"After evaluating all current information on the equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) and under advice of Dr Herrin, all Oklahoma shows should proceed as scheduled," the NRHA said.
It said the Oklahoma State Veterinary Office and Oklahoma State Fair Park management are cooperating to ensure that every possible measure is taken to prevent such an outbreak from occurring in Oklahoma City.
The Fair Park is disinfecting each stall after every show prior to introduction of new animals. They are also providing an isolation area, in the event a fever or neurologic symptoms develop, in order to separate any horse while at the facility. The Oklahoma State Veterinary office, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (OADDL), is gearing up to provide rapid test results of samples submitted for EHV-1 testing.
"In addition to our normal thorough cleaning procedures, we have been in close contact with and are following all recommendations from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (Commissioner Jim Reece) and the Acting State Veterinarian, Dr Michael Herrin," said Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. President and CEO Tim O'Toole.
"We are also working closely with all of our equine show promoters to make sure that they are aware of what precautions we are taking to prevent the potential spread of EHV-1 at State Fair Park. We anticipate that the horse shows scheduled for the rest of the summer will go on as planned."
The Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association Redbud Spectacular, from May 31 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, is expecting more than 800 horses for a 12 day period. The Expo Square facility in Tulsa is also getting geared up for the Pinto World Championship Show June 7-18, and looking to host over 1200 horses representing over 35 states.
The Appaloosa Horse Club's Youth World Championship Show and National Appaloosa Show will also go ahead as scheduled, from July 4 to 16 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The show venue, Tulsa Expo Square, is cleaning and disinfecting all stalls and barns as a preventative biosecurity measure.
Oklahoma agriculture representatives stressed that horse owners should be aware of the facts regarding the virus. "The EHV outbreak has only affected horses attending two events and horses directly exposed to that group upon returning home. The two events are the NCHA Western National Championship in Utah and the Kern County Cutting Horse Event in California. Affected and exposed horses in all states are under state quarantine or movement restrictions."
Just one horse from Oklahoma attended the Ogden event, but 32 were secondarily exposed. There is one suspected cases of EHM. The horse is showing mild neurological signs but is improving.