The herpes virus has spread in Valencia and can be fatal to horses. Now all riding tournaments have been canceled.
On February 23, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) announced the outbreak of the herpes type 1 virus at a tournament in Valencia for the first time. The horses that participated in this tournament were immediately disqualified from the tournament.
Many riders have left the parade ground. Thus the herpes virus was transmitted through Europe. Cases are also known in Switzerland.
From a fever to a fatal outcome
The herpes virus can cause different periods. It can attack the horse’s nervous system. Dr. Anton Forrest from the University Hospital Zurich.
The infection can end tragically in individual cases. The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has confirmed so far (As of March 5, 2021) 9 deaths linked to the outbreak in Spain. “We were surprised how quickly the virus spread and how quickly erroneous opinions spread,” Forrest says.
Because: The virus has been around for decades, and the cure is known, but the equine world was shaken anyway. The veterinarian helps assess: “If you act properly and control the horses, the risk is minimal.” Isolation of the horse in suspected cases is essential.
There are no tournaments at the moment
However, the Swiss Equestrian Federation responded on Monday: All championships are also banned in Switzerland until the end of March 2021. This level is balanced by the International Equestrian Federation, which canceled all championships last week.
The reason is clear: spread should be avoided. But vet Forrest and the association clearly say: Training and horseback riding lessons must continue. “When we check the horses from Valencia, we have done our most important homework,” Forrest says.
It is doubtful whether the World Cup Final can be held in Gothenburg. The event will take place on the first weekend in April. You cannot prepare for a tournament because there are no tournaments. As of now, the final is planned in the FEI calendar.