British horses will be allowed race in Ireland with immediate effect

Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board made announcement despite ongoing shutdown

Racing will take place at Fairyhouse on Wednesday and will be open to British entries. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Racing will take place at Fairyhouse on Wednesday and will be open to British entries. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

 

The ban on British-trained horses running in Ireland during the outbreak of equine influenza has been lifted with immediate effect, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board has confirmed.

The sport was rocked last Wednesday after it emerged three horses — which subsequently rose to six — were found to have the highly-infectious disease at Donald McCain’s stable in Cheshire.

The ruling body quickly enforced a six-day shutdown of racing in Britain, but the IHRB confirmed racing would continue in Ireland — with all runners from Britain not be permitted to race until further notice.

However, with the British Horseracing Authority due to decide late on Monday whether racing can resume in Britain on Wednesday, the IHRB said in a statement: “Following on from the update issued on Friday, 9th February 2019, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) today announced that runners from Great Britain will be permitted to race in Ireland with immediate effect provided that the horses comply with the IHRB requirements.”

Dr Lynn Hillyer, chief veterinary officer at the IHRB, added: “They are fine (to run in Ireland), provided they can fill the requirements that we set out in our release on Friday night, which said that horses need to have received a vaccine for equine influenza which contains Clade 1 virus within eight weeks of their race.

“As long as they can fulfil that requirement, they are fine. Obviously, by definition, they will only be coming from yards which aren’t under restriction from the BHA.

“Having had the opportunity to consider things over the weekend, the board have made the decision that we are able to support that movement — which is obviously good news for everybody.

“There was a discussion whether to wait until after the BHA’s announcement tonight — but we decided at this time the two things are independent.

“The critical thing is they have to have had the correct vaccination within the eight weeks preceding the run.”

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