The Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Coyote Rock Ranch Roundup has been cancelled as a consequence of positive Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) testing in the Western United States. The event had previously been scheduled March 6-11. The Awards Banquet has not been affected and will take place as planned on Saturday, March 10.
At least one horse has tested positive for EHV, which – according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) – is a contagious virus that spreads directly when an infected horse comes into contact with other horses and can also be spread through contaminated objects and beings such as tack, grooming equipment and human clothing or hands. As an infected horse tries to dispel the virus, the virus may become airborne, contaminating the air around the horse. Though rare, EHV has the potential to develop into a neurological form of the virus that can have more serious outcomes for infected horses.
“This is not the really bad neurological strain of the virus we saw a few years ago, but we want to be just as cautious,” said the PCCHA’s Executive Director Phil Benedum in a statement. “Our horses and their owners are our main concern. We do not want to take any chances.”
The Paso Robles Event Center (PREC), which was scheduled to host the PCCHA Coyote Rock Ranch Roundup, has and remains to be proactive in preventing the spread of any virus or infection. The PREC takes advantage of agriculturally safe biosecurity sprays that are used to sterilize the entire facility and particularly spaces in which host pathogens such as EHV could reside. Thanks to their vigilance, the Center has never had a neurologic EHV case.
“We are confident in our long-term and proven biosecurity measures to protect the health and welfare of our equine partners. We spray between each and every show with the hopes of never allowing the virus to ever get a start or foothold here at the Paso Robles Event Center,” said Michael Bradley, California Mid-State Fair CEO, in a statement.
The PCCHA and PREC are collaborating with the California State Veterinarian to keep up to date with the EHV occurrence and are working to reschedule the event when health care professionals deem it appropriate to do so.
“This is a proactive approach, as our primary concern is doing the right thing for the horses,” said Sandy Collier, PREC strategic horse show liaison, in a statement.