Ireland lifts ban on GB-trained horses

Clerk of Ludlow Racecourse Simon Sherwood said a deep clean is under way   Racing at Ludlow has been suspended   Hunting has been hit by the outbreak

Clerk of Ludlow Racecourse Simon Sherwood said a deep clean is under way Racing at Ludlow has been suspended Hunting has been hit by the outbreak

The decision was taken to suspend racing after three cases of horse flu were confirmed at a stable in Cheshire last Wednesday.

The BHA's statement confirmed United Kingdom racing would resume with scheduled jump fixtures on Wednesday at both the Scottish course of Musselburgh and the Plumpton track near Brighton in southern England, alongside all-weather racing at Kempton, southwest of London, and Southwell in the English Midlands.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced last night that a risk-managed return to racing will take place from Wednesday this week.

BHA chief regulatory officer Brant Dunshea said the group was balancing the need to ensure no more horses were exposed to "this virulent strain of flu" - which reportedly infected some animals despite their vaccinations - while also trying to avoid "a long-term disruption to racing with the risk of many of our major events being unduly impacted". There is no obvious connection between Sajanjl and the four identified horses.

His yard was one of the 174 required to undergo testing due to the fact that runners from the stable competed at Newcastle on February 5, which had been identified as a potential risk fixture. The horse in question was fully vaccinated, as are all the horses that are stabled on our site.

The affected horses are all trained by Simon Crisford in Fordham Road.

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The AHT is working through "several thousands of samples" received from yards across Britain.

"If Simon Crisford's horses have just tested positive, none of them were infectious during the early part of last week and certainly in the latter part of last week he was exercising on the Heath in the afternoons with other at-risk horses".

All horses in the yard have tested negative, but it will "remain under close surveillance and further testing will be carried out", the authority said. The odds are it will go ahead next month despite equine flu jitters. The virus is generally not thought to be life-threatening, but limits the competitive capability of horses.

Four positive tests for equine influenza were returned in horses in Newmarket on Sunday.

In a separate case, 10 unraced two-year-old thoroughbreds in the same county were found to have contracted the highly contagious virus. It's widely regarded as a trial for the Unibet Champion Hurdle, which is run at the Cheltenham Festival in less than four weeks' time, and the country's slickest and best hurdlers look set to thrill as they vie for racing glory.

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