- Category: Veterinarian, Show jumping, Endurance, Dressage, Suit, Vaulting, Reining, Bindings, Polo, Paralympic riding, Horseball
01 March 2021
Tours in progress may continue provided that no new horses are allowed to enter and that no positive cases are confirmed
A few minutes ago, in the late evening, first to the national federations and then also to the press, the International Equestrian Federation sent a press release in which it disclosed further important measures taken relating to the spread of Equine Rhinopneumonia, following the first outbreak discovered in Valencia . We report in full the communication.
The FEI has canceled international events in 10 countries on the European continent with immediate effect and until March 28, 2021, due to the rapid evolution of a very aggressive strain of the Equine Herpes Virus – EHV-1 (neurological form), which originated in Valencia (Spain) and has already caused related outbreaks in at least three other countries in Europe.
This decision applies to all FEI disciplines, but in order to prevent a huge number of horses from simultaneously leaving the Competition Tours in the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and Belgium, which have been running for several weeks, the same specific Tours may continue, as if they were isolated “bubbles”, provided that new horses are not allowed to enter the competition venues and that positive cases of EHV-1 are not confirmed.
The Jumping Tours of Vejer de la Frontera (Spain), Vilamoura (Portugal), San Giovanni in Marignano and Gorla Minore (Italy) will have strict bio-safety protocols and require the presence on site of FEI Veterinary Delegates. Horses will only be allowed to leave these places if they have an official health certificate from the local veterinary authorities. Any horses that leave these venues without such documentation will be locked in the FEI database. The FEI also reminds that it is illegal to transport a horse without an official health certificate.
The organizing committee of Oliva Nova (Spain) had already communicated this afternoon to the FEI that it had decided to cancel the rest of the scheduled races of the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour III. Likewise, the CO of Opglabbeek (Belgium) informed that it had canceled its events for the month of March.
Several countries, including France, have already canceled all their events to minimize transmission of the virus.
The decision, which concerns the events in France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia, was made in accordance with the FEI General Regulations (Article 112.3), which states: “The Secretary General has the authority to remove any competition and / or event from the calendar in the presence of justified circumstances ”.
“Blocare events in Europe it was not an easy decision, especially after the serious disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic “- said the Secretary General of the FEI, Sabrina Ibáñez -” but this EHV-1 epidemic is probably the most serious we have recorded in Europe for several decades and our decision is based on clearly identified epidemiological risk factors. This strain of EHV-1 is particularly aggressive, has already caused equine deaths and a very large number of serious clinical cases. We need to keep our horses safe. We are aware that a large number of horses left the Valencia site without an official health certificate, which means that they were in an unknown state of health. Some horses were already sick and the risk of transmission is a major concern. The cancellation of these competitions in Europe, with the exception of the Jumping Tours in progress in the Iberian Peninsula and in Italy, limits the number of horses traveling internationally and therefore reduces the likelihood that this very serious virus will be transmitted on a constant scale. wider. We also strongly recommend that interested Federations also cancel their national events. We are aware that this is a particularly stressful and distressing time and that this situation is potentially detrimental to those (horses and riders) aiming for minimum eligibility requirements (MER) or confirmation of results for Tokyo, but we are studying how to ensure that the binomials can obtain their MER or confirm the results once the events in Europe can resume ”.
The FEI is aware that some athletes have already arrived at the competition venues or are traveling and will contact all interested parties registered for the events between now and March 28, 2021.
All the latest updates on the EHV-1 can be found HERE