The FEI can’t be pleased with the news out of Hong Kong this week. The island city will be hosting the Olympics 18 months from now, but last week horses at the local Sha Tin track were ravaged by an unidentified flu-like virus and fever, as reported in today’s South China Morning Post..The newspaper article states that the head of veterinary regulation for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Brian Stewart, contends that test results from the Hong Kong government laboratories have ruled out equine influenza and it is “99 per cent” certain that the nine racehorses in one stable and two lead ponies were not infected with an equine herpes virus.
Whatever did affect them has abated, and the horses are recovering.
The outbreak took place over the same period of days when Hong Kong’s superstar horse Silent Witness was saying farewell to 35,000 loyal fans before he entered quarantine in preparation for his flight to Melbourne, Australia, where he will enter retirement at the “Living Legends” farm for celebrity retirees.
An unspecified bilateral degenerative hind limb lameness caused the great racehorse’s retirement.