11/27/2012 5:12PM

Hawthorne: Sick horse euthanized Monday as quarantine continues


STICKNEY, Ill. – A horse that had gone down in its stall had to be euthanized Monday morning at Hawthorne Race Course, raising concerns that the equine herpesvirus that has been circulating at the Chicago-area track since Oct. 14 remains active in the equine population.

A sample from the horse, housed in Barn 1 and trained by Eduardo “Lalo” Rodriguez, was drawn before it was euthanized and was sent for laboratory testing, according to state-employed veterinarian Dr. Dawn Folker-Calderon. Until the results are obtained – Wednesday at the earliest – there’s no confirmation that the horse was suffering from the herpesvirus, known as EHV-1.

[MORE - DRF WEEKEND: Latest outbreak has Hawthorne horsemen on alert]

The virus has led to the death of three horses at Hawthorne, most recently on Nov. 18, when a neurologically afflicted horse trained by Dale Bennett fell and had to be euthanized while being transferred from Bennett’s barn to an isolation barn for horses showing symptoms of the EHV-1 virus or testing positive for it.

Another horse, trained by Mark Cristal, was transferred to the isolation barn, K-2, after testing positive for the virus late last week. That horse, however, displayed no neurological symptoms of the disease, Folker-Calderon said.

Hawthorne has been under an Illinois Department of Agriculture-imposed quarantine since Oct. 26, when the virus jumped from Barn A, the first place horses were infected, to Barn C. If the Rodriguez horse is confirmed positive, it would be the first afflicted horse from Barn 1. A positive test on that horse would also re-start the clock on the Hawthorne quarantine, which will last for 28 days after the last neurologically symptomatic horse is reported. The last such horse to test positive for the virus showed symptoms Nov. 19.

The Hawthorne quarantine was to a degree lifted last week, when the Department of Agriculture released protocols under which horses could leave Hawthorne for out-of-state quarantine sites. Horses trained by Gary Scherer departed Hawthorne on Friday bound for a private facility in Kentucky. On Tuesday morning, 10 horses trained by Christine Janks left Hawthorne bound for Janks’s farm in Florida, where they’ll be quarantined. Two horses trained be Leo Rodriguez were scheduled to leave later Tuesday for a quarantine site in Indiana.

Hawthorne-based horses, however, will not be permitted to leave Hawthorne for another racetrack, training center, or any other location housing an equine population until the quarantine is fully lifted.

Bret Headrich More than 1 year ago
They shouldn't let the horses leave ! If a out break occurs at any of these farms .Heads will roll! But I bet if any die they will not be reported!
laura ban More than 1 year ago
Unbelievable! This is sad and wrong that this situation is allowed to go from bad to worse to total disaster! But is has.
FMeatball More than 1 year ago
I REFUSE to bet @ Hawthorne until they REALLY show some compassion for their horses !! This is so sad !!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Really... And the Horsemen have been asking for help!
Cyndi Robertson More than 1 year ago
Doesn't it seem logical that quarantine protocol would prohibit the transfer of horses from stable to stable by claims??
Jack More than 1 year ago
Quit betting Hawthorne, it' s the only thing they understand$$$ This is getting out of hand. It's one thing to see a horse break down(heart breaking), but when i see a horse was put down(again) at Hawthorne behind the scenes, come on.
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
It is the state veterinarian who calls the shots and not the race track. People who run a track know little or nothing about these diseases and rely on the state vet. I assume that the state vet told the track it could hold races. This is a very nasty virus that spreads so easily. People can carry the virus with them on their clothes, shoes etc. There is no vaccine for this particular strain of the virus. The outbreak will be a long haul. The horses will be stuck in isolation until the state vet says the outbreak is contained and over.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
No offense intended to any person... but justwhoinhell will oversee this quarantine after horses have shipped out of Hawthorne?
Todd Stinson More than 1 year ago
They won't be leaving. Some say it might be spring. Bad deal
Chris Szulc More than 1 year ago
Horses have already left Todd. They have to follow a specific protocol between the IL Dept of Ag and the state's Ag department that they're leaving for. They are leaving for private farms and facilities, not other racetracks.