Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

EQUINE INFLUENZA UPDATE – Tuesday, 12th February 2019

Further to the update issued on Friday, 8th February 2019, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) is today issuing clarification of the measures outlined last week as a result of the equine influenza outbreak.

  • In order to be eligible to race, horses must have received a vaccine for equine influenza which contains the Clade 1 virus within eight weeks (56 days) of their race. This new requirement applies to races held on the racecourse and at point-to-points and will be implemented with effect from Monday 18th
  • In accordance with the Rules, horses are not qualified to run if they have received a vaccination within the previous 7 days, therefore it is advised that trainers and handlers take action as soon as possible in order to be eligible to race after 18th
  • It is expected that if horses are vaccinated with the appropriate vaccination after 8th February, they will not be required to receive a further emergency booster vaccination.
  • The IHRB will continue to assist with the checking of passports to ensure that they are compliant.
  • IHRB Veterinary Officers and Assistants will be carrying out veterinary inspections with increased scrutiny at the entrance to racecourse stables and at point-to-points on all horses – trainers and handlers are advised that if any horse shows any sign of respiratory disease, they will not be allowed to enter racecourse stables or race.
  • Trainers are strongly advised to check their runners close to travel to include taking their temperature to ensure that they are fit to race.
  • Runners from Great Britain WILL be permitted to race in Ireland with immediate effect provided the vaccination status of the horses complies with the enhanced IHRB requirements as outlined above.

Commenting on the enhanced procedures, IHRB Chief Executive, Denis Egan said that “the scientific advice is that in addition to boosting the immunity of the horse herd, these steps will provide greater protection to individual horses”. He also said that “the IHRB met with various stakeholders yesterday and the enhanced measures currently in place will be reviewed in two weeks”.

For further information, please contact: Denis Egan, Chief Executive Phone: +353 45445600                                                                                  

Date: 12th February 2019

Editor’s Note:

  1. Testing for equine influenza is provided free of charge by the Irish Equine Centre (IEC) – 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.
  2. Trainers and handlers who have concerns or questions in relation to equine influenza 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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