In The News: A Free Seminar For Horse Owners

A free seminar for horse owners and industry leaders about the latest on EPM, West Nile, and Foot and Mouth Disease will be presented Friday, April 27, 2001 at the Kentucky Horse Park Visitor's Information Center from 5-7 pm. The seminar will coincide with the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Featured speakers include Dr. Bill Saville of The Ohio State University, and Dr. Peter Timoney of the Gluck Equine Research Center. Fact sheets and handouts will be available. Seating is limited!

More on the topics that will be covered:

Foot and Mouth Disease

While this disease doesn't cause illness in horses, the equine industry is suffering world-wide because of the inability to move horses within the European Union and among overseas countries for competition and sale. The potential for spreading the disease due to the movement of horses, humans, and vehicles is very high. Foot and mouth devastates the agricultural economy, and thus the overall economy, of any country unfortunate enough to have an outbreak. The United States has been free of this disease since 1929, but has allowed importation of animals from foot and mouth endemic countries under strict guidelines in the ensuing years. The last major outbreak of foot and mouth was in Europe in the late 1960s. See more on Foot and Mouth Disease.

West Nile Virus

This is a deadly disease that affects horses, humans, and other animals. While this disease appears with regularity in other parts of the world, the first case of West Nile occurred in the United States in 1999. Since that first deadly visit in New York, the virus has spread as far south as North Carolina and as far west as Pennsylvania. It is predicted to appear in Ohio this year, and possibly in Kentucky by next year. An international conference on human and animal West Nile disease was held in Washington, D.C., in early April, and information from that gathering will be included at this seminar. For more on West Nile Virus, visit our West Nile Virus article library.


Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis is the number one cause of neurologic problems in horses. Caused by a single-celled parasite, EPM can cause minor coordination problems, severe gait deficits, or death. Some horses recover only to relapse and have symptoms again when taken off of treatment, and some horses never recover fully. There are many new advances taking place in the fight against EPM, and those will be covered at this seminar. Read more on EPM.

About the Speakers:

Dr. Bill Saville of The Ohio State University was part of the team that in the laboratory solved the life cycle of the parasite that causes EPM, which should lead to faster advances in determining how to prevent and treat this devastating disease. He also is one of the leaders in Ohio in trying to educate horse owners about West Nile virus.

Dr. Peter Timoney, head of the Gluck Equine Research Center in Lexington, Ky., is a world renowned researcher in infectious and contagious diseases. He worked as a veterinarian for the government in Ireland during the foot and mouth outbreak in the late 1960s, and has a global perspective on that disease. He also is well-versed on West Nile virus and the local, global, and historical effects of that devastating disease.

Representatives from various industry groups and pharmaceutical companies will be in attendance to answer questions from the audience after the official program.

Plan on arriving early to find a place to park and to assure yourself a seat. Enter through the main gate to the Visitor's Information Center (where you buy tickets to visit the park). Watch for signs for the seminar.

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