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Horse with equine herpes symptoms euthanized

Two others at Bakersfield cutting confirmed positive; vets call for quarantine

Special to the Horsetrader - May 19th, 2011

SACRAMENTO — Veterinarians are recommending a three- to four-week quarantine after one horse was euthanized and two other ill horses at a Bakersfield cutting event have tested positive with Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHV-1).

The University of California Davis reported at least two California confirmed cases of EHV-1 infection in horses that had recently competed at the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championship Show in Ogden, Utah, and then traveled to the Kern County Fairgrounds. One horse was transported from Bakersfield to the isolation facility at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Another horse that attended the Ogden show was also sent to UC Davis. Both of these horses have been confirmed as positive for EHV-1. In addition, at least four additional horses in various areas of Northern California have been confirmed as positive for EHV-1.

During the past week in Colorado, there have been at least two confirmed cases of equine herpes-1 infection in horses that competed at the NCHA show in Odgen.

The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) at UC Davis operates an isolation facility that was designed specifically to allow us to provide the best possible care to horses with infectious diseases such as EHV-1, while completely segregating them from other hospitalized horses and outpatients. The isolation facility is located a substantial distance from the main hospital, utilizes a dedicated group of staff and employs rigid infectious disease control and containment protocols that prevent other horses from becoming exposed. Currently, the two horses mentioned above are being treated under maximum isolation. These horses have no contact with other horses at the hospital. Because of the presence of EHV-1 in the community, the VMTH is taking every precaution to prevent EHV-1 entry into the general hospital. Every horse admitted to the hospital is being tested for EHV-1 and full biosecurity precautions are in force during the next few weeks as necessary.
Equine herpesvirus is a common virus of horses worldwide, and can cause respiratory disease, abortions, and less commonly neurologic signs as it has in these cases. It is transmitted by aerosol and close contact between horses, including fomites such as shared tack, equipment and by human hands. Though there are vaccines available for prevention of respiratory disease and abortions caused by equine herpesvirus, there are currently none that are labeled for prevention of the neurologic form of the disease.

Officials at the VMTH urge horse owners to contact their veterinarian if their horse may have been exposed to EHV-1 at one of these shows or through contact with a horse that has returned from one of these events. In general, exposed horses should be isolated and have their temperatures monitored twice daily. If an exposed horse develops a fever, diagnostic testing of nasal swabs and blood should be performed. Consideration should be given to vaccination of resident, non-exposed horses on premises where potentially exposed horses are returning to, as per the veterinarian’s guidelines.

For a comprehensive fact sheet on EHV-1, click here.

Cal gal is first woman to 1,000 QH race wins

From the Newstrader - April 7th, 2011
Janet (Newcomb) Van Bebber…first 1,000-win woman trainer

Janet (Newcomb) Van Bebber… first 1,000-win woman trainer

BOSSIER CITY, LA – Southern California horsewoman Janet (Newcomb) Van Bebber made history March 15th when the former youth champion in the show ring became the only woman trainer in Quarter Horse history to have won 1,000 races.

Van Bebber, daughter of well-known judge Judy Wright and sister of veterinarian Dr. John Newcomb of San Diego County, notched her milestone win at Louisiana Downs with Playthegame Withease, owned by Robert Latham. She accomplished the feat as a single mother, raising her daughter, 13-year-old Taylor, and training race horses on her own since her husband, Steve, died in late 2000.

USEFYou don’t have to be a record-setting quarterback, point guard or track star to letter in high school sports anymore. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is writing a new chapter in the recognition of high school sports — one that honors Equestrian athletes. The USEF’s High School Equestrian Athlete program will offer specially designed emblems and pins, exclusively for equestrian athletes in grades 9-12.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director Bob Abbey announced Feb. 24 that less mustangs will be removed from the range and more mustang mares will receive anti-fertility treatment under a new BLM management strategy plan.

The plan calls for the BLM to reduce the number of wild horses slated for removal during the next two years from 10,000 to 7,600, unless conditions such as drought or other emergencies require removing more animals. In addition, the BLM will treat more mares with the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP). Injected as a liquid or fed in pellet form to fertile mares aged 4 to 20 years, a single PZP vaccination renders treated mares infertile for 22 months.

Whether you were one of the standing room-only crowds for the nightly Extreme Cowboy Race or an attendee to any of the popular clinician presentations, you had to sense the popularity of the 2011 Equine Affaire at the Fairplex Feb. 3-6. There was no better barometer for economic activity than the trade show, which left many of the hundreds of traditional vendors content with a successful show. Here are some snapshots.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — On the heels of last fall’s popular Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, reining and the first-ever World Championship Freestyle will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park, April 28-May 1.

One of the world’s most prestigious equestrian competitions and the only CCI**** in the Western Hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bridgestone, annually attracts 50-100,000 spectators and millions of viewers on international telecasts including a 60-minute domestic broadcast on NBC.

LOS ANGELES – Representatives of the homegrown Los Angeles Horse Council met with Los Angeles Equine Committee members Jan. 24, reviewing the LAHC’s effort for a “Equestrian Bill of Rights.”

The Bill of Rights is the LAHC’s set of equine specific precepts for use by city and county officials that, if adopted, will set in clearer course for equestrian lifestyle in the future.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has rejected Madeleine Pickens’ plan to create a Wild Horse sanctuary in Nevada according to a written statement from BLM Director Bob Abbey.

The wife of Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens first offered to establish the sanctuary for horses in BLM long-term holding facilities in 2008. Under the plan, 10,000 animals currently residing in BLM long-term holding pastures would be relocated to the sanctuary. The plan requests a $500 per horse per year BLM stipend to fund the nonprofit Save America’s Mustangs Foundation (SAMF) to oversee the horses’ care. In Oct. 2010, Pickens acquired the property necessary to create the 500,000-acre sanctuary in Nevada.

Galway Downs gets new owner, old name

From the Newstrader - January 20th, 2011
Robert Kellerhouse

Amy McCool photo

Robert Kellerhouse...sees bright future.

TEMECULA – Robert Kellerhouse has witnessed many changes over his 13 years directing the sprawling, 240-acre Galway Downs Equestrian Center. His favorite may have been a change in ownership last November when local businessman Ken Smith purchased the facility.

“It’s very exciting.” Kellerhouse said of the transaction. “For such a long time, we’ve been living on literally an annual sort of a basis here — going year-to-year. Now, we’ll be able start making real plans to have real expansion of the equestrian operation.”

Phyllis Grupe

Phyllis Grupe

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Fritz and Phyllis Grupe of Stockton and Leslie Berndl of Newcastle were named this month to the 2011 United States Equestrian Federation Driver Training Long List.

Fritz Grupe made the Pair Horses and Single Horse disciplines, Phyllis Grupe the Single Pony discipline, and Berndl both the Single Horse and Single Pony disciplines.