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Hawthorne Backstretch Update, Thursday, November 15 - Noon

Hawthorne Backstretch Update, Thursday, November 15 – Noon


                First off is an update in regards to the horses within Barns 8, A and K2.  These horses have been back in training for over a week now, the horses within Barn 8 have been longer than that.  For Barn 8, which contains 37 horses which have tested negative for EHV-1, they will be tested again next week.  If those results come back negative once again, those horses will be allowed to be reunited with the backstretch population, enter races, and train during regular training hours.  The quarantine restrictions on that barn will be lifted.

                Barn A now also currently houses only horses that have tested negative for EHV-1.  These are horses that had originally tested positive but have since been retested and have come back negative.  While they are also allowed to train, their timeframe for reintroduction into the horse population will be longer than those within Barn 8.  That timeframe will be determined between the state veterinarian and Illinois Department of Agriculture veterinarian.

                In Barn K2, there are two locations.  The first location houses horses that have tested positive for EHV-1 but are also asymptomatic.  Since these horses do not show symptoms nor have fevers, they are also allowed to trainer during the designated later morning hours.  They will be tested again in the coming week.

                On Wednesday, November 14, it was brought to the state and association veterinarian’s attention by a practicing veterinarian that there were two horses within Barn E at Hawthorne that needed to be monitored.  We have created a separate area within Barn K2 which is only for horses to be monitored for any concerns.  We had two horses to be transferred to that location on Wednesday.

                While the first horse transferred without issue, the second horse unfortunately collapsed on the walk over.  After being examined by three veterinarians, it was determined that the horse should be euthanized.  As is the protocol for any suspicious death, the horse was immediately transported to the University of Illinois for a necropsy to determine that cause of death. 

                As with everything, there are rumors that immediately are spread about.  We ask that people do not spread rumors until they have the facts.  Currently we do not know why this horse passed.  The state and association veterinarians have the history on the horse which will help lead them to answers.  Regarding the second horse which was moved, which currently is the only horse within the separate isolation area of K2, the vets also have a history on that horse.

                This is the reason we have the isolation area though.  In every case, if there is a concern, it is treated on a case by case basis.  The horse is removed from their barn so they may be isolated and treated accordingly.

During the Thursday morning pre-race examinations by the two association veterinarians, they were in contact with the practicing veterinarians on the backstretch as they are daily.  There were no new causes for concern from horses within Barn E, nor any other Barn according to the practicing vets and association vets. 

With this virus, we are concerned and overly cautious any time any situation arises.  At the same time, there is currently one horse of nearly 1,900 on our backstretch in the separate isolation area.  Every other horse is allowed to train with many more nearing their reintroduction to the horse population.  Please, before starting any rumor, contact your practicing veterinarian and have them contact the association or state veterinarian for full details.


Jim Miller – Assistant General Manager, Hawthorne Race Course


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