British horse racing hit by outbreak of equine flu - no racing for the next six days - at least
- Credit: Archant
An outbreak of equine flu has led to the postponement of horse racing in Britain until February 13, at the earliest, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced.
All fixtures on Thursday were called off the BHA after three vaccinated horses tested positive for the disease.
Trainer Donald McCain has confirmed the horses came from his Cheshire stables.
Horses from the infected yard raced on Wednesday, potentially exposing a significant number of horses.
“This precautionary approach is intended to ensure we put the health of the horse population and control of the virus first, and avoid any unnecessary risk that might come from returning to racing too quickly,” said a BHA statement.
You may also want to watch:
“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.”
The meetings at Chelmsford, Doncaster, Ffos Las and Huntingdon on Thursday were cancelled. Racing had been due to take place at Bangor, Kempton Park, Newcastle and Southwell on Friday.
- 1 The annual Marriott Trophy at Sidmouth Town Football Club
- 2 Stephen's not afraid to get hands-on to keep business moving forward
- 3 Property of the Week: Glebelands
- 4 The questions of British Lions selection
- 5 Donkeys look forward to welcoming families back
- 6 Arboreturm volunteers make final plans for eventful tree week
- 7 Two Sidmouth gardens set to open to the public this bank holiday
- 8 New team on frontline for mental health care and support
- 9 Ottery Brownie leader set to run London Marathon
- 10 The keys to good teamwork? Trust, communiication, commitment and accountability
On Saturday, Lingfield, Newbury, Uttoxeter, Warwick and Wolverhampton were on the schedule, with Exeter and Southwell hosting events on Sunday.
This announcement also means the Monday races at Catterick, Hereford and Wolverhampton will not go ahead, nor will the fixtures on Tuesday at Ayr, Lingfield and Newcastle.
The statement added: “The BHA’s veterinary team has today been in contact with more than 50 trainers and veterinarians to allow it to make an informed assessment of the risk of equine influenza spreading.
“While no further positive tests have been received, at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing.
“The disease can take up to three days before symptoms are visible, meaning it will take until Sunday at the earliest before the BHA can gather all the information required.
“This approach will allow samples to be collected and assessed by the Animal Health Trust in order that a fully informed decision can be made on Monday. This may then allow declarations to take place on Tuesday in time for racing on Wednesday.”