The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Animal Health Branch notified the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) of a San Luis Obispo County horse who contracted the EHV-1 virus following the 2023 Celebration of Champions, held in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to the CDFA, the horse showed no clinical signs while at the event or traveling home. It was on February 22, four days after departure from the event, the horse showed neurological clinical signs of the virus. The horse had not been vaccinated for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) in the last year.
“NRCHA encourages best practices in biosecurity at all times. We encourage each of our competitors to take the necessary biosecurity measures, which include vaccinating your horse, keeping equipment and facilities clean and avoiding contact with other horses especially while traveling with their equine partners,” NRCHA Official Veterinary, Dr. Joe Carter, said. “The importance of vaccinating cannot be over-emphasized. Some research suggests vaccinating with high antigenic mass EHV vaccines like Calvenza and Pneumabort-K can aid in the prevention of neurologic EHV. We recommend you consult with your local veterinarian for EHV prevention strategies.”
Dr. Andy Schwartz of the Texas Animal Health Commission recommends that all horses from the event should be monitored for 14 days following their departure from the Will Rogers Memorial Complex with temperature checks twice daily. Also, owners should promptly notify their veterinarian of fevers over 102 degrees or respiratory or neurological signs.
The NRCHA will adhere to their health documentation requirements for the upcoming Teton Ridge Stallion Stakes by requiring all horses that enter South Point Equestrian facilities to have a negative Coggins (Equine Infectious Anemia) dated within six months of the event and a health certificate dated within 10 days.