Many Canadian cutters travelled to Ogden, Utah, April 29 – May 8 to compete at the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships. Unknown to the cutters was the fact that a contagious virus was circulating at the show. Two cases of Equine Herpesvirus were later confirmed in horses that competed at this show.
As a result of the outbreak that occurred at the show, and a precautionary measure, the NCHA has cancelled both the Breeders Invitational that was scheduled for May 14-28 at Tulsa, Oklahoma and the World Series of Cutting also in conjunction to that event.
The NCHA reports there are two confirmed cases in the state of Colorado and unconfirmed reports in other western states.
Here in Canada, our own show organizers are taking precautions to assist the containment of the disease. The Alberta Cutting Horse Association officials cancelled the event scheduled for this past weekend on the Saturday morning of the show.
I spoke this morning with Dr. Greg Andrews of Moore Equine Veterinary Centre, and he confirmed for me that there has been one confirmed case of the disease, stemming from a horse which had been at the Ogden show, and one which is being treated as suspicious, though not yet confirmed, also a horse present at the Ogden show. Both horses were located in southern Alberta. Moore Equine Veterinary Centre is working closely with Ashley Whitehead of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary. She was present at the time of my conversation with Dr. Andrews and her information at this time is concurrent – one confirmed, one suspect.
Understandably there is a large degree of concern about the spread of the disease. The NCHA has several good links including, for those who did travel to Ogden, a suggested protocol for horses returning from Odgen with a risk of exposure, and updates on further show cancellations, should there be any.
One of the best sources of information on the disease can be found here.