Negative Equine Herpes Virus Test Result for Horse Tested in Wellington

Wellington, FL – March 10, 2021 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) management announces that there has been a negative test result for Equine Herpes Virus on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, on a horse that was restricted from entering the FEI compound at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) show grounds for the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). The horse was tested on its private farm using a rapid result test by its personal veterinarian on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, after it presented with a fever. The horse was not on PBIEC property.

Thanks to the biosecurity protocols put in place at PBIEC by ESP, “Horse A” was found at pre-check before entering the show grounds to have a fever of 103. The horse was not allowed access to FEI stabling and sent back to its home stable where it has been isolated.

A barn-mate of “Horse A” was removed from FEI stabling due to close contact. “Horse B” has not had a fever or any other symptoms and is also in isolated stabling at its home stable. All athletes that had horses stabled in the proximity of Horse B were notified and took extra biosecurity precautions.

It should be noted that the athlete of Horse A and B has a third “Horse C” that is currently stabled in the FEI compound. This horse competed last week in the WEF 8 CSIO competition. Management has had multiple conversations with the athlete regarding Horse C. The athlete has assured management Horse C was placed in a separate quarantine stable at the private farm after competing last week and had no contact with Horse A or B.

Along with the personal vet of Horse A and B, ESP management coordinated with the WEF Veterinary Delegate, FEI Lead Steward, FEI Foreign Steward, and Official Veterinarians Palm Beach Equine Clinic to closely monitor the situation. ESP will continue to announce any further information pertaining to EHV as it becomes available.

With this latest information, we urge all horse owners to adhere strictly to biosecurity protocols and note that restrictions are still in place at PBIEC. They are as follows:

1.   Anyone shipping horses into the PBIEC and Equestrian Village facilities will be required to sign a declaration stating that the horses entering the facility have not competed at other Florida venues outside of Wellington or been in close contact with horses that competed in other Florida venues outside of Wellington within ten (10) days prior to their arrival.

2.   Starting Monday, March 8, any horses shipping onto the property (both WEF and AGDF grounds) will require a health certificate or statement on official licensed veterinarian letterhead and must be dated by Veterinarian within seven (7) days of arriving (see March 3 press release for details)

3.   ESP will require all barns on PBIEC and Equestrian Village show grounds to maintain a temperature log with twice-daily temperatures recorded and recommend posting on each horse’s stall door. Random checks by approved veterinary staff may be implemented.

4.   ESP and USEF strongly recommend that equestrians do not ship horses throughout the state for the foreseeable future. In addition, we encourage you to cease any European imports you may have scheduled to Florida. We urge those with recently imported horses to isolate and monitor them for 10 days. Horses imported from Europe in the last 14 days and going forward will not be allowed into PBIEC or Equestrian Village show grounds.

5.   Any horse on the show grounds with a fever of unknown origin or of suspicious origin must be reported to ESP Management. It is always better to err on the side of safety. Isolation stalls will either be available on the grounds or at a local veterinary practice if the need arises.

It is our shared responsibility to keep our horses safe. Similar to the suggested protocols in place for humans due to COVID-19, we urge all equestrians to please remember and abide by the following biosecurity measures: 

  • Take all horses’ temperature daily and report any horse with a temperature above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit or any signs of respiratory or neurological disease to your veterinarian and/or show management 
  • Take the temperature of all horses prior to shipping to WEF or AGDF, and do not bring any febrile horses to the show 
  • Avoid mixing of horses where possible, practice equine ‘social distancing’ 
  • Ensure good hygiene and biosecurity at the show and your home farms 
  • Make sure your horses are currently vaccinated for influenza and EHV.
  • You should be able to document your horse’s normal temperature before arrival. Please do not ship horses with elevated temperatures. It is recommended that you establish a log of temperatures taken at least twice daily. If there is an elevated temperature for more than a 24-hour period, please consult your local Veterinarian immediately
  • Every effort should be made to minimize stress and commingling of horses shipped long distances. Extra hours on a horse van or moving from stable to stable is the fastest way to compromise your horses’ and your neighbor’s horses’ health
  • Please take the time to review equine good hygiene practices and impress its importance to your grooms and barn managers in everyday care

Further biosecurity protocols and additional resources can be found here:

United States Department of Agriculture Information on Equine Herpesvirus

American Association of Equine Practitioners FAQ on Equine Herpesvirus

United States Equestrian Federation Biosecurity Measures for Horses at Home and at Competitions

ESP has longstanding protocols to manage such events and will provide isolation facilities if and as required. Experience has taught us that early identification is key when dealing with disease outbreaks, and this requires cooperation from everyone within the community. 

If you have any questions or concerns about your horse’s health, please contact our veterinary partners, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, at 561-793-1599.

Press Release