|Monday, January 23|
|Race 1||Portland Meadows Championship Bonus Challenge S.||$20,000|
|Race 2||Maiden Claiming – $3,200||$5,300|
|Race 3||Claiming – $3,200||$5,400|
|Race 4||Claiming – $5,000||$5,600|
|Race 5||Claiming – $5,000||$7,000|
|Race 6||Claiming – $3,200||$5,600|
|Race 7||Allowance Optional Claiming – $12,500||$7,800|
|Race 8||Claiming – $3,200||$5,600|
|Race 9||Claiming – $3,200||$5,600|
|Race 11||Claiming – $2,500||$5,500|
In many horses, fever is the only sign of EHV-1 infection, which can go undetected.
Photo: Kevin Thompson/The Horse
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) announced Jan. 18 that the quarantine at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Racetrack facility could be lifted Jan. 21. Testing indicates there are no new cases of neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1, also known as equine herpes myeloencephalopathy or EHM).
The last case of EHM was detected on Dec. 31, 2016. Horses, however, are still being monitored for signs of both EHM and EHV-1.
The quarantine will phase out starting with the 42 barns where horses never showed signs of being clinically ill.
“We are encouraged that the disease seems to be contained,” said Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM. “These measures were taken for the health and safety of all horses in the state. We continue to work with the Fair Grounds and (Louisiana State) Racing Commission to ensure that biosecurity measures will be maintained.”
As of Jan. 18, 39 horses remained in isolation. There are six quarantined barns and one isolation barn. All horses that tested positive for EHV-1 will remain in isolation until they test negative for the virus. Horses that were exposed to the disease but do not test positive will remain quarantined and will be released on a case by case basis.
“After consulting with the state veterinarian, USDA Veterinary Services, LSU (Louisiana State University), and outside experts on infectious diseases, we feel this is a logical plan to allow the release of unaffected horses,” Strain said. “The horses that remain in isolation are most at-risk. We will continue to monitor these horses until they are in the clear. However, should there be another case of EHV-1 or EHM, we will respond accordingly.”
Sixty-five ship-in (day race) horses that were possibly exposed to an EHV-1-positive horse in the receiving barn and placed in isolation at undisclosed locations will follow the same procedures before release.
A full breakdown of affected barns at the track and possible quarantine release plans is available online. http://www.ldaf.state.la.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/New-Orleans-Fairgrounds-Racetrack-Incident-Plan-Addendum.pdf
Late last month, a 2-year-old thoroughbred gelding reportedly developed a fever and neurologic signs and was euthanized. Nasal swab and blood tests were confirmed positive for the neurologic strain of EHV-1 at the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. The virus is spread most commonly by direct horse-to-horse contact. It can also be spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing, and hands.
Herpesvirus is highly contagious among horses and can cause a variety of ailments in equids, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and myeloencephalopathy (the neurologic form). In many horses, fever is the only sign of EHV-1 infection, which can go undetected.
In addition to fever, other common signs of EHV-1 infection in young horses include cough, decreased appetite, depression, and a nasal discharge. Pregnant mares typically show no signs of infection before they abort, and abortions usually occur late in gestation (around eight months), but can be earlier. Abortions can occur anywhere from two weeks to several months following infection with EHV-1.
Horses with the neurologic form usually have a fever at the onset of the disease and might show signs of a respiratory infection. A few days later, neurologic signs such as ataxia (incoordination), weakness or paralysis of the fore- and hind limbs, urine retention and dribbling, loss of tail tone, and recumbency (inability to rise) develop.
Veterinarians must know how to properly document findings and avoid destroying evidence while still putting the horse’s welfare first.
Photo: Courtesy of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
How a veterinarian goes about examining and treating allegedly abused horses can mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful case against the owner. He or she must know how to properly document all findings and avoid destroying evidence while still putting the horse’s welfare first.
Nicole Eller, DVM, a Minnesota-based field shelter veterinarian with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Field Investigations and Response team, described the veterinarian’s unique role in animal crime scene investigations during her presentation at the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida.
First, she reviewed the basics of evidence identification, collection, and preservation. “Evidence is generally defined as anything that can demonstrate or disprove a fact in contention,” said Eller. In equine abuse investigations, this can include anything from photos of a horse’s injuries or body condition to the moldy hay in his feeder.
Veterinarians must view these cases through the lens of someone looking for and collecting evidence. As the equine expert, the veterinarian will recognize key pieces of evidence that other investigators might overlook.
Eller then described the four phases of processing an animal crime scene.
Phase 1: Document the condition of the facility or farm upon arrival
The area will most likely have already been secured by law enforcement and documented via photos and video by the time the veterinarian arrives on the scene.
Phase 2: Document each animal and its environment
The veterinarian will conduct what Eller called “critical triage” during the initial walk-through of the property.
“Critical triage is a rapid visual sorting of animals for treatment priority,” she said. “It’s done to identify animals in immediate need of medical care.”
The practitioner should classify horses needing immediate care as “red animals.” Eller said this might include horses with open fractures, seizures, hemorrhaging, etc.
“Document everything as fast as possible before treating, because the live animal is evidence, and treatment alters evidence,” she said.
After caring for the red animals, Eller said the veterinarian should perform a second walk-through and color-code the remaining animals as yellow (in need of treatment before transport), green (ready for transport), or blue (exhibiting signs of infectious disease).
“Given how horses are typically housed, if one has infectious disease, they may all have it,” said Eller. “But if a few are obviously infectious, you would want to handle them last and have an isolation area set up at the clinic or place where the horses are being transported.”
Once the horses have been documented and tended to, then it’s time to document their living conditions and environment. “Demonstrate how that environment may have directly affected the animal,” she said, including taking photographs or directing the person who is.
Phase 3: Nonanimal evidence
Veterinarians also play an important role identifying nonanimal evidence. “This could include items such as medications, supplements, surgical supplies, emasculators, and caustic substances,” said Eller. “Some items of evidence may be overlooked by law enforcement officers who are not familiar with the particular crime type.”
Phase 4: Document the condition of the scene upon exit
This final phase involves a thorough physical exam and detailed photos of each horse. “Photos are a fundamental component of a forensic examination,” said Eller. She suggests treating the horse like a cube and getting photos of all six sides, with close-ups of any findings, such as lesions, abscesses, or wounds, and placing a forensic ruler next to these findings for measurement purposes.
And above all, never delete any photos—even the blurry or unintentional ones. “They will be found, and you will be questioned,” said Eller.
The veterinarian’s role in an animal abuse case doesn’t end after the crime scene has been documented, evidence collected, and horses treated. He or she must provide a final report on the facts of the case, known as a forensic veterinary statement. This will help the judge and jury understand the evidence. When putting together a forensic veterinary statement, write for a lay audience, and remain impartial, said Eller. It is not the veterinarian’s job to determine guilt or innocence, but to present the medical facts of the case.
About the Author
Alexandra Beckstett, Managing Editor of The Horse and a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as Assistant Editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse
SHE’LL TAKE ON MULTIPLE GRADED WINNER FANTASTIC STYLE, WHO MAKES FIRST START FOR O’NEILL
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2017)–Idle since winning the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5, trainer Ian Kruljac’s Finest City heads a field of five older fillies and mares in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes at seven furlongs.
Kaleem Shah’s speedy two-time graded stakes winning Fantastic Style will make her first start for Doug O’Neill as she tries to bounce back off a disappointing odds-on performance here on Dec. 30.
Trainer Peter Miller’s streaking Bad Ju Ju, who was claimed four starts back for $40,000 on Oct. 8, rallied from off the pace to take the 6 ½ furlong Kalookan Queen Stakes here on a wet fast main track Dec. 30 and seeks her fourth win in a row in the Santa Monica.
FINEST CITY: An impressive three quarter length winner of the seven furlong Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint when ridden for the first time by Mike Smith, the 5-year-old Pennsylvania-bred mare was a troubled second in last year’s Santa Monica and kept top company throughout the remainder of 2016, posting an 8-2-2-2 mark on the year that included a third place finish to multiple Eclipse Champion Beholder in the Grade I Vanity Mile here on June 4. Owned by Seltzer Thoroughbreds, Finest City, who pressed the early pace in her Breeders’ Cup win, has trained in very impressive fashion here for her return, posting three bullet works dating back to Oct. 27, including a five furlong move of 59.20 on Dec. 21–best of 48 drills at the distance that morning. With an overall mark of 14-4-4-2, she has earnings of $925,594.
FANTASTIC STYLE: A two-time graded stakes winning sprinter, she disappointed at odds of 1-2 when beaten 12 lengths on a wet fast track in the 6 ½ furlong Kalookan Queen Stakes on Dec. 30. After pressing the pace through the first half mile in 21.40 and 44 flat, she tired badly to run fifth in a field of eight. Owned by Kaleem Shah, this 5-year-old mare by Harlan’s Holiday, originally trained by Bob Baffert, will make her first start for Doug O’Neill on Saturday and will be ridden back by Rafael Bejarano. A minor stakes winner here at three going seven furlongs, Fantastic Style can once again be counted on to show plenty of early foot. With an overall record of 10-5-2-2, she has earnings of $383,608.
BAD JU JU: With heavy rain in the local forecast Thursday and Friday, this 5-year-old California-bred mare by Desert Code would appear well positioned on several fronts as Saturday’s main track could well listed as an “off” surface. Owned by Rockingham Ranch, she is undefeated in her three starts for her new connections and will be ridden for the fourth consecutive time by Norberto Arroyo, Jr. While class looms a question as the Santa Monica marks her first graded stakes assignment, Miller has her on a roll and she has recency in her corner. Five for 11 last year, she is 17-7-1-4 overall with earnings of $305,731.
THE GRADE II SANTA MONICA STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS
Race 5 of 9 Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PST
- Finest City–Mike Smith–124
- Bad Ju Ju–Norberto Arroyo, Jr.–120
- Fager’s Gal–Flavien Prat–120
- Fantastic Style–Rafael Bejarano–122
- Sheer Pleasure–Martin Garcia–120
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For scratches, changes, track condition updates and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com/horse-racing/live-racing/.
|Friday, January 20|
|Race 1||Maiden Special Weight||$54,000|
|Race 2||Maiden Special Weight||$54,000|
|Race 3||Allowance Optional Claiming – $50,000||$56,000|
|Race 4||Claiming – $10,000||$18,000|
|Race 5||Maiden Special Weight||$54,000|
|Race 6||Claiming – $25,000||$23,000|
|Race 7||Starter Optional Claiming – $32,000||$30,000|
|Race 8||Maiden Claiming – $30,000||$21,000|
|Saturday, January 21|
|Race 1||Claiming – $20,000||$25,000|
|Race 2||Claiming – $12,500||$16,000|
|Race 3||Starter Allowance – $40,000||$30,000|
|Race 4||Claiming – $12,500||$16,000|
|Race 5||Santa Monica S.||$200,000|
|Race 6||Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500||$58,000|
|Race 7||Maiden Special Weight||$54,000|
|Race 8||Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000||$56,000|
|Race 9||Maiden Claiming – $20,000||$18,000|