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Equine Herpes Outbreak Forces Tournament Of Roses To Cancel Horse Event

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The Los Angeles Equestrian Center (Facebook)
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The annual Equestfest, a horse show affiliated with the Tournament of Roses, has been canceled this year due to an equine herpes outbreak at the host facility.The event will remain canceled even if the quarantine is lifted on the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank before the originally scheduled date of December 30, reports the Pasadena Star-News. In total, 13 cases of equine herpes virus have been identified since the quarantine was imposed by the county on November 3.

Equine herpes can be fairly severe for horses. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the EHV-1 strain, the particular strain of the virus in this outbreak, can lead to "neurological [disease], respiratory disease, abortion and neonatal death." While none of the cases were found to be the ones that led to a severe case of the neurological disease, one horse has been euthanized because of the severity of the symptoms.

EHV-1 is severely contagious. It can spread through nasal secretions from the horses, or contact with contaminated surfaces, including human hands or clothing. According to the L.A. Times, the outbreak was discovered after the horses returned from a show in Las Vegas. Not everything stays in Vegas, man.

Equestfest is a showcase for the equestrian units participating in the Rose Parade, where they "perform trick riding, drills, dancing and roping skills," according to the Tournament of Roses. Despite its cancellation, the 20 units will still participate in the parade, including the Budweiser Clydesdales and the United States Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard.

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This is the first time Equestfest has been canceled in 17 years.