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Equine flu outbreak prompts Equitana postponement

September 14, 2007

Organisers announced this morning that they were postponing this year's Equitana because of the equine flu outbreak. The event was scheduled for November in Melbourne but will now take place in November 2008.

Definitive Events Pty Ltd said the decision to postpone Equitana Asia Pacific 2007 was not taken lightly and only reached after careful consideration and consultation with the Department of Primary Industries Victoria, EFA, the Melbourne Showgrounds and Tourism Victoria.

"We believe that postponing this year's event is in the best interest of the horse industry and supports the ongoing endeavors to prevent the virus entering the Victorian horse population," said Daryl Herbert, CEO Definitive Events.

"The unique environment that embodies Equitana Asia Pacific, horse and public one on one, is what makes it special and brings together the Australian equine industry. With the restriction on interstate horse movement, the recommended bio-security precautions and exclusion zone restrictions it is clear that we could not deliver the standard of Equitana Asia Pacific that the equine community has come to expect," he said.

Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Hugh Millar expressed his understanding and support of the decision to postpone Equitana Asia Pacific this year. "The risks associated with the assembly and interaction with the people and horses, the logistical difficulties in implementing bio-security procedures and the consequence of a suspected outbreak, all point towards a decision that is in the best interest of the equine industry," he said.

Franz Venhaus, Chief Executive Officer of the Equestrian Federation of Australia, fully supports the decision to postpone the event in these difficult times for the equine industry. "This decision is in the best interest of our industry and we will work with event organisers in the presentation of outstanding competitions in 2008." he said.

Mark O'Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, said: "As a venue that hosts events every week, we understand the risks that are associated with running equine events within our precinct at these extraordinary times but looking to the future we look forward to hosting Equitana Asia Pacific in 2008," he said.

Definitive Events says that a procedure to refund all ticketing money will be implemented immediately.

Equitana will now take place from Thursday, November 20, 2008 to Sunday, November 23, 2008.



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