UPDATE: A second barn at the Red Shores Racetrack in Charlottetown, PEI, is now under quarantine after a horse there tested positive for strangles on Feb 17th. The facility has taken measures to prevent the spread of the disease with added security and biosecurity measures, restricting who can enter the barns. Up to 20 horses in the same barn have also been tested.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) was informed a Standardbred race horse that had travelled from Red Shores Racetrack in PEI on Sunday, February 14, 2021 with four other horses has tested positive for strangles. The race horse is in isolation at another property as of Tuesday February 16, 2021.
Four non-racing saddle horses were unloaded at private farms.
The AGCO has spoken to all trainers with horses in the affected barn at the Shamrock Training Centre in Cambridge, ON. They are required to have their veterinarians create a testing plan and submit it to the AGCO before the horses will be allowed to train or entered to race.
Strangles is a highly contagious and serious infection of horses and other equines caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi. It can cause severe swelling of the lymph nodes around the throat, making it difficult for a horse to breathe; hence the name strangles. Read more about the disease and its prevention here.
It is a best practice to ensure that only healthy horses enter a racetrack paddock. It is advisable that all horses have normal temperatures prior to entering the paddock. This can be accomplished through simple but robust biosecurity practices by trainers and Associations.
Horse people are reminded to remain vigilant and institute appropriate biosecurity measures and should consult their veterinarians for advice.
The AGCO will monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported.
~with files from AGCO