equine herpesvirus are found by that time, MJC officials said.

A total of 11 horses have tested positive for the disease at Pimlico, and three horses there have been euthanized.