This extremely contagious viral disease which can be fatal for horses has been circulating in Europe since mid-February and is giving the equine industry a cold sweat.
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The first cases of equine rhinopneumonia, extremely contagious viral disease which affects the respiratory tract and which has already caused the death of several horses, were detected at the international horse show in Valencia, Spain, in mid-February. This sports event, which lasts several weeks, brought together many French riders, including the Olympic team champion in 2016, Philippe Rozier. His Olympic champion partner, Rahotep from Tuscany, was ill in early March. “Rahotep was not well at all, tells his rider. The whole team mobilized for Rahotep, we stayed up all night. “
The concern is all the greater since the form of circulating rhinopneumonia is an unrecognized variant with neurological symptoms. The horses no longer stand. New cases are being reported everywhere every day, including in France, but the biggest cluster remains that of Valence, with 150 horses still in isolation. “Those who are transportable are evacuated to clinics not too far away if possible, in Spain”, explains Jérôme Thévenot, veterinarian in charge of show jumping at the French Equestrian Federation. “The problem is that, a bit like with hospitals, there is a saturation of emergency services in clinics”, he continues.
The @FFEquitation & the @SHF_fr have jointly decided to suspend from today and until Sunday March 28, 2021 inclusive, all equestrian competitions and gatherings.
Find all the information on https://t.co/AGR4pfhg1a pic.twitter.com/Ij76TXFwyM
– FF Equitation (@FFEquitation) March 1, 2021
The Federation is in the process of proposing a health protocol to repatriate French horses. In order to stop the epidemic and limit travel, all new competitions on European soil are canceled at least until March 28.