EI outbreak halts British racing

EI outbreak halts British racing

EI outbreak halts British racing

Races at Doncaster were among those axed yesterday.

Phumelela International and TellyTrack have reorganised the betting schedule and TV broadcast for today after the news from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) that racing will not resume in the United Kingdom until Wednesday at the earliest, with a decision to be taken on Monday.

The entrance to Donald McCain's stables.

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Bosses at Dunstall Park announced the move to abandon the Saturday evening meeting as the probe into the outbreak was being investigated today. That means "a fully formed decision can be made on Monday" on whether races can be held on Wednesday.

High-profile fixtures that will be lost include Newbury's prestigious meeting tomorrow where reigning Cheltenham Gold Cup victor Native River was due to clash with King George VI Chase hero Clan Des Obeaux.

With Cheltenham less than five weeks away, there are understandable worries about whether the four-day Festival will be affected and while not almost on the same scale, there are uncomfortable echoes of the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak.

Although symptoms can be mild in vaccinated horses, the virus can be very unsafe to unvaccinated horses, although it is rarely fatal.




Racing had been due to take place on Thursday at several tracks, with more races planned for the weekend.

Racing will not commence in Britain until next Wednesday at the earliest and a lockdown of more than 100 yards was enforced on Thursday as British racing's governing body took emergency measures to try to ensure the highly contagious virus does not spread.

"We appreciate the impact that this may have on the sport commercially, but disease control in order to mitigate the risk of further disruption to the sport - and safeguard the health and welfare of our horses - must be a priority".

Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest horse racing events of the year but hundreds of horses remain under quarantine as it fast approaches on March 12.

Where Did Equine Flu Outbreak Come From?

"We felt clarity for the industry was the most important thing at this challenging time. In the meantime, we ask that everyone involved in the sport continues to be vigilant, restrict where possible all movements of horses and people and maintains the highest standards of biosecurity".

The virus then spread to reported cases in Britain and Ireland, with the BHA sending an official warning to the horse racing industry on January 19.

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