OLDSMAR, FL. – Tampa Bay Downs will not permit any horses that have raced, trained or been stabled at Hawthorne Race Course during the Illinois track’s fall meeting on the grounds for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
An outbreak of equine herpes virus (EHV-1) has claimed the lives of several horses during Hawthorne’s current meet, which began Oct. 5 and runs through Dec. 30. Hawthorne horses have been under an Illinois-imposed quarantine.
EHV-1 is a highly contagious, airborne disease that can also be transmitted by people through clothing and other infected items.
“We are sympathetic to the plight of Hawthorne horsemen and their animals impacted by the equine herpes virus,” said Tampa Bay Downs Vice President and General Manager Peter Berube. “However, for the time being, our priorities include the welfare of our locally based population and taking the necessary precautions to prevent the virus from entering our stable area.”
All horses shipping onto the grounds of Tampa Bay Downs to stable or train must provide a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection dated within 72 hours of arrival, with a rectal temperature and acknowledgement that each horse has been vaccinated against Equine Herpes Type 1 between 14 and 120 days of arrival, plus a statement signed and dated by the licensed attending veterinarian.