Category Archives: News

PROCEDURES TO BE CARRIED OUT AT POINT-TO-POINTS IN RESPECT TO EQUINE INFLUENZA PRECAUTIONS

 

 

 

 
UPDATED – 21ST FEBRUARY 2019
 
The following provides an explanation of what action is being taken in relation to recent outbreak of equine influenza (EI).  All fixtures are working hard to make it as painless as possible for everyone, and you are all asked to show patience and assist in every way if asked.  At the end of the explanation is a list of Frequently asked Questions and their answers for your interest.

Requirements
 
The New BHA Requirements to combat EI are:

  • Vaccination.  BHA has ordered that no declarations will be accepted from horses that have not been vaccinated in the previous six months.   This requirement will be in place until further notice.  Please note that the normal stipulation that the vaccination must not have been given on the day of racing or any of the six days prior to the day of the race as according to Regulation 36 (ii), still applies.
  • Declaration of Health.  BHA has ordered that on arrival at the racecourse, the responsible person (Owner, Keeper or Authorised to Act) must provide the following for all equines on board before the ramp can be lowered:
  • The horse’s passport with proof of vaccination and date
  • Confirmation that they have taken the horse’s temperature that morning and provision of that temperature
  • A signed Health Declaration form – new version as of 21 Feb 19 (see link)

This is the Owner’s responsibility.  He does not require a vet to carry out the health checks before making the Declaration
The Fixture will have a fool proof system in place to ensure that this is enforced rigorously.  NB it is recognised that all courses are slightly different in layout and will take different approaches accordingly.
This will apply to all equines including companion horses/ponies, pony racing, Hunt horses and horse catchers, and any other activity programmed.  Fixtures running events/races which are not under BHA auspices (Charity races etc) must still comply with the above
Penalties for failure to comply are currently under discussion, although Regulation 38 already lays down the fines for failure to provide accurate Vaccination requirements
 
Procedures for Fixtures
 
Key points

  • There are numerous ways to carry out the procedures, and there is no right or wrong solution
  • System should be easily understandable by all so someone can stand in at short notice
  • Numbers required will depend on how great the number of horses and boxes which come.

Owners/Keepers

The Owner/Keeper must ensure that the following is done in line with BHA Directive (attached):

  • The Vaccination dates in passport comply with new requirements
    • It is 6 calendar months inclusive to the day.  EG if vaccination was on 23 Aug you can run on 23 Feb.
    • As before the vaccination cannot have been during the 6 days previous to racing.  In other words if you want to run on a Saturday you cannot have had an injection after the previous Saturday
  • The Health Declaration Form is properly filled in including Horse’s temperature taken that day and signature of owner/keeper/authorised to act.
  • Fully comply with the systems put in place by the fixture to comply with the BHA requirement

The Owner/Keeper should ensure that the following is done:

  • All lorries should be washed out and, ideally, disinfected between all journeys
  • Allow sufficient journey and arrival lead times to assist in facilitating the BHA Arrival checks
  • Everyone involved with the horses should change into in clean clothing to attend each meeting in order to minimise risk of contamination etc

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What extra staff needed?  Up to Fixture, and obviously dependent on number of horses, but evidence seems to indicate that you will need at least:
    • One extra vet depending on numbers of horses
    • One extra Declarations Clerk possibly two depending on number of horses
    • A runner depending on how procedures set up
    • Someone to keep close control of water usage in winning enclosure
  • Further biosecurity Requirements?  Whilst there are no further biosecurity measures to put in place by Fixtures, the BHA Chief Veterinary Officer is keen that common sense prevails and everyone puts in effort.  In particular he highlighted:
    • Boxes being washed between trips when shared.
    • Those involved with horses wear clean clothing to pointing

I think it makes sense to emphasise this in your letters to the owners and trainers.

  • Horse’s Temperature?  It should not be above 38.5 degrees. 
  • Vaccination Date Definition.  It is 6 calendar months inclusive to the day.  EG if vaccination was on 16 Aug you can run on 16 Feb.
  • Who Can do the Checks?  BHA have put out new directive on vaccination checks, which directs that these are to be carried out by a designated Declarations Clerk.  A vet must be in the vicinity to answer any queries as they arise.  The responsible person must state date last vaccinated and that will be noted on the Health Declaration form by the Declarations Clerk, who is based at the designated spot, not necessarily at the Declarations Tent. 
  • What to do with Health Declaration Forms?  All Health Declarations Forms must be posted in one bunch to the BHA Office after racing, stating at which point to point they were collected, as at bottom of BHA Directive.
  • How long will this go on?  These measures are being reviewed by the BHA on an ongoing basis.  However, it is probably sensible for all fixtures to plan to use them for this season.
  • Horsebox?  All horses within a box must comply.  If one does not, the box gets turned away. 
  • Companion Horses/Ponies?  Companion horses must fully comply, which means, if they have not been vaccinated before, they will need two injections, the last of which must have been within six months.
  • Water and drinking buckets in paddock?  Water for cooling down and drinking buckets should be kept separate in the paddock/winning enclosure, box park etc.  This includes drinking buckets not being dipped in troughs, and of course they should be disinfected between races.
  • Horse Ambulances?  Racecourses have not been asked to carry out any different procedures than normal but regular disinfecting is important
  • Scanning horses?  There is no need to scan horses.

BHA GUIDANCE ON EI

Dear Trainer,

Thank you again for your patience as we continue to return to racing following the recent equine flu cases.

We are conscious that we have established a number of new processes and protocols over the past few days and that, because of the evolving situation, we have communicated these to you one at a time.

To avoid the need for you to refer to a number of different notices, we have pulled all the new/amended equine influenza requirements for trainers into one summary document.

This document can be found on the Equine Influenza section of the BHA website and can be accessed here.

The document covers the following:

  • Requirements for raceday runners
  • Additional requirements for non-GB runners
  • Overnighters
  • Racecourse gallopers
  • Hunter chasers

For your information, and by way of reassurance, we have also included brief details of the protocols racecourses are currently being asked to observe in relation to the following:

  • Sales horses
  • Horses at equine events 
  • PRA pony racing
  • Pony Club races

We hope this document provides a useful summary.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING PONY RACING

Following information received from Clarissa Daly, Chief Executive of the PRA
 
Update on Equine Influenza

It’s great news that racing will resume tomorrow but under strict conditions.  The BHA and PPA advice is as follows and this will apply to ALL ponies wanting to race at any fixtures. The most important thing is that if your pony has not been vaccinated in the last 6 months you MUST get a booster done leaving 6 clear days before running.

Individual Point-to-Point fixtures will make a decision on whether to run.  The PPA hope to finalise those details by tomorrow morning (Wednesday).

The New BHA Requirements are:

•    Vaccination.  BHA has ordered that no entries or declarations will be accepted from horses that have not been vaccinated in the previous six months.   This requirement will be in place until further notice.  Please note that the normal stipulation that the vaccination must not have been given on the day of racing or any of the six days prior to the day of the race as according to Regulation 36 (ii), still applies.

•    Declaration of Health.  BHA has ordered that on arrival at the racecourse, the responsible person (To be confirmed but probably Owner, Keeper or Authorised to Act) must provide the following for all equines on board before the ramp can be lowered:

 *   The horse’s passport with proof of vaccination and date
 *   Confirmation that they have taken the horse’s temperature that morning and provision of that temperature
 *   A Health Declaration form to be signed there and then in front of members of Fixture (The Form will be made available to all participants)

This above procedure is the Owner’s responsibility.  He does not require a vet to carry out the health checks before making the Declaration.
The Fixture must have a foolproof system in place to ensure that this is enforced rigorously.  NB it is recognised that all courses are slightly different in layout and will take different approaches accordingly.

This will apply to all equines including companion ponies, pony racing and horse catchers, and any other activity programmed.  Fixtures running events/races which are not under BHA auspices (Charity races etc) must still comply with the above.

Penalties for failure to comply are currently under discussion, although Regulation 38 already lays down the fines for failure to provide accurate Vaccination requirements.

There will be further provisions and clarifications as the week goes on, but it is vital that all comply with the above if we are to continue pointing.  Vigilance and Responsibility must be everyone’s watchword.

This will be an ongoing requirement for the foreseeable future.

The Health Declaration Form can be downloaded here<https://twitter.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72e66cccca106a3319e37e5e3&id=d2874fb04e&e=32cd0d7e4a>

The latest update from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) can be found here<https://twitter.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72e66cccca106a3319e37e5e3&id=2bda403ebe&e=32cd0d7e4a>

 

POINT-TO-POINTING SET TO RESUME ON SATURDAY 16TH FEBRUARY

 

Point to Pointing will go ahead this weekend according to present BHA requirements.

However, due to the extra requirements and conditions, individual fixtures will make a decision on whether to run.

We hope to finalise those details by tomorrow morning (Wednesday 13th February).

The New BHA Requirements are:

VACCINATION

BHA has ordered that no entries or declarations will be accepted from horses that have not been vaccinated in the previous six months. This requirement will be in place until further notice. Please note that the normal stipulation that the vaccination must not have been given on the day of racing or any of the six days prior to the day of the race as according to Regulation 36 (ii), still applies.

DECLARATION OF HEALTH

BHA has ordered that on arrival at the racecourse, the responsible person (To be confirmed but probably Owner, Keeper or Authorised to Act) must provide the following for all equines on board before the ramp can be lowered:

  • The horse’s passport with proof of vaccination and date
  • Confirmation that they have taken the horse’s temperature that morning and provision of that temperature
  • A Health Declaration form to be signed there and then in front of members of Fixture (The Form will be made available to all participants)

This is the Owner’s responsibility. He does not require a vet to carry out the health checks before making the Declaration.

The Fixture must have a foolproof system in place to ensure that this is enforced rigorously. NB it is recognised that all courses are slightly different in layout and will take different approaches accordingly.

This will apply to all equines including companion ponies, pony racing and horsecatchers, and any other activity programmed. Fixtures running events/races which are not under BHA auspices (Charity races etc) must still comply with the above.

Penalties for failure to comply are currently under discussion, although Regulation 38 already lays down the fines for failure to provide accurate Vaccination requirements.

There will be further provisions and clarifications as the week goes on, but it is vital that all comply with the above if we are to continue pointing. Vigilance and Responsibility must be everyone’s watchword.

This will be an ongoing requirement for the foreseeable future.

Please follow the below link for the BHA Health Declaration download:

https://www.britishhorseracing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Equine-Influenza-Declaration-Form-1.pdf

BHA UPDATE REGARDING EQUINE INFLUENZA

 
     
 
 

BHA UPDATE REGARDING EQUINE INFLUENZA – NO RESUMPTION OF RACING UNTIL WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY AT THE EARLIEST 

Latest information on equine influenza as below, including the decision that we will not resume racing until Wednesday 13 February at the earliest.

We particular draw your attention to the following points:

A decision will be made on Monday 11 February as to whether racing can resume on Wednesday 13 February.​

Declarations could then take place on Tuesday in time for racing on Wednesday. We will allow 24-hour declarations for all fixtures on Wednesday, should racing be able to resume on this day. 48-hour declarations for Thursday would also be made on Tuesday, in the usual way.

A plan will be constructed for the rescheduling of key races lost in this period.

The BHA Veterinary team is continuing the process of calling trainers with affected and potentially affected horses.

The press notice is as below. We would like to express our sincere thanks to trainers for the information and support they have provided. This has helped us to make an informed decision earlier than we expected.

PRESS RELEASE

BHA UPDATE REGARDING EQUINE INFLUENZA – RACING WILL NOT RESUME UNTIL WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY AT THE EARLIEST

• Decision to be made on Monday 11 February as to whether racing can resume on Wednesday 13 February
• Decision to cancel racing is based on further scientific advice and discussions with participants

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has this afternoon taken the decision that racing will not resume in Britain until Wednesday 13 February at the earliest, including fixtures programmed by the Point-to-Point Authority.

The BHA’s veterinary team has today been in contact with more than 50 trainers and veterinarians to allow it to make an informed assessment of the risk of equine influenza spreading. Whilst no further positive tests have been received, at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing.  

The disease can take up to three days before symptoms are visible, meaning it will take until Sunday at the earliest before the BHA can gather all the information required. This approach will allow samples to be collected and assessed by the Animal Health Trust in order that a fully informed decision can be made on Monday. This may then allow declarations to take place on Tuesday in time for racing on Wednesday, with 24 hour declarations for all fixtures on this day, should racing be able to resume. Declarations for Thursday would revert to the usual procedures.   

  We are grateful to trainers and veterinarians for the rapid flow of information and feedback  we have received today. Because of this, we have been able to make an informed decision earlier than we expected and before we have any test results back from horses from the affected yards that travelled to the three meetings.

Trainers support a precautionary approach and we thank them for the collaborative manner in which they have worked with us to address this unfolding situation.

This precautionary approach is intended to ensure we put the health of the horse population and control of the virus first, and avoid any unnecessary risk that might come from returning to racing too quickly. We appreciate the impact that this may have on the sport commercially, but disease control in order to mitigate the risk of further disruption to the sport – and safeguard the health and welfare of our horses – must be a priority.

A plan will be constructed for the rescheduling of key races – and those which may provide important opportunities for horses to run – which are lost during this period.

Separately, as a precaution, all of the trainers who had runners at the fixtures at Wolverhampton, Ludlow and Ayr this week have been informed that their yards have been placed under a temporary hold which means that they will not be able to make any declarations until their horses have been tested and cleared.

Further information and guidance

It remains the case that anyone visiting a racing yard should exercise appropriate caution and check with a trainer before visiting, and trainers are advised to limit where possible the movement of people to and from their yard, and put in place appropriate biosecurity measures. There is a Code of Practice for dealing with infectious diseases on the website of the National Trainers Federation.

All British thoroughbreds are vaccinated against equine influenza however cases have been seen in vaccinated horses. The disease may be serious in unvaccinated horses, although symptoms in vaccinated horses are usually mild and transient. Symptoms may include a raised temperature, a cough and nasal discharge. It is highly contagious. Humans are not at risk from the virus, though can spread the virus on clothes and equipment.

This is a wider horse health issue which is not confined to horseracing. Unlike thoroughbreds in Britain, it is not compulsory for the wider horse population to be vaccinated against equine flu. Whilst the BHA is not specifically responsible for non-racehorses, the general advice to owners would be to contact your vet if you have concerns.

The Animal Health Trust are the equine monitoring agent for disease surveillance in the UK and information is posted on their website and twitter feeds.

This is a wider horse health issue which is not confined to horseracing. Unlike thoroughbreds in Britain, it is not compulsory for the wider horse population to be vaccinated against equine flu. Whilst the BHA is not specifically responsible for non-racehorses, the general advice to owners would be to contact your vet if you have concerns.

The Animal Health Trust are the equine monitoring agent for disease surveillance in the UK and information is posted on their website and twitter feeds.

 

USEFUL INFORMATION ON THE EQUINE INFLUENZA OUTBREAK FROM ONE OF OUR AREA SPONSORS – THREE COUNTIES EQUINE HOSPITAL LLP

Equine Influenza Outbreak

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has cancelled racing at all British racecourses today after learning of three equine influenza cases from vaccinated horses in an active racing yard.

The fact that the cases have been identified in vaccinated horses presents a cause for concern over the potential spread of the disease and the action to cancel racing has been viewed as necessary in order to restrict the risk of further spread of the disease and ensure no further cases exist.

The outbreak at the infected yard follows the identification of a number of equine influenza cases in the general horse population across Europe and in the UK, including several in vaccinated horses. The other recent UK cases have been both unvaccinated and vaccinated, not in the racehorse population. Following these recent outbreaks, guidance was sent to all UK racehorse trainers advising them that horses who have not had a vaccination against equine influenza within the last six months receive a booster, and that all horse owners should be extra-vigilant with biosecurity.

About Equine Influenza
Equine influenza is a highly infectious respiratory disease of horses, mules and donkeys (and zebras!). Equine influenza signs include a high temperature (over 38.5/101.3F), dry cough, white/clear nasal discharge, depression and loss of appetite. Vaccinated horses are typically unaffected or show only mild signs, although if infected they can still shed virus. Unvaccinated horses are most at risk and will spread the disease rapidly. Unvaccinated horses are also at significant risk of secondary bacterial respiratory infections, that may be more severe than the influenza.

What should horse owners do?

Monitor your horses for signs of any infectious disease. If you see any of the influenza signs mentioned above isolate the horse and call your vet immediately.

Isolate any new horses entering your yard for 2 weeks. Isolation facilities for potential influenza cases would ideally be 100 metres from other horses. Air-borne spread is significant and can occur over large distances with optimal weather conditions.

Always obey good hygiene/biosecurity. Please see the attached very useful yard health check list (kindly produced by the British Equine Veterinary Association), print this and follow it!

All horses should be vaccinated for equine influenza, ideally including the Florida Clade 1 strain (recent cases have all been Clade 1). If your horse is currently vaccinated, but it has been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination a booster will provide additional protection. This is our advice given the current situation.

Any horses showing clinical signs, or that have been in contact with potentially infected horses, should not travel to competitions or other events where there will be groups of horses. If your horse has been in contact with an infected horse you should seek immediate veterinary advice.

If you have any concerns or questions please call your vet to discuss these.

ALBRIGHTON & WOODLAND POINT-TO-POINT CANCELLED DUE TO OUTBREAK OF EQUINE INFLUENZA

  • Decision to be made on Monday 11 February as to whether racing can resume on Wednesday 13 February
  • Decision to cancel racing is based on further scientific advice and discussions with participants

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has this afternoon taken the decision that racing will not resume in Britain until Wednesday 13 February at the earliest, including fixtures programmed by the Point-to-Point Authority.

The BHA’s veterinary team has today been in contact with more than 50 trainers and veterinarians to allow it to make an informed assessment of the risk of equine influenza spreading. Whilst no further positive tests have been received, at least three more days are required before it will be possible to make a decision about whether it is safe to resume racing.

The disease can take up to three days before symptoms are visible, meaning it will take until Sunday at the earliest before the BHA can gather all the information required. This approach will allow samples to be collected and assessed by the Animal Health Trust in order that a fully informed decision can be made on Monday. This may then allow declarations to take place on Tuesday in time for racing on Wednesday, with 24 hour declarations for all fixtures on this day, should racing be able to resume. Declarations for Thursday would revert to the usual procedures.

We are grateful to trainers and veterinarians for the rapid flow of information and feedback  we have received today. Because of this, we have been able to make an informed decision earlier than we expected and before we have any test results back from horses from the affected yards that travelled to the three meetings.

Trainers support a precautionary approach and we thank them for the collaborative manner in which they have worked with us to address this unfolding situation.

This precautionary approach is intended to ensure we put the health of the horse population and control of the virus first, and avoid any unnecessary risk that might come from returning to racing too quickly. We appreciate the impact that this may have on the sport commercially, but disease control in order to mitigate the risk of further disruption to the sport – and safeguard the health and welfare of our horses – must be a priority.

A plan will be constructed for the rescheduling of key races – and those which may provide important opportunities for horses to run – which are lost during this period,

Separately, as a precaution, all of the trainers who had runners at the fixtures at Wolverhampton, Ludlow and Ayr this week have been informed that their yards have been placed under a temporary hold which means that they will not be able to make any declarations until their horses have been tested and cleared.

Further information and guidance

It remains the case that anyone visiting a racing yard should exercise appropriate caution and check with a trainer before visiting, and trainers are advised to limit where possible the movement of people to and from their yard, and put in place appropriate biosecurity measures. There is a Code of Practice for dealing with infectious diseases on the website of the National Trainers Federation.

All British thoroughbreds are vaccinated against equine influenza however cases have been seen in vaccinated horses. The disease may be serious in unvaccinated horses, although symptoms in vaccinated horses are usually mild and transient. Symptoms may include a raised temperature, a cough and nasal discharge. It is highly contagious. Humans are not at risk from the virus, though can spread the virus on clothes and equipment.

This is a wider horse health issue which is not confined to horseracing. Unlike thoroughbreds in Britain, it is not compulsory for the wider horse population to be vaccinated against equine flu. Whilst the BHA is not specifically responsible for non-racehorses, the general advice to owners would be to contact your vet if you have concerns.

PARTY AFTER RACING AT GLOUCESTER RACES ON SUNDAY 31ST MARCH

Gloucester Races After Party – join in the apres racing fun!

Gloucester Races at Maisemore Park will be hosting its first ever after party this year on Sunday 31st March with live music from cool Cotswold based band ‘The Shadow Monkeys’ taking place from 5.45 pm after the last race.

Racegoers will be able to enjoy an extra hour and a half of fun in the bar as the band plays a mix of rock, pop, funk and soul.

Tickets for Gloucester Races and Country Fair can be purchased online for £10 per person at www.gloucesterraces.co.uk

Admission tickets include free access to the After Party