12/19/2012 5:20PM

Gulfstream Park: Barn restricted after a horse dies


A barn at Gulfstream Park was placed under restriction on Wednesday following the death of an unidentified horse from the barn that morning.

“We got a report that a horse had died with neurological symptoms,” said Tim Ritvo, Gulfstream Park’s president and general manager. “The case was reported to the state, and we are taking precautionary measures by placing restrictions on the barn until the test results come back on the deceased horse.

“From the symptoms the horse was displaying, our veterinarian believes it might have had a case of EPM.”

EPM, or equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, can result from a horse ingesting feed or water contaminated by a parasite. 

Ritvo said one horse from the restricted barn scheduled to run on Wednesday’s card and another entered for Thursday, have been scratched as part of the restrictive measures.

Lisa More than 1 year ago
If this is EPM it is not that the feed is bad.The feces of opossums may contain sporocysts - cysts that contain spores that can reproduce asexually. Horses can ingest these sporocysts with feed, grass or water contaminated with opossum feces. The protozoa can leave lesions on the spinal cord and brain stem. It is this neurological damage that can cause the various symptoms of EPM. One of the difficulties with diagnosing EPM is that it can look like many other neurological diseases. Symptoms vary between horses. Some symptoms may include: •loss of coordination •muscle atrophy •difficultly swallowing •sore back •stumbling •roaring •locking of the stifle joint •weakness •drooping eyelid •head tilt Careful examination, blood or spinal fluid tests must be done to rule out diseases like West Nile Virus, rabies or viral encephalitis. Effects: If a horse is mildly affected you may only notice stumbling or slight lameness. If left untreated the horse may be unable to stand or swallow (can be confused with Wobblers Syndrome) and death can occur. Horses of any age, sex or breed can develop EPM. Younger horses and horses who are transported frequently seem to be at greater risk. Risk is thought to be greater in the autumn months than at other times of the year. If it was EPM things should have been noticed. We have had our fair share of this where I live and the symptoms are always there. So sad for the horse. If it is EMP the fix is easy. Keep your barn area opposum free.
ron More than 1 year ago
at least they didnt sneak this one out in the wee hours of the morning.
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
It sounds to me that the vet thinks it is NOT EHV but rather a parasitic condition caused by bed feed.
Catherine More than 1 year ago
I don't like to hear about pests in food or water. I wonder what kind of feed is fed to race horses. Is it sweet fed? Sweet feed goes bad quick. Once it's mixed it must be used in a short time. In the winter months it lasts a little longer because it freezes in most barns without a heating system.Sweet fed shouldn't be used in the winter months anyway. It waists much needed energy for the horse to stay warm in cold weather.Water in the winter months is more important then in the summer-Water is like a blanket for the inside of the horse. Even in Florida the nights get cold enough to take caution with feed and water. I'm not a sweet feed fan. It's way over used. If your looking to give a horse a boost-Calf Manna works better then sweet feed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisa is right about EPM and opossums. I am not clear how much time you spent in racing barns but the feed isn't given the opportunity to "go bad."
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
CIA running that JOINT???...
Sid Stephen More than 1 year ago
The only trainer that had a horse scratched on Wednesday (Mysisterjosephine) and has a horse in for Thursday (Redwood Man) is Luis Ramirez......just trying to deduce from what Ritvo said. Feel bad for the horse....
Michael Arndt More than 1 year ago
I do not think a trainer should be tainted unless there is a test that comes back positive.
laura ban More than 1 year ago
I hope Gulfstream learns from Hawthorn. Go strictly by the book, follow procedure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gulfstream learns from Hawthorne? They wrote the book on what NOT to do. There are risk mitigation procedures that were never in place and when the outbreak occurred, the facility was not properly locked down. The lack of strong management and procedures further impacted meets at other racing facilities.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Why all the secrecy guys? What barn and what trainer???
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
They are not sure yet General - - -
Deli Silvers More than 1 year ago
poor horses