12/01/2012 1:40PM

Hawthorne: Fifth horse euthanized, test results due back Tuesday


STICKNEY, Ill. – Another horse died at Hawthorne Race Course on Saturday morning after displaying symptoms consistent with the equine herpesvirus that has killed four other animals and disrupted the track’s fall-winter race meeting since mid-October.

Test results that would confirm the presence of the virus won’t be available until Tuesday, but the horse was found down in its stall and unable to rise. Equine herpesvirus, or EHV-1, in its gravest form causes a loss of coordination and inability to stand.

The horse, a 2-year-old filly named Angelinthevening trained by Mike Reavis, had exercised as usual Friday morning and never ran a fever, according to Dr. Steven Seabaugh, the track veterinarian. She was found recumbent in her stall and unable to rise on Saturday morning, and eventually was euthanized.

Reavis claimed the filly Oct. 16 from trainer Mike Stidham, whose horses are housed in Barn H. There have been no reported neurologic cases of or positive tests for EHV-1 in that barn, but Reavis’s string resides in Barn E, in which the deadly strain of the virus has been active. Five horses there, one trained by Reavis and four by Dale Bennett, tested positive for EHV-1, and one horse was euthanized because of the disease on Nov. 14. The maximum incubation period for EHV-1is thought to be about 14 days, and it seems likely Angelinthevening contracted the virus after changing barns.

Claiming has gone on as usual during the outbreak, which began Oct. 14. There have been calls to restrict movement of horses between barns, but the Hawthorne backstretch lacks a separate space to stable claimed horses, according to Dr. Dawn Folker-Calderon, the Illinois state veterinarian at the track, and Jim Miller, Hawthorne’s assistant general manager. Miller also said that in general, horsemen wanted claiming to continue and didn’t support the idea of a claimed horse remaining in its original barn.

Saturday’s death was the second this week, following an EHV-1 fatality on Monday in Barn 1, the first confirmed EHV-1 positive in 11 days. Miller said the events of the week hadn’t moved Hawthorne officials to further consider halting the meet, which runs through Dec. 30.

A handful of the nearly 2,000 horses stabled at Hawthorne have been permitted to leave for approved out-of-state quarantine facilities during the last eight days, but the track remains under an Illinois Department of Agriculture quarantine. The quarantine expires 28 days after the last neurologically symptomatic horse is reported, and that timeline will be reset to Saturday morning if the Reavis horse produces a positive EHV-1 test.

Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Just stay away all handicappers, twice a meet I might wager on this garbage dump of a track.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
This is obsurd.QUARANTINE ..LOOK IT UP FOLKS! SHUT THE ENTRY BOX DOWN IF YOU ARE. A HORSEMAN..OR RISK THIS FOR YOUR HORSE. It spreads too easily..But hey what's another month right? Jesus.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
2000 horses 5 died. Racing is expensive. So if u shut th entry box what do u tell the families of all of those employed by Hawthorne ,the exercise riders ,thevownersvwhonbearbthe cost etc. ..l STARVE. 1/4 of 1 percent of the horses on the grounds died......l.shortbsightedand poorly thoughts sir
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Racing is REALLY expensive when no one will accept your horses at their track to race.
Jack More than 1 year ago
Who the hell is running this meet? Unfreekin' real. Are these people complete idiots? It's the only conclusion I can come up with. Those poor horses. So, the only thing they are changing is resetting the quarantine timeline, bravo. And when the next horse is put down they will act accordingly and reset the timeline again. The state needs the revenue, screw the animals, right. Unreal.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Agree with your general premise, but the filly was moved from a clean barn upon claim to a dirty barn, then became ill, and died. She didn't expose other horses. But yes, why anyone wants to claim a dirty barn horse and put it in their clean barn, or bring a clean horse in to be infected by their dirty barn is beyond any logical comprehension. I wish the state would shut down the meet or at least ban taking possession of any claimed horse until 30 days out. Horsemen can't see the forest for the trees here.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
No, no Barbara. The Horsemen have been asking kee-rist pleading for help and real action for, like six damn weeks now.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
No, no? So the incompetent state vet and management are lying when they claim that horsemen "generally" want to continue racing and claiming? Really? Then at this abysmal point, the horsemen should step up together and shut down the meet by refusing to claim and/or enter.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Now, you are getting closer to the root of the problem - State Vet(?).
Lisa More than 1 year ago
I just don't get why they want to move a horse from an infected barn to one that has had no cases (claiming or not)and now all of those in the barn with the filly that has just died are at risk. I have owned horses for over 30 years and I find it just STUPID to move these horses around. EHV-1 can cause 4 kinds of disease in a horse – but the main two are the respiratory version and the neurologic version. In many horses that contract EHV-1 viruses, they spike high fevers, become lethargic, have clear runny noses and generally feel like crap. Many horses only get the respiratory version and clear the virus after a few days and have no further problems with it. In some horses, and no one understands why they do this, an EHV-1 infection can become the neurologic form. Literally, a mutated form of the virus gets into the spinal fluid and causes a myeloencephalopathy – a severe viral brain and spinal fluid infection. This infection is what causes the horses to become suddenly neurologic. The EHV-1 virus is RIDICULOUSLY contagious. It spreads via nasal secretions, and horses can contract it by touching the nose of another horse, through the air or from simply being in a barn that was previously occupied by a horse that was shedding the EHV-1 virus. Best way to deal with it. CONTAIN. Same stall, same barn, don't move them around. When did common sense go out the window????
laura ban More than 1 year ago
Lisa, That's a good question! In this case there was no common sense used. Ever. You're right about containment. Quarantine rules were broken and horses continue to die. But racing still goes on.
Russell More than 1 year ago
You got it backwards. They moved the horse from a clean barn to an infected barn
Lisa More than 1 year ago
Sorry about the mix up, but I wouldn't put it past them to have moved horses that shouldn't have been. They should just close thta whole track down until they have it under control. Oops, that might make sense!