10/14/2012 6:31PM

Hawthorne: Barn of horses kept in isolation following signs of unidentified illness


STICKNEY, Ill. – A barn of horses on the Hawthorne Race Course backstretch was placed in isolation Sunday after two horses with what appeared to be respiratory infections showed symptoms of neurological distress.

No tests have yet been performed on the horses, and thus they have not been diagnosed with a particular illness. Samples will be sent to a laboratory Monday morning – the soonest possible -- but lab-test results might not be available until Wednesday. One primary concern is that the animals could have contracted equine herpesvirus, a highly transmissible disease with potentially serious consequences for infected individuals.

Dr. Dawn Folker-Calderon, the state-employed veterinarian at Hawthorne, said Barn A had been placed in isolation Sunday morning after a horse showed signs of neurological distress late Saturday night. Horses won’t be permitted in or out of the barn, and humans leaving its confines must disinfect themselves. One horse residing in Barn A, trained by Roger Brueggemann, was scratched from Sunday’s Hawthorne card. The barn houses horses trained by Brueggemann, Jim DiVito, Mickey Goldfine, and Joe Kasperski.

Hawthorne assistant general manager Jim Miller said security guards had been stationed at the barn to ensure that state-established protocols were being followed.

Nathan More than 1 year ago
also, re: parkinson's drugs. no prescription required in any pharmacia in mexico. just ask for it. is the picture clearer now? lie detector tests are the answer. any racetrack licensee who refuses to take one, gets immediately barred. it's as simple as that. you will never stop the drugs. never.
Nathan More than 1 year ago
if it's neurological distress, it's drugs, not infectious. many trainers use drugs used in treating parkinson's disease on their horses. this is to keep them focused on the race. very dangerous category of drugs. racehorses are not tested for these drugs. it goes straight to the central nervous system. 5 or, max, 6 races on these drugs, and the horses are as good as dead. it' s all about the vets, and the pharmacies. believe it.
AmPugs More than 1 year ago
Nathan, You may want to do a little more research before you hit the drug button. There are several diseases that can cause neurological synptoms. Your attitude is similar to others who have caused problems for diabetic people having trouble with their blood sugar and acting like they are drunk. There's encephalitis, meningitis, tetnus, different anemias, even rabes [please excuse my poor spelling]. To accuse someone like that before all the tests are done is very narrow minded, and can only cause harm. You are actually hurting the cause of getting illegal drugs or ones that haven't been classified yet out of racing [and just about everything else]. Wait for the tests to come back, and then if there has been drug abuse, hang the SOB or at least make sure he/she/they are out of racing for a long time.
Rosie More than 1 year ago
Nathan... you need to do a little research on equine infectious diseases, specifically equine herpes virus (EHV-1 and EHV-4). The clinical signs of these horses point directly to equine herpes which is highly contagious and deadly. It is a very real concern to all of the horses at Hawthorne. Don't make a fool of yourself by spewing nonsense about racehorse drugging when you clearly do not know what you are talking about. Do some reading on this infectious disease before you throw around false information on a drug you don't even know the name of.
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
I have been doing a bimonthly radio program on equine infectious diseases and have brought up the fact that a barn is a very hard place to ensure biosecurity. It speaks volumes for those people on the front lines, grooms, trainers etc that we are able to keep many many diseases from circulating down the shedrows. I think the hard work of our grooms has prevented many an outbreak. A simple thing like sharing a cleaning brush from other horses to clean out feeding tubs can spread infectious disease. I have gone to various racetracks and demonstrated biosafety in the barn. Hope they find out soon when the labs come back what we are dealing with. Other racetracks in the area, and as far away as Woodbine need to be monitoring for symptoms of this disease.
Mable Roberts More than 1 year ago
Couldn't agree more, Patricia.
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Nice post Patricia
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Keeping good thoughts that the infected horses all heal swiftly and completely and that the other horses in the barn with them have not been infected. I hope the two horses who are known to be sick show courage and fight hard against this illness. The article didn't mention how many horses were involved in the quarantine in total. May the skills of the vets involved be superior to enable all of the horses to regain their excellent health.
walter goode More than 1 year ago
thanks for always being positive & supportive with your comments.its nice to see someone that cares about horses so much !!!
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Thank you so much for your nice comments, Walter. Have a good day ahead.
Elizabeth More than 1 year ago
I worked for both Mickey and Jimmy Divito back in the day. If I remember correctly, barn A can hold quite a few horses. I"m talking well over 50. I pray that they find out what this illness is and can treat it completely. When I worked at Arlington Park one summer, we claimed a horse who was fed his normal feed and hay. Within two weeks he couldn't walk or keep his balance and we had to euthanize him. The necropsy said that the only thing that could find that might have caused the problem was that the hay he'd been fed had been urinated on...probably by an animal...and that somehow the bacteria that is naturally occurring in urine "poisoned" the horse. The vets said it was an EXTREMELY rare thing to have, but it sure wasn't fun watching this horse suffer until he could be euthanized. I pray that neither of these two horses is suffering like that or from that.