Oklahoma Tracks Establish EHV-1 Policy

Policy announced in advance of the Remington Park spring meet, which opens March 11.

Press release

Oklahoma's tracks have established a policy regarding EHV-1.

Due to the serious nature of a recent outbreak of the neurologic strain of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) at racetracks in the southwest United States, the following policy has been adopted jointly by Remington Park (which opens its 50-day Quarter Horse meet on March 11), Will Rogers Downs, Fair Meadows at Tulsa, the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association. This policy has been developed in collaboration with the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission in order to safeguard the welfare of horses participating at Oklahoma racetracks.

Until further notice, no horses will be admitted on the grounds of an Oklahoma Licensed Racetrack if they are coming from a county with a facility or racetrack that is under quarantine for the EHV-1 Equine Herpesvirus, or if they are coming from a county adjacent to a county where quarantine has been implemented.

No trailer, van, or transport vehicle will be allowed to enter the enclosure of a racetrack unless the shipper signs an affidavit that he/she has provided the following information for every horse on their trailer, meeting the requirements below, regardless if the horse is to remain at the racetrack. The following documentation must be provided for every horse (including pony horses) at the stable gate before they will be permitted to enter the enclosure at Remington Park, Will Rogers Downs and Fair Meadows:

--A current health certificate issued within 72 hours prior to arrival at the track which shows the vaccination record for each horse. The horse must have been vaccinated with an FDA approved modified live or killed virus vaccine for EHV-1 not less than 14 days and not more than 60 days prior to date of entry. The veterinarian must provide the date of vaccination, the brand, serial number, and the expiration date of vaccine.

--The health certificate must also contain a statement by the issuing veterinarian that he/she has physically examined each horse within 72 hours of issuing the health certificate, and the horse does not exhibit any clinical signs of the virus. the temperature of the horse was normal at the time of the examination, the veterinarian verified with the owner/trainer that the horse has not been exposed to a suspected EHV-1 positive horse, and the veterinarian verified with the owner/trainer that the horse has not been stabled in an EHV-1 quarantined county or adjacent county within the past 21 days.

--Horsemen are required to keep every horse admitted to or on the grounds on a current 60 day FDA approved EHV-1 vaccine or EHV-1 booster schedule until further notice. Evidence of a booster vaccine will be required prior to any horse reaching that 60 day deadline.  

Any individual that is found to be responsible for a horse entering the enclosure of a racetrack that does not conform to these conditions will be ejected from the grounds and will not be allowed to participate in the race meeting. 

All trainers and horse haulers are urged to take extreme caution when transporting horses to properly disinfect and sanitize their trailers if there is any chance they may have transported an exposed horse.

Matt Vance, Remington Park vice president of operations, emphasized the importance for all involved in horse racing in Oklahoma, to adhere to this adopted health and safety policy. 

“First and foremost, Remington Park will always do all it can to protect the health of its equine population," Vance said. "After working with all track management in Oklahoma, the OQHRA, the TRAO, leading equine veterinarians and the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, we believe this comprehensive plan is best in order to prevent the spread of the EHV-1 Virus in light of the recent outbreaks in New Mexico and Arizona.”

For more information, contact the Remington Park racing office at (405) 425-3271 or the Will Rogers Downs racing office at (918) 283-8813.

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