Expo Virus Update
Posted on Sat, April 02, 2011

I wanted to thank those of you who were able to attend the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo for your participation.  While we are still completing the analysis, it appears that the Expo was a success.  Among other things, 150 horses took part, and horsemen and women had a chance to participate in 148 clinics and presentations by 37 professionals in the equine industry.  A good few days for the horses and for Colorado's horsemen and women.

I also wanted to bring you up to date on the situation involving an illness that broke out following the Expo.  I know that some of you have horses that were affected, which we deeply regret.  As you may know, we require that all horses that enter the NWSS grounds during the Expo have a current health certificate and undergo a visual check.  We did that as usual this year, and in the process denied entry to several horses.  However, I learned on Monday, March 14th, the day after the Expo, that upon returning home, a number of horses became ill.  We immediately notified everyone who indicated their horses were ill of the procedures we would be taking concerning this situation and NWSS immediately disinfected the entire barn area. We also involved the State Veterinarian's Office to help us determine the nature of the illness so we could get that information to you and to your local veterinarians.

We heard from the State Veterinarian's Office yesterday morning that the illness is an Equine Influenza Virus that could have been carried by a horse that came to the Expo showing no symptoms, or it may have started with a horse that became ill during the Expo. While it is little comfort to any of us, especially those whose horses became ill, the State Veterinarian's Office believes that the necessary precautions were taken at Expo to prevent the onset of the illness, and that it was an unfortunate circumstance that sometimes accompanies horse shows and competitions.  In any event, we are glad to hear that the horses affected are on the mend.

In the coming months, we will continue to consult with equine health professionals to see what additional steps might be taken to prevent a reoccurrence of the situation at next year's Expo.  In the meantime, we appreciate your support and understanding, and we are grateful for all you do to make Colorado's horse industry the dynamic, diverse contributor to the state's economy that it is.


Bill Scebbi

William Scebbi
Executive Director
Colorado Horse Council
Rocky Mountain Horse Expo