Updated on 01/13/2017 2:14PM

Turfway Park restricts shippers from HighPointe Training Center after horses test positive for EHV-1


Horses shipping into Turfway Park are being confined to the receiving barn following positive tests for the equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) at the HighPointe Training Center near LaGrange, Ky., about an hour south of Turfway in Florence, Ky.

Rusty Ford of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture said Thursday by phone from Turfway that “some slight adjustments are being made” at Turfway in light of the findings. Ford said a single barn has been placed under quarantine at HighPointe.

Two HighPointe horses have been found with the “wild,” or milder, strain of the virus. One horse at a different facility in the same Kentucky county (Oldham) has been found with the neuropathogenic, or more dangerous, strain.

Ford said he could not reveal specifics on the affected horses.

This was posted Thursday on the Equine Disease Communication Center’s website:

“Results of testing for the EHV-1 outbreak initially reported on 1/7/17 in Oldham County identified two additional horses positive for EHV-1. In addition, the horse that had spiked a fever late last week tested positive to the same virus type (neuropathogenic strain). All three of these horses were moved from their stabling area and placed in the isolation unit, and none of [the] remaining horses in the barn were positive for EHV-1. Subsequently, the horse that had fever presented with neurological abnormalities on Monday and was moved to isolation at a veterinary hospital for treatment, where it continues to improve. All horses that had left the facility have been located and testing completed. Two horses that had moved were identified as positive. These horses are in isolation on private facilities and are being monitored with the established protocol.”

Ford said he and Turfway officials were “working hard to ensure a safe environment” and that updated information is being made available via the website.

Shippers from HighPointe are not being allowed into Turfway, and those from other off-site centers are being restricted to the receiving barn.

Turfway management on Thursday declared that all HighPointe shippers entered this week (through Saturday night) be scratched.

Turfway is hosting racing four nights a week (Wednesday-Saturday) through February and three nights a week during March. The Kentucky stewards referred all questions to Ford and Turfway management.

Fair Grounds in New Orleans is under tight quarantine restrictions after a herpes outbreak began several weeks ago.