UPDATE: The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) says due to the recent confirmed EHV-1 positive cases at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center this week, the state veterinarian of Nevada decided to postpone the AQHA West Level 1 Championships scheduled for April 17 to April 20 in Las Vegas.

Craig Huffhines, AQHA executive vice president, released this statement on Thursday:

The No. 1 priority of AQHA is to protect the welfare of the horse, with the recent reports that horses in attendance at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Stallion Stakes event have tested positive for EHV-1, it was necessary for the AQHA Executive Committee, Association staff, facility management and the state veterinarian of Nevada to evaluate whether we should move forward with holding this event. The South Point Arena and Equestrian Center has taken the appropriate biosecurity measures to clean and disinfect the facility. However, all parties involved with this decision believe it is the best option to postpone the show to protect the welfare of our exhibitors’ horses.

“For the protection of the equine industry in Nevada, we fully support the decision to postpone the AQHA event,” said Dr. J. J. Goicoechea, state veterinarian for the Nevada Department of Agriculture. “In the coming days, we will continue to work closely with event coordinators throughout the state to make decisions on upcoming events on an as-needed basis.”

For more information, visit this link here.

(The American Quarter Horse Association contributed to this report).

Original Story: The Nevada Department of Agriculture says two horses that recently attended a Las Vegas event have tested positive for a form of equine herpes virus.

The say one horse was from California, and the second was from Clark County and is under quarantine order by State Veterinarian JJ Goicoechea.

The horses attended the National Reined Cow Horse Association Stallion States event at the South Point Equestrian Center March 30 through April 6,.

Goicoechea says the horses may have been exposed to EHV-1 and should exercise extreme caution when traveling or competing.

He says the horses tested positive for the respiratory, non-neurologic form of Equine Herpes Virus – Type 1 (EHV-1). 

“No quarantine is in place for the South Point Equestrian Center and the facility continues to exercise extreme caution,” Dr. JJ Goicoechea said. “At this time, I am recommending horse owners in Nevada do not travel or compete with their horses.”

In addition, there has been one unrelated case of EHV-1 reported on an unvaccinated horse with neurologic signs in Clark County.

“These two cases are not related and are examples of why monitoring of horses and rapid reporting of positive test results are critical to protecting Nevada’s equine industry,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “The facility where the EHV-1 positive horse with neurologic symptoms is located has also been placed under quarantine, and I am not making additional recommendations because the horse has no travel history off the property.”

EHV-1 is a reportable disease, meaning when veterinarians diagnose it, they are required to notify the Nevada Department of Agriculture, per NRS 571.160. A list of reportable diseases can be found at agri.nv.gov.

(Nevada Department of Agriculture contributed to this report.)