12/05/2012 2:59PM

Hawthorne: Positive test forces quarantine extension


STICKNEY, Ill. – Laboratory test results received Tuesday revealed a horse that had to be euthanized Saturday at Hawthorne was infected with equine herpesvirus.

A positive result had been expected since the horse, a 2-year-old filly trained by Mike Reavis, was discovered lying down in its stall and unable to rise, symptoms consistent with the serious neurologic form of the virus, known as EHV-1. The filly had to be euthanized, becoming the fifth fatality resulting from an EHV-1 outbreak that began Oct. 14 at Hawthorne.

The positive test having come back, horses stabled in the barn where the filly was housed, Barn E, will begin training with the group of Hawthorne horses that have been exposed to horses effected by the neurologic strain of the EHV-1 virus. Those horses are permitted on the track later in the morning after regular training hours have ended.

Hawthorne remains under an Illinois Department of Agriculure-imposed quarantine. The quarantine will expire if no horses at the track display neurologic symptoms of the virus for 28 days. The infected horse Saturday has reset the quarantine clock to Dec. 1.

Meanwhile, horses continue to leave Hawthorne for approved off-site quarantine facilities. The latest departures were 19 horses trained by Tim Ice moved Wednesday to a facility in Illinois. The first trainer granted permission to leave was Gary Scherer, who sent horses to Kentucky on Nov. 23. Scherer might have hoped to be allowed into his intended winter quarters at Fair Grounds earlier than if he had case remained at Hawthorne, but the New Orleans track issued a bulletin Wednesday saying that no horses stabled at Hawthorne anytime during the quarantine would be permitted at Fair Grounds “until further notice.”