EHV Confirmed at Hawthorne Racecourse

Officials have determined an outbreak of equine herpesvirus has occurred at Hawthorne Race Course, located in Illinois, and a quarantine has been put in place, but racing will continue as scheduled.

The decision was made to put a quarantine of the affected barn in place to combat the disease, which has manifested in the neurologic form in two horses. The quarantine is restricted to Barn A.

"We're treating the horses in there and monitoring the horses in Barn A, " said Hawthorne Assistant General Manager Jim Miller. " Horses can still ship in. It doesn't affect racing. Racing still continues."

The disease claimed the life of one horse in Barn A and has affected at least one other. Three other horses are being monitored.

Miller said all 70 horses in the barn will be tested for the disease. Horses with a clean bill of health will be allowed to train during hours set aside only for them.

The track plans to take every precaution during races, including disinfecting the receiving barn every day, the paddock between every race, and the starting gate. The receiving barn is located at the opposite end of the backstretch from the affected barn.

"It's unfortunate," Miller said. "But you want to be safe rather than sorry."

About the Author

Frank Angst

Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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