For Immediate Release

For More Information:
Contact Press Officer Shelby Allen
(770) 530-4937 / shelbyrallen@gmail.com


WOODSIDE ORGANIZERS PLAN HEALTH PRECAUTIONS IN RESPONSE TO EHV-1 OUTBREAK

Woodside, Calif., May 23, 2011 – The outbreak of the neurological strain (EHM) of the EHV-1 virus among horses in the western United States has caused owners, trainers and show managers considerable anxiety this month, but the organizers of The Event At Woodside are taking precautions that they believe will produce a safe competition on May 27-29.

“We’ve been following this situation carefully over the last week, watching to see if the virus spreads beyond horses who were exposed at the cutting horse competition in Ogden, Utah, where it appears to have begun, and, as of today, according to the state veterinarian’s office, it has not spread beyond that specific population or horses directly exposed to them. So we’re going ahead with our event, and we’re enacting several important requirements to protect the health of the horses competing here and of the horses stabled at the Horse Park at Woodside,” said Robert Kellerhouse, the event organizer.

Kellerhouse emphasized that if evidence surfaces this week that this strain of EHV-1 is spreading beyond the exposed group, he would further evaluate his decision to hold the event.

“I’ve had numerous conversations with the state veterinarian’s office and with Dr. Paul McClellan (our treating vet at Galway Downs for 14 years) and Dr. Alexandra Eastman (our treating vet at Woodside), and I believe that, with the extra precautions we’re taking, our horses will be at no greater health risk than they are at any competition, at any other time,” added Kellerhouse. “Some people have chosen not to come to this competition, or to other competitions last weekend and this weekend, and I respect their personal decision.

“My wife, Erin, will be bringing her horses, and those of her clients, to the show,” he continued. “But each owner, rider or trainer must make the choice that’s most appropriate for them.”

More than 270 horses are entered in The Event At Woodside, and they’ll all be subject to the following requirements to assure their health.

  1. All horses will be required to arrive with a veterinarian’s health certificate or statement of health dated within 72 hours of arrival.
  2. On-site veterinarians Dr. Alexandra Eastman and Dr. Tim Eastman and their assistants will check all horses upon arrival, prior to unloading, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. All haul-in horses will be isolated in a day parking area and examined on arrival, and they will also need to have a health certificate dated within 72 hours of their first day of arrival.
  3. Any horses arriving outside of the hours when veterinarians are available to examine them will be directed to isolation stalls near the entrance.

In addition, competitors are being warned not bring any horses showing signs of any health issues or any horses that have had any contact with any horses from the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah, or the Kern Country Cutting Horse Association show in Bakersfield, Calif., at any time during this month.

The show in Ogden, Utah, on April 29-May 8, has been identified as the initial site of the neurological strain (EHM) of EHV-1 outbreak, and many of the horses who competed there then shipped to the competition in Bakersfield, Calif., the following week.

The feature of The Event At Woodside is the Woodside Preliminary Challenge, presented by Point Two Air Jackets, Professional’s Choice and Equine Insurance of California. Riders in the two divisions will be competing for $15,000 in prize money and another $15,000 in prizes.

Other generous sponsors of the Event at Woodside include: CWD Saddlery, Voltaire Design, Advanced Protection Formula, Smartpak Equine, JRD Saddles, Equine Comfort Products and Western Saddlery.

To learn more about the Horse Park at Woodside or the Woodside Horse Trials, go to horsepark.org. To learn more about eventing, visit the U.S. Eventing Association’s website (www.useventing.com). For Press Credentials, please contact the press officers.