As reported today by the Daily Racing Forum, the Ontario Racing Commission has quarantined one of Woodbine racetrack’s barns, located in Toronto, and implemented shipping restrictions after two horses tested positive for a strain of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1).

An unraced two-year-old was euthanized Monday after showing symptoms of a potential neurological disease.

On Tuesday morning, an unraced two-year-old filly began experiencing similar problems and was shipped to the veterinary clinic at the University of Guelph. The deceased filly also was sent there for a necropsy. Both horses were stabled in Barn 1, which was shut down Tuesday morning.

“The barn is under full quarantine, and we’re trying to manage the number of personnel allowed in,” said Adam Chambers, manager of veterinary services for the Ontario Racing Commission. “This will probably continue for a number of days, anywhere from 14 to 28 days, depending on whether the disease spreads.”

Until the situation is resolved, horses will not be allowed to ship out of Woodbine. Horses coming onto the grounds will have to remain there until the Ontario Racing Commission gives the all-clear.

Equine Canada’s Health and Welfare Committee encourages industry members to protect their horses from this highly infectious disease by practising thorough biosecurity measures – including proper disinfection of stabling and trailers. More information is available on the Equine Canada website. Owners are also encouraged to speak with their veterinarian if they have additional concerns or questions.

Updates on this disease outbreak will be shared as they become available.