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EQUESTRIAN: Badminton boost as stables cleared of virus
6:28pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in Sport
THE threat of the Badminton Horse Trials being cancelled for the second year in a row appears to be fading.
Concerns surfaced that the event, which attracts around 200,000 people annually, was in doubt when a case of Equine Herpes Virus was confirmed at Beaufort Hunt Stables.
However, event organisers have revealed that they have taken steps to eliminate the infection after consulting with veterinary advisers and biosecurity experts from the Animal Health Trust.
A statement released by organisers said: “Following confirmation of Equine Herpes Virus in the Beaufort Hunt stables at Badminton, urgent action has been taken to ensure the hygiene and biosecurity of the stables to be used for the Badminton Horse Trials in six weeks’ time.
“All horses have already been removed from the stables and thorough cleaning and disinfecting will follow shortly. The Equine Herpes Virus cannot survive outside the horse for any appreciable length of time.
“The Hunt horse that showed clinical signs of infection is improving and is expected to make a full recovery.”
The 2012 trials were cancelled due to the wet weather but it now appears that eventing fans will not face a near three-year wait for Badminton’s return.
There is a huge local interest in the event with Highworth-based Aussie Paul Tapner having won there in 2010 aboard Inonothing.
Membury-based Laura Collett, who came very close to being selected for the London Olympics, exploded onto the eventing scene at Badminton in 2011 when she partnered Rayef to lead after the first day of dressage.