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Virus outbreak brings CES Valencia Spring Tour to an unexpected halt

Monday, 22 February 2021
EHV-1 (neurological form) outbreak

The CES Valencia Spring Tour in Spain was forced to cancel several of their classes yesterday, after horses at the show had fallen sick from what is suspected to be a virus outbreak. The Spring Tour was in its fourth week of competition, and originally scheduled to continue through with another three weeks. 

The International Jumping Riders Club today published the following information from the FEI regarding the situation: 

“The FEI Veterinary Department has been advised of an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) at the CES Valencia Spring Tour (ESP). It is likely that the disease has been transferred to horses that have attended the venue since at least 1 February 2021.

In accordance with the FEI Veterinary Regulations, Article 1029.7, horses that have attended Valencia since 1 February 2021 are blocked in the FEI Database and will not be permitted to enter any FEI Events until they have fulfilled the testing requirements detailed in the attached letter.

Any horse travelling with a fever is not only a potential carrier and therefore likely to spread the virus to all other horses in the transport, but is at extreme risk of developing shipping fever or the more serious neurological form of EHV. It is also a violation of EU transport legislation to travel with a sick horse, except for transport to veterinary facilities. Only symptom-free horses should travel and horses leaving Valencia must have their temperature taken prior to travel.

We have informed the Organisers of the other Tours on the Iberian Peninsula of the situation and instructed them that they must not accept any horses that have been competing at Valencia.”

A statement from CES Valencia Tour show director Charo Ortells Torregrosa reads: 

“With tears in my eyes, I must say that this situation has affected all the riders and the organizing committee. At the moment we have no more news that one of the horses tested has tested negative for Rhinoneumonia, we must wait for the results of the rest of the horses, which the laboratory will provide us in the following days.

We have all been victims of a contagious virus that has made us have to suspend the last day of competition in the middle of the 4th week and the 5th week of Spring Tour. We want to thank our team so much for how they have handled this in the best possible way, the veterinarians of the contest for their work and dedication, and those riders who have been aware of the seriousness of the matter and have supported us and respected our difficult decisions. We will keep you informed of the situation.”

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