Virus Outbreak Halts Alberta Racing

In News by COSA

The live programs of harness racing scheduled for November 26 and 27 at Century Mile have been cancelled due to an equine virus outbreak that prompted more than 30 scratches for the track’s opening card on Friday (Nov. 19).

In a statement issued on Monday (Nov. 21), Horse Racing Alberta, Alberta Standardbred Horse Association and the Century Mile Race Office noted that they are “monitoring an equine virus outbreak at Century Mile Racetrack and Casino” and that “our equine and human athletes’ safety is our top priority.

“We are working closely with official and on-site veterinarians and trainers at the track and training facilities. Century Mile Racetrack and Casino Infectious Disease Protocols have been ordered and the track is closed to horses moving on or off the property. These measures are in place to ensure that our equine athletes have the most up to date health and safety management protocols.”

As a result of the outbreak, the following steps have been taken:

• All affected horses have been placed and will remain in isolation with rigorous disinfection of stalls, tack and equipment for a minimum of seven days.
• The isolated horses will continue to be assessed and treated by attending veterinarians.
• Horses who were scratched on November 19, 2021, have been placed on the Vet List and will not be cleared to race until they are removed from the Vet List by the Horse Racing Alberta Commission Vet.
• Racing has been cancelled for November 26 and 27, 2021.

“We are cautiously optimistic that racing will resume December 3, but further delays might be necessary for the health of the horses and control of the outbreak.”

The Alberta Standardbred Horse Association has recommended the following changes to the racing schedule:

• December 3, 2021: Regular race card, overnights only
• December 17, 2021: Eliminations for Western Canada Pacing Derby and Century Casinos Filly Pace
• December 18, 2021: Additional race day added to schedule
• December 31, 2021: Western Canada Pacing Derby and Century Casinos Filly Pace

Horse Racing Alberta “would like to thank all the trainers, veterinarians, staff at Century Mile and the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association for their collaboration and diligence in addressing the situation.”

(with files from HRA)