Randwick Horse Quarantined During Hendra Scare

By: Sarah Fortnum
July 15th, 2011

A horse that was quarantined after a Hendra Virus scare at a Randwick Racecourse stable has tested negative to the deadly disease.

The horse was isolated after it began to exhibit systems of colic and a mild fever after its usual track work.

The alarm was raised after the animal continued to deteriorate, showing signs of neurological abnormality, including mild depression and muscle tremors.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said that while the test result proved negative it was always better to err on the side of caution.

“In any case like this (one) at the moment, we are on high alert,” V’landys said.

”There is a big colony of flying foxes … known to be the source of Hendra virus infection, around Randwick and it is a concern.

”Fortunately, in this case, the horse showed improvement during the afternoon but it was still a relief to get the negative result (to the tests).”

Racing NSW officials have now sectioned off areas of Randwick Racecourse, with Warwick Farm, Gosford and Wyong to follow suit in order to prevent the spread of the disease to their tracks.

Racing NSW chairman of stewards, Ray Murrihy, visited all of Randwick’s stables yesterday with chief veterinarian Craig Suann to ensure trainers were taking all precautions.

”We did a risk assessment of each stable and there were three or four (stables) where the feed bins were not covered and the trainers were cautioned,” Mr Murrihy said.

”(Hendra) is not as contagious as EI (equine influenza) but we don’t want to be taking any risks.”

Mr Murrihy insisted that there was currently not threat to the track or any upcoming race meetings.

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