Report: Two Woodbine Horses Test Positive For Equine Herpesvirus

Two horses from Woodbine in Ontario, Canada, have tested positive for equine herpesvirus, according to a report by Jennifer Morrison at

The horses, stabled in Barn 12, were sent on Saturday to Equine Guelph at the University of Guelph, approximately 40 miles west of the track. Three other horses from Barn 12 have been moved to a quarantine barn for precautionary reasons. Horses in Barn 12 will be tested and not allowed to leave the barn for training until negative test results are returned. Horses from Barn 12 testing negative will be allowed to train during a separate training time.

Equine herpesvirus has different strains, the most serious being EHV-1 that may affect a horse’s neurologic system and can be fatal. It is contagious and spread by direct contact between horses via the respiratory tract through nasal secretions. It can also spread by human hands, gloves, tack, water and feed buckets and other surfaces that have come into contact with the virus.

A number of precautionary measures are being taken, including  a requirement that all horses at Woodbine have their temperatures taken twice daily. Horses may ship in to Woodbine but are not permitted to leave until further notice.

“This will be an evolving situation, and we will keep [horsepeople] updated with information as it is known,” Jessica Buckley, Woodbine Entertainment’s senior vice president of racing, told Morrison. “This news is an added challenge during an already difficult time, however, protocols already in place (for coronavirus) may ultimately help us contain this faster.”

The EHV discovery comes as Woodbine prepares for a June 6 opening of its Thoroughbred meet, delayed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The meet will operate under strict safety protocols and with essential personnel only permitted onsite.



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