Hawthorne Backstretch Update, Friday, November 16 – 9:00 AM
morning we received results back on the pair of horses that were under
observation in Barn E on the Hawthorne backstretch. The horse that deceased on Wednesday, November 14 along with the horse
that was moved into isolation in Barn K2 both tested positive for EHV-1. With the precautions that are in place, we
have asked that 6 horses be moved into the isolation area within barn K2 for
further monitoring. The sole purpose of
isolating these horses is to be able to monitor these horses, along with allow
the 1,800 plus remaining horses that are healthy to continue racing.
need to understand, this is a virus that we do not have a vaccination for and
do not know a cause for how it began.
numerous questions being asked in regards to EHV-1, the timeframe and the
process involved. There have been
numerous disinfecting and hygienic precautions put into place to allow those
healthy horses to control this outbreak.
This continues daily. The
disinfecting of the paddock, starting gate, pony equipment, etc. is done
between every race.
We do have
six horses that are in isolation being monitored while we have a vast majority
of horses able to race.
with these additional positive horses, the first question is when horses can
ship out. Currently we do not
know. This is under the determination
of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, not Hawthorne, not Dr. Folker or any
We are very
concerned about limiting this exposure and spread. All of the research that has
been done by every expert has procedures and precautions, but there is no
important to everyone involved is the health of the horses on the
backstretch. Everyone is in agreement
on this. Next is being able to
determine the steps necessary to control the outbreak of this virus.
In all of
the research done regarding EHV-1, this is not a virus that is passed via
training or racing. There would be more
of a concern if horses were locked into barns and unable to leave their stalls.
Horses are exposed to EHV-1 in so many different ways. If horses were unable to leave their stall,
they would still possibly be exposed to EHV-1 as well as any other possible
injuries they could sustain while not being able to leave a stall.
there are concerns from everyone and we are trying to best handle this in the
best interest of the horses on the Hawthorne backstretch. This is a difficult situation for all
parties. We are worried about the livelihood of our horses and horsemen. This is an industry that employs 30,000
people in the state of Illinois. We are
taking all of this into regard.
important, we ask for the continued cooperation of all on the Hawthorne
backstretch. We ask that the trainers,
vets, grooms, hotwalkers and anyone who may be in contact with a horse maintain
proper hygiene. We will continue the
disinfecting procedures in regards the daily racing operations.
Jim Miller – Assistant General Manager, Hawthorne Race Course