The Sunshine Tour organizers have now also provided more clarity in an official announcement about what is currently occurring on the competition grounds. "There is a horse showing neurological symptoms of EHV-1, although it has reportedly tested negative for the virus. The horse has been in isolation two kilometers from the competition grounds since February 26," they continued.
Full risk analysis has been conducted by MAPA, the OC and the FEI and, under an agreement reached between all parties, and in order to ensure orderly departure of horses, competition can continue only until Sunday 7 March subject to the following conditions:
- Additional biosecurity measures will be implemented throughout the venue.
- Horses will be permitted to leave the venue, but only once the required health certificate and TRACES documents have been provided. The local authorities will bring in additional personnel to expedite provision of the documentation.
- Horse passports will be returned to athletes/owners once all paperwork for departure is in order.
- If any horses leave the venue without the required health certificate and TRACES, the relevant national veterinary authorities will be informed and there will be sanctions.
- The FEI will also block all horses that leave without health certificates and sanction the athletes involved.
- All in-contact horses – those stabled in the same block as the sick horse before it was put in isolation – are currently being identified and will be blocked from competition and put into isolation subject to EHV protocols.
- Any horses with crossover management (grooms or athletes) with either the sick horse or in-contact horses will also be blocked from competition and put into isolation subject to EHV protocols.
- Athletes will not be penalised for withdrawing from competition before the end of the event.
- If there is no cooperation on the above, the local authorities will seal off the venue to prevent horses leaving illegally.
- The FEI reserves the right to updates these conditions and/or cancel the full event if the situation changes.
We need to work together to minimise the spread of the virus and we very much appreciate the cooperation of all athletes and owners with the above conditions.