A horse showing the clinical signs of Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) who was housed at the Beaufort Hunt stables on the grounds of the Badminton Horse Trials is improving and is expected to make a full recovery.
The Badminton Horse Trials, which were cancelled last year, run this year from May 2 to 6.
The affected horse was examined on March 15 by a veterinary surgeon, with the diagnosis of EHV-1 confirmed the next day by The Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. The stables and all horses present were isolated immediately and hunting was cancelled the following day.
A total of 33 horses were identified as being potential contacts, although only six of these were in close contact within the same airspace. One of these six animals has subsequently been identified as a potential source of the EHV-1 infection as it was brought to the stables from another yard in close proximity to a recent outbreak of EHV-1.
All horses have been removed from the Beaufort Hunt stables. All the in-contact horses will be closely monitored and be subject to further blood sampling and nasal swabs until they are either clear of disease or no longer at risk.
All the event stables will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected according to an approved protocol which has been used in the past including at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The Equine Herpes Virus cannot survive outside the horse for any appreciable length of time.
Testing of all in-contact horses on the affected Badminton premises was undertaken immediately by nasal swabs and blood samples on confirmation of the diagnosis. There is no evidence clinically, serologically (blood) or virologically (swab) of infection among any of the horses outside the immediate contacts within the shared airspace, although further tests are required to confirm freedom from infection in these groups.
Last Wednesday Badminton organisers met with Dr Richard Newton, the Head of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance at The Animal Health Trust, to develop a strategy to contain the outbreak and to provide an effective biosecurity programme for the Badminton Horse Trials.
Horses are not allowed to enter the Beaufort Hunt Stables and no riding in the Park is allowed between now and when competitors arrive for the Badminton Horse Trials in six weeks time.