The planned 2008 tour of western United States cities by the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria has been canceled. The stallions were to have performed in five western cities this fall to balance out their eastern cities tour in 2005.
Tour producer Gary Lashinsky told me today that he will head to Vienna later this month to see about re-scheduling the tour. He cited “health concerns of the Lipizzaner Horses…with EVA and CEM” as the reason for the cancellation.
Both the stables in Vienna and the farm in Piber were closed last year when contagious equine metritis (CEM), a highly contagious equine venereal disease, was discovered to have infected many of the stallions. The USA has very strict regulations about testing stallions for CEM and equine viral arteritis (EVA). Stallions carry CEM but do not show symptoms, so the Spanish Riding School was not aware that the stallions were carriers until a horse was exported to the USA.