As plans for the annual Mule Days celebration move ahead in Bishop, so do concerns over the news about a deadly and contagious horse virus that has spread throughout western states, including California. In Bishop, private equestrian centers have decided to ban out-of-town horses and mules from their facilities.
Hilke Ungersma at the Millpond Equestrian Center said her facility will not accept horses that come to town for Mule Days. She said her horses will not leave for their summer stables in Mammoth nor out-of-town shows. Reports have indicated that other local centers are following suit.
We called the Mule Days office for more information on how the boardwill handle this development. We were told that board members would be in meetings all day to try to figure out how to manage the situation. Late yesterday, the committee sent out the word that the Executive Board of the Bishop Mule Days continues to receive updates on the EHV-l incident. They said,”We are hopeful to have an update from the California State Veterinary Association” sometime today.
Yesterday, an outbreak in the deadly virus caused a group of riders in Poway, California, to cancel a horse show planned for Sunday. It all seemed to start in Ogden, Utah, where a national cutting horse association’s championships took place. News followed that 800 horses forms several Western states were likely exposed to the virus. Later, 10 cases were reported in California’s Napa, Kern, Placer, Stanislaus and Amador counties. Authorities said horses with the virus in these counties were exposed to the disease at the Utah horse show.
According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture website, the virus is transmitted through horse-to-horse contact, aerosol transmission, and contaminated hands, equipment, tack and feed.
We will bring you more information when we get it.