Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

EQUINE INFLUENZA UPDATE

  • The IHRB and HRI confirm that racing will continue in Ireland at present
  • Runners from Britain will not be permitted to race in Ireland until further notice.

Following the British Horseracing Authority’s announcement that racing is suspended in Britain because of equine influenza and consultation with the IHRB Board, Veterinary Committee, Irish Equine Centre and HRI overnight, the IHRB confirm these decisions in the context that at present within Ireland the disease risk status in racing Thoroughbreds has not yet changed.

The BHA’s rapid communication last night enabled the IHRB to contact and advise those trainers who had runners at Ayr and Ludlow yesterday to take appropriate steps to isolate the horses before they returned into their yards and so minimize the potential risk of further spread of the disease in Ireland. We have been aware of a small number of isolated cases of equine influenza in Ireland over the last couple of weeks as per our advice issued on 19th January.  As an interim precaution, the IHRB and HRI have decided that runners from Britain will not be permitted to run in Ireland in an effort to reduce the risk of further spread of the disease via horse movement. 

Horses will continue to be able to race across the north/south of the island of Ireland.

This situation is being closely monitored in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine.

Horses in training are required to be vaccinated for equine influenza in Ireland under the Rules of Racing.  The disease is however being reported in vaccinated horses.  Symptoms to be aware of range from an increased temperature, coughing and nasal discharge and the horse being off feed to more severe respiratory signs – your veterinary surgeon should be contacted for advice under current circumstances if these signs are present.

Testing for equine influenza is provided free of charge by the Irish Equine Centre – it is recommended that any trainer with any concerns should avail of this in order to establish their horses’ disease status.  As with any contagious infectious disease outbreak, rapid diagnosis and effective management is key to recovery and minimising spread of disease

The IHRB strongly recommends that all horses which have not had a vaccine containing Clade 1 virus within the last six months are given a booster vaccination as soon as possible.

Trainers and handlers who have concerns or questions in relation to this should contact,

The IEC on +353 (0)45 866266 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or Dr. Lynn Hillyer, Chief Veterinary Officer IHRB on +353 87 1925 366


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