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Horse diagnosed with equine herpes at Vernon Downs; racing cancelled until further notice

Equine herpes is more like a severe cold in horses and it is common. The five-year-old female horse was put down after a blood sample sent to Cornell University tested positive for the disease.
VERNON, NY (WSYR-TV) -  Horse races at Vernon Downs are cancelled until further notice after a horse was diagnosed Saturday with equine herpes.

The five-year-old female horse was put down after a blood sample sent to Cornell University tested positive for the disease.

Equine herpes is more like a severe cold in horses and it is common. It's transmitted when horses touch noses or if someone touches a horse with the disease then touches one without it.

There are a few other horses in the barn at Vernon Downs that are showing early symptoms but they are being treated.

Those horses are confined to one trainer's area.

Jason Bluhm, the Director of Racing at Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs, says his heart goes out to the trainer who has lost one of his horses.

"The worst of this disease can cause neurological problems. It doesn't do that in every single horse. A lot of them, it makes them a little sicker than normal," said Bluhm.  "That’s what's problematic about this thing. It mimics a cold until it's too late."

The barn is quarantined as state veterinarians investigate.

Racing will not resume until the veterinarians say it is okay to do so.
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