Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, and Hotel will implement additional Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) bio-security protocols effective immediately. Prairie Meadows is set to open its 2016 Thoroughbred racing season on Thursday, April 28.
“The track is not under quarantine and we have had no positive tests for EHV-1 here,” said Dr. John Sweeney, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission State Veterinarian at Prairie Meadows. “We are taking proactive and aggressive action because we have horses on our grounds that were shipped in from Fonner Park in Nebraska, where there have been three positive tests.”
Sweeney explained that approximately 100 horses in five different barns have been placed under restriction.
“Their temperatures will be monitored daily, they will have separate training hours, and they will be isolated from other horses in the stable area for a period of 21 days,” he said.
“We will not allow horses in or out of those barns,” Sweeney added. “And we won’t allow any horses from Nebraska or any horses that were stabled at Fonner Park into our barns.”
The changes in equine bio-security protocols will not affect the racing schedule at Prairie Meadows, according to Assistant Racing Secretary Chad Keller.
“We still expect to have 850-900 horses on the grounds during the first two weeks of the season,” Keller said. “We should be able to card competitive races right from the start.”
“The horsemen and the IAHBPA are fully supportive of the measures taken by Prairie Meadows and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission,” said Jon Moss, Executive Director of the Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
“We are confident that the track veterinarians are taking the proper steps and that they will provide our horsemen with the guidance they need to keep their horses healthy,” Moss added. “We look forward to having a successful racing season in 2016 at Prairie Meadows.”