Driving Championships Stopped Over West Nile
oncern over West Nile in the European Union caused the cancellation of the World Singles Driving Championships, scheduled for Oct. 18-22 in Gladstone, N.J. The EU imposed restrictions stating that a horse traveling to the United States must be detained here for three weeks of testing if any cases are reported within 30 miles of its location in the 15 days prior to scheduled return. Given the West Nile situation in New Jersey, it was impossible to offer any assurances there would not be cases within the region.
Confirmed are 12 equine cases of West Nile, as we went to press they include:
1. Staten Island, N.Y. — 26-year-old gelding; onset 8/17, euthanasia 8/20.
2. Wakefield, R.I. — two-year-old mare; onset 8/23, euthanasia 8/28.
3. Tuckahoe, N.J. — six-year-old gelding; onset 8/27, euthansia 8/30.
4. Bedford, Mass. — 12-year-old gelding; onset 8/26, euthanasia 8/29.
5. Egg Harbor, N.J. — 10-year-old gelding; onset about 8/29, still alive.
6. Danbury, Conn. — 18-year-old horse; onset 9/7, euthanasia 9/7.
7. Milford, Conn. — 13-year-old mare; onset 9/6, still alive.
8. Hebron, Conn. — 21-year-old gelding; onset 9/5, euthanized.
9-12. One in Ocean County, N.J. (horse dead), two in Sussex County (one dead, one recovering) and one in Atlantic County that recovered from West Nile virus then died from a nonrelated cause.
France is also having a West Nile equine problem, with two horses confirmed infected, 20 cases suspected and a high rate of euthanasia. In Israel, an epidemic has been declared based on the number of human cases, and the United States announced its first human fatality as we went to press — an 82-year-old man in New Jersey.
Evidence of virus activity continues to spread in the Northeast, despite periods of unseasonably cool weather. West Nile was found in Maryland and Pennsylvania in birds for the first time, bringing the total number of states with confirmed West Nile activity to seven.
Review of Herbs
The AAFCO Botanicals and Herbs Committee has chosen 20 herbs from a list of 200 for initial review as it addresses the issue of herbal supplements for horses (see August, 2000).The first task will be a review of available safety data.
The 20 herbs include: echinacea, devil’s claw, raspberry, nettle, burdock, gingko, meadowsweet, marshmallow, milk thistle, hawthorn, ginseng, valerian, yucca, astragalus, passion flower, cleavers, goldenseal, black cohosh, chamomile, yarrow, buckwheat and kava.
Hay Shortage Alert
Pasture conditions are below average in most Western, North Central and Southeast states, leading to a decline in hay yields with an increased demand for hay to supplement spent pastures, according to the Morgan Consulting Group. Northeast pastures are up 23 percent from last year, but it won’t help much as the Northeast isn’t a big hay supplier. See www.forage.com/hay for more information and Horse Journal’s November 1999 issue for hay alternatives.
Galloping Grandfather In Speed Class
Harry deLeyer, 74, known in the ’80s as the Galloping Grandfather, competed in open speed classes during the American Gold Cup, Sept. 14-17 in Devon, Pa. DeLeyer, now a great-grandfather, rode his homebred mare Dutch Natural as an invited guest. The last time he competed in the Devon ring was 15 years ago.
DeLeyer didn’t qualify for Saturday’s Speed Challenge, but the riders asked him to compete anyway. He rode last in the class, with spectators chanting “Harry” as rode into the ring. After the final fence, he received a standing ovation with riders taking off their hats in tribute.
DeLeyer used to delight crowds by tossing his hat into the air after his last fence and catching it, the better to show off his gray hair. He dominated open jumper classes in the ’50s on Snowman, a former lesson horse. DeLeyer now has a small breeding farm in Dyke, Va., outside Charlottesville.