N.Y. tracks agree to lift ban on Maryland horses next week

SPORTS DIGEST

March 11, 2006|By SANDRA MCKEE

The New York Racing Association confirmed yesterday evening it will allow horses from Laurel Park, Pimlico Race Course and the Bowie Training Center to ship to New York racetracks beginning next Saturday.

"It's one step in the right direction," said Georganne Hale, the Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary. "I think this begins to put the virus issues all behind us. It just takes one state to make the move and the others will begin to drop their restrictions too. I've already heard [a rumor] that Charles Town will start accepting our horses next Friday."

Since the outbreak of the equine herpes Type 1 virus at Pimlico Jan. 2, owners and trainers have not been allowed to ship horses from Maryland's racetracks to other states and other states have not allowed their horses to ship to Maryland and return to their regular training sites.

New York will be the first state to lift the ban. The decision by the NYRA, however, does come with three requirements: a 48-hour health certificate with each horse's temperature clearly written; proof of vaccination against EHV-1 no less than seven days and no more than 90 days prior to arrival, with the vaccination date clearly written on the health certificate by the issuing veterinarian; and a statement by the issuing veterinarian that each horse has not originated from a barn with an active EHV-1 infection.

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