Entire HITS show in Marion County placed under quarantine

More cases of equine herpes virus surface


Loren Lettieri rides a motorcycle by Tent No. 7 at at the HITS show at Post Time Farm on Friday. A horse in Tent No. 7 was confirmed to have the equine herpes virus last week.

Doug Engle/Star-Banner
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 5:13 p.m.

All horses at the HITS showgrounds were placed under quarantine Wednesday by the Florida Department of Agriculture after five more horses, which had been on the grounds earlier, tested positive of equine herpes virus (EHV-1).

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Loren Lettieri rides a motorcycle by Tent No. 7 at at the HITS show at Post Time Farm on Friday. A horse in Tent No. 7 was confirmed to have the equine herpes virus last week.

Doug Engle/Star-Banner

No horses are allowed on or off the property at Post Time Farm off U.S. Highway 27 near Ocala.

The quarantine is in effect for 21 days, according to the department's Division of Animal Industry.

The new cases all came from horse no longer at the showgrounds, but which were housed in tents No. 3 and 6. The first confirmed case of EHV-1 came from a horse in tent No. 7, which sparked a quarantine of that tent, but allowed the show to continue.

The show was scheduled to run until March 17. Show organizers said they would release a statement later Wednesday.

None of the additional five horses have shown signs of neurological problems, which is the most dangerous aspect of the illness. As of Wednesday, there have been no other case of the virus on the showgrounds.

One of the newly affected horses is located at Redfield Farm in Ocala. The other four others are located at Miles Away Farm in Loxahatchee. A sixth horse, not believed to be linked with any of the HITS outbreak, also tested positive for EHV-1. That horse is located at Tequestrian Farm in Wellington.

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