United Kingdom horseracing to resume on Wednesday

Ludlow Hunt

The British Horseracing Authority announced the first cancellations on Thursday, after three cases of the virulent strain were found in vaccinated horses at Donald McCain's yard.

Bookmakers have reported that revenues have taken a hit following the news that new cases of the Equine Influenza virus have been identified, resulting in an industry-wide halt on the sport.

Crisford's stable had been identified for testing because he ran Sajanjl at Newcastle on February 5, a meeting which subsequently produced a "suspicious" but ultimately negative test for a runner from the Rebecca Menzies stable.

Two scheduled Jump fixtures will go ahead at Musselburgh and Plumpton, alongside the All Weather fixtures at Southwell and Kempton.

Racing was cancelled at Chelmsford City Racecourse following an outbreak of equine influenza.

BHA's chief regulatory officer, Brant Dunshea, confirmed that racing could resume but only with strict biosecurity control measures in place.

It has also been our intention to ensure that we avoid an issue that could result in a long-term disruption to racing with the risk of many of our major events being unduly impacted.

"What we are comfortably satisfied with is that we have got sufficient measures in place to understand what has happened with the disease and how to contain and control it".

Around 700 tests a day are being conducted, with the Animal Health Trust prioritising horses considered most at risk.

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A total of 174 racing stables had been placed in lockdown.

Dunshea said there had been significant logistical issues associated with testing thousands of samples in such a short space of time.

"It's great to be back racing, and we have a real treat for racegoers with a superb day of racing in prospect".

"As long as they can fulfil that requirement, they are fine".

Should the decision be taken to return to racing tomorrow, declarations for any fixtures staged will be this morning.

"Having had the opportunity to consider things over the weekend, the board have made the decision that we are able to support that movement - which is obviously good news for everybody".

The Newmarket community - including licensed trainers, veterinary surgeries, farriers, the British Racing School and all other relevant bodies - are being advised by the BHA to continue to show increased vigilance in biosecurity.

"The critical thing is they have to have had the correct vaccination within the eight weeks preceding the run".

"Security measures will include all horses being required to submit a health declaration, that the horse has shown no symptoms of equine flu in the last 14 days", he said.

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