Timeline
20 February 2021

First notification of sick horses: The FEI Veterinary Department was informed by the onsite FEI Veterinary Delegate in the afternoon of 20 February that 11 horses had fever at the CES Valencia Spring Tour (ESP). Later the same day, the number had increased to 20.​​

The FEI was also advised of four cases of suspected Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in horses that had left the venue on 14 February and became sick shortly after returning to their home country (France). At least one of these horses was showing neurological signs.

With this combined information, the FEI concluded that this was an outbreak of the neurological form of EHV-1 and immediately told Organisers and onsite Officials to cancel the rest of the event in Valencia.

The FEI informed  the  Organisers of  the  other  Tours  on  the  Iberian  Peninsula  of  the  situation and instructed them not to accept any horses that had been competing at Valencia.

21 February 2021

The FEI followed up with the OC Treating Veterinarians on the situation with horses in Valencia and this was then continued on a daily basis.

The FEI Veterinary Delegate and venue Veterinary Services Manager remained on venue to treat horses, where necessary, and implement a mitigation plan for containing the outbreak in accordance with the FEI Veterinary Regulations.

With the information available, the FEI established that there was potential disease transmission between horses that had been at the venue in the period between 1 and 20 February 2021.

The FEI commenced identification of the more than 700 in-contact horses that had participated at Valencia since 1 February 2021.

22 February 2021

Local Authorities took over venue: The regional branch of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) formally took over the Valencia venue.

Tracing & blocking of in-contact horses: Within less than 48 hours of being informed of the outbreak, the FEI traced and blocked in the FEI Database all 752 horses that had participated in Valencia, meaning that these horses are not permitted to enter any FEI Events until they have fulfilled the necessary testing requirements.

The FEI confirmed the identification of the Valencia horses to the Organisers of the other Tours on the Iberian Peninsula, and instructed them not to accept these horses.

All athletes that had participated with horses in Valencia since 1 February 2021 received a communique outlining the FEI measures blocking the in-contact horses and the actions that they personally needed to take to help prevent the further spread of this virus.

23 February 2021

The FEI contacted the National Federations (NFs) of athletes who had left the venue with their horses without the necessary health certificates and asked these NFs to contact their national veterinary authority.

The FEI contacted the organisers of events in other parts of Europe with lists of horses and athletes that had been in Valencia.

Expert support: The FEI initiated a series of regular meetings (ongoing) with world leading epidemiologists to conduct a full risk assessment of the further spread of the outbreak.

The FEI followed up on test results from on venue horses in Valencia.

24 February 2021

Official notification by Spanish Authorities: The Secretariat of Sanidad e Higiene Animal y Trazabilidad (the regional branch of MAPA) published an official notification of the EHV-1 outbreak "Confirmación Rinoneumonitis equina en concurso hípico en Valencia".

The FEI continued to follow up with Event Organisers to ensure that no in-contact horses from Valencia were onsite at their venues and, if they were, that they were in isolation and under strict biosecurity measures.

Following discussions with the FEI, the Spanish Equestrian Federation was in direct contact with the Spanish Ministry to ensure that a team of FEI supporting Veterinarians would be allowed onsite in Valencia to supplement the OC Treating Veterinarians already onsite.

The FEI monitored the health situation of horses on all Jumping Tours on the Iberian Peninsula.

25 February 2021

Urgent request for help: The FEI was alerted by athletes in Valencia that conditions onsite had deteriorated and they needed urgent assistance, including pharmaceuticals for the sick horses.

The FEI requested the Spanish National Federation to contact the Ministry for information on treatment protocols for sick horses and plans for release of healthy horses. The Spanish Federation provided immediate help.

The FEI contacted DG Santé of the European Commission to update them and request support with Ministry contacts in Spain.

26 February 2021

First recorded death: The FEI was advised that a horse had been euthanised at the veterinary hospital in Valencia due to EHV-1 that evening.

Of the 150 horses still on the venue, a total of 72 horses showed clinical signs of EHV-1. Of the 47 horses that had been tested, 17 were confirmed positive for the virus.

The FEI requested – and received – agreement from the Spanish regional veterinary authorities to allow five additional veterinarians onsite to treat the affected horses. As soon as we received the necessary approval, the FEI entered discussion with the Spanish, French and German National Federations on the provision of additional veterinarians to Valencia.

The FEI also requested a detailed plan from the regional veterinary authorities on the treatment of sick horses, management of the outbreak, and the plan for getting healthy horses off the venue.

Three horses were transferred to the veterinary hospital with neurological symptoms, but one was recovering well and was expected to return to the venue.

The FEI also received information that there may be additional numbers of horses displaying neurological signs, but did not have confirmation at that stage.

The FEI was informed of two possible further outbreaks in Belgium that traced back to Valencia.

27 February 2021

Confirmation was received by the FEI of a second related equine fatality, also at the Valencia veterinary hospital.

Arrival of Veterinary support: The Spanish National Head Veterinarian, together with the assigned leader of the FEI veterinary support team, arrived onsite.

It was arranged for FEI Veterinary Manager Gonçalo Paixão to travel to Valencia the following day to establish improved lines of communication between the authorities, the Valencia Organisers and athletes.

The FEI Veterinary Director updated European Equestrian Federation President Theo Ploegmakers on the outbreak.

A horse in Villamoura (POR) died suddenly of a suspected circulatory collapse. As a precaution, the FEI ordered urgent PCR testing which came back negative for EHV-1.

28 February 2021

Information was received by the FEI that two horses had been euthanised on-venue in Valencia, bringing the number of related deaths to four.

The FEI was informed of outbreaks in Germany that traced back to Valencia.

Boosted onsite support: Two veterinarians, organised by the German National Federation, arrived onsite in Valencia to assist with treating the sick horses.

The French National Federation and the FEI coordinated a supply of inflatable support mats to assist recumbent horses to stand. Rescue nets and emergency slings were sourced from Switzerland.

The FEI sourced extra stabling so that healthy/recovered horses in Valencia could be better separated from sick animals on venue to prevent further transmission. These were to be divided between the venue and the Valencia Equine Hospital in order to free up emergency treatment permanent stables.

The FEI again directly contacted National Federations with horses that participated in Valencia requesting confirmation that they had contacted all their athletes that were in Valencia, that their national veterinary authorities had been informed about the outbreak and the returning horses, and that the necessary isolation of returning horses and in-contact horses had been put in place and compliance is being controlled.

01 March 2021

FEI cancelled events in mainland Europe: Following a detailed risk assessment conducted together with leading epidemiologist Richard Newton, the  FEI  cancelled  international  events  in  10  countries  on  the  European  mainland with immediate effect and until 28 March 2021 due to the rapid evolution of the EHV-1 outbreak.

The decision covers events in France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Poland, Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia.

The decision applies to all FEI disciplines, but in order to prevent huge numbers of horses simultaneously departing the Jumping Tours on the Iberian Peninsula, in Italy and Belgium that have been ongoing for a number of weeks, these specific Tours will be allowed to continue as individual “bubbles” on the condition that absolutely no new horses are allowed to enter the venues and no positive cases of EHV-1 are confirmed.

The Jumping Tour venues in Vejer de la Frontera (ESP), Vilamoura (POR), San Giovanni in Marignano (ITA) and Gorla Minore (ITA) were required to have stringent biosecurity protocols in place and additional FEI Veterinary Delegates onsite, put in place with the assistance of the Spanish and Italian national Head Veterinarians.

Oliva Nova (ESP) had already advised the FEI the same afternoon that it had decided to cancel the rest of its scheduled competitions in the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour III. Opglabbeek (BEL) also informed the FEI that it had cancelled its events in March.

The French National Federation confirmed it had cancelled all national and international events.

The FEI strongly recommended that all affected member Federations should also cancel their national events.

The FEI received notification on the evening of 1 March that one of four horses that had travelled from Valencia to Doha (QAT) was showing clinical signs in the isolation stables and had tested positive for EHV-1. The horse was transferred to the isolation unit of the neighbouring veterinary clinic, together with a second German horse that returned an inconclusive result and required retesting.

The FEI continued to collate further information about related outbreaks and the measures put in place at local level to handle any outbreaks.

02 March 2021

The German and Czech Equestrian Federations cancelled all events until 28 March 2021.

Risk assessment for Doha: In order to fully assess whether the GCT/GCL event would be permitted to go ahead in Doha, the FEI Veterinary Department conducted a full risk assessment to evaluate the biosecurity measures already in place on-venue, focusing on the potential risk of viral transmission to healthy horses. As the four horses that had travelled from Valencia had been in isolation since 22 February, it was agreed to wait for the results of the PCR tests on all other horses on the venue, which were completely separated from the positive horse.

A veterinary internal medicine specialist, sent by the French National Federation, arrived onsite in Valencia.

The Organisers of San Giovanni in Marignano (ITA) advised the FEI that they had cancelled their Jumping Tour.

The FEI continued its follow up with National Federations and Organising Committees to evaluate their preventive measures and protocols in place for handling outbreaks.

03 March 2021

There had been no more equine fatalities at the venue in Valencia since the previous weekend, but one horse died at a veterinary hospital in Barcelona and one died in Germany. Both of these horses had been in Valencia. There were no reports of any further related deaths, but this brought the total number of deaths in the outbreak to six.

A total of 83 on-venue horses in Valencia showed clinical signs and were being treated, but none of these horses were recumbent or required slings for support.

Fifteen horses were being treated in external clinics (13 in Valencia and two in Barcelona).

Improved communications: The FEI Veterinary Manager organised an onsite meeting in Valencia between Spanish Ministry Officials (MAPA), the Organisers, the OC veterinarians, an athlete representative and the FEI treatment team leader to help resolve issues. Agreement was reached on roles, treatment protocols and a new plan for separation of horses following requests from athletes and owners for their horses to be grouped together without infringing biosecurity protocols.

Carl-Walter Fox (SWE), the Athlete Representative in Valencia, who had been in constant contact with the FEI Veterinary Director since the start of the outbreak, initiated more detailed daily reports.

Some of the additional temporary stabling delivered to the venue was not up to standard and all of it was unsuitable for large horses. Replacement boxes were organised.

The FEI received early morning confirmation that all competing horses in Doha had tested negative for EHV-1. The FEI Veterinary Director met with the Doha Organisers and senior FEI Officials onsite at Al Shaqab to further assess the situation.

Doha given conditional go-ahead: Following further consultation with leading epidemiologist Dr Gittan Groendahl about the situation in Doha, the FEI agreed that competition could go ahead as scheduled from 4-6 March subject to a series of stringent conditions. However, the FEI reserved the right to cancel the event if there were any changes to the situation.

The conditions for continuation included maintaining strict isolation protocols for the four Valencia horses; twice-daily temperature checks for all competing horses; minimising all contact between horses; treatment boxes to be closed, and treating/testing of horses permitted in the horse’s own stable under supervision of an FEI Official; daily calls between the FEI, the Organisers, relevant onsite FEI Officials and athlete representative Kevin Staut. The conditions also included confirmation from the Organisers that no sanctions would be applied against individual athletes or teams if they chose not to compete.

A case of EHV-1 (neurological form) was reported in Ocala, Florida (USA), similar in nature, but unrelated to the neurological strain of EHV-1 in Spain and other European countries. The horse had not been shipped from Europe and was not on the Ocala showgrounds at the onset of symptoms. The event in Ocala was not an FEI event, however, after consultation with the FEI Veterinary Department, additional onsite biosecurity measures were implemented in Wellington, Florida, by the FEI Veterinary Delegate.

04 March 2021

The FEI was informed of two related equine deaths, one in Germany and one in Barcelona, bringing the official and confirmed number of deaths in the outbreak to eight.

The Swedish Federation advised the FEI that a number of horses returning to Sweden from Valencia had tested positive for EHV-1 and were showing clinical signs.

Suspected neurological case at Sunshine Tour: The FEI was informed by the team leader of the three additional FEI Veterinary Delegates at the Spanish Sunshine Tour venue in Vejer de la Frontera (ESP) that a horse had developed neurological signs of EHV-1, although it had reportedly tested negative to the virus. The horse had been in isolation two kilometres from the competition since 26 February.

Conditional go-ahead: Following a full risk analysis conducted by the Spanish Ministry (MAPA), the Spanish National Federation, the Organisers, FEI Officials, the Jumping Athlete Representative and the FEI, all parties agreed that – exceptionally and in order to ensure an orderly and biosecure departure of horses – competition could continue until Sunday 7 March subject to a number of strict conditions.

The conditions for continuation included the implementation of additional biosecurity measures and that any horses departing the venue had to have the required health certification. In order to prevent horses leaving without the necessary documentation, athletes were advised that sanctions could be enforced by their national veterinary authorities and the FEI. The local authorities agreed to bring in additional personnel to expedite issuing of health certificates. However, the FEI reserved the right to cancel the full event if the situation changed.

The FEI Veterinary Director liaised directly with the Belgian National Federation and team veterinarian on the treatment of their horse in the isolation stables at Vejer.

The FEI Jumping Director arrived onsite in Valencia and held a meeting with the Organisers to resolve a number of issues. He then called a follow-up meeting between all parties to ensure the lines of communication remained open.

The Athlete Representative onsite in Valencia reported that Covid-19 testing had been put in place on the venue.

The competent veterinary authorities of France, Germany and the Netherlands were working on creating biosecure highways to get sick or in-contact horses home from Spain and Portugal, having secured the necessary permissions from Spanish authorities.

05 March 2021

The FEI was notified of another equine fatality at the clinic in Valencia, bringing the number of related deaths in the outbreak to nine.

Cancellation of Spanish Sunshine Tour: The FEI was informed in the afternoon by the team leader of the three additional FEI Veterinary Delegates that a second horse at the Spanish Sunshine Tour venue had been put into isolation after developing mild neurological signs and a slightly elevated temperature. As the FEI had also received evidence late that afternoon from the official laboratory in Madrid that the negative test on the first horse showing neurological signs in Vejer was inconclusive, the FEI arranged a meeting with the Organisers and onsite FEI Officials. After a follow-up emergency internal meeting, the FEI informed the Organisers that the event was cancelled with immediate effect. The FEI again stressed that horses should not leave the venue without the necessary documentation from the Spanish Authorities.

Stopover stabling for returning horses: The French Federation (FFE) established transit stabling in Le Mans and Lyons for horses travelling back from Spain, Portugal and Italy. The FFE, together with the FEI, arranged for 24-hour veterinary support in Le Mans and is working to provide the same service in Lyons. Places should be booked as soon as possible. More information on these stabling options and potentially additional locations in France will be updated here.

The Valencia strain of the virus has been identified by both Labeo (France) and Synlab Vet Laboratory Services (Germany) as a A2254/N752 genotype that is commonly circulating in Europe. A2254/N752 genotype is more common than the G2254/D752 genotype and is less often associated with neurological disease than the G2254/D752, which is more frequently associated with hyper-virulent disease expression.

The Athlete Representative in Valencia reported to the FEI Veterinary Director that supplies were continuing to be delivered to the venue, and that new stabling would be arriving onsite the following day. There was also a plan put in place, approved by the veterinary team, on where and how to exercise the healthy horses. The onsite veterinary team reported that the sick horses are improving.

EEF support: The European Equestrian Federation (EEF) provided its members with the Guidelines of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM) for dealing with returning horses from EHV-1 outbreaks and also the British Equestrian Federation biosecurity protocol.

The EEF contracted Dutch veterinarian and EHV expert Prof. Dr Marianne Sloet to provide guidance to the EEF and its member Federations and encouraged those in urgent need of veterinary advice to contact the EEF.

The FEI formally addressed the Veterinary Authority of Qatar about its concerns about the four horses that had been in Valencia and advised that, as agreed with the Doha Organisers, these horses must be transported back to Europe separately from the competing horses.

The Swedish National Federation confirmed that it had cancelled all national events.

06 March 2021

FEEVA support: The FEI, supported by the Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations (FEEVA), formally addressed the Secretariat of Sanidad e Higiene Animal y Trazabilidad (the regional branch of MAPA) proposing improved protocols for allowing in-contact horses to leave the venue in Valencia.

Improvements in Valencia: The Athlete Representative in Valencia, reported that the daily onsite information meeting was well attended. The medical condition of the horses remains stable with less serious cases reported. While these were positive signs, the veterinary team stressed that it is important to be aware that the disease was yet not fully under control.

Extra grooms are being made available for teams requiring support to look after their horses. Additional truck drivers are being sought to help in transporting the horses home from Valencia.

A French team specialised in international quarantine stables provided recommendations on good biosecurity practice, including washing and disinfection of trucks and equipment to prevent further spread of the virus.

Access to the individual zones in the Valencia stabling was further strengthened with the use of bracelets in order to prevent movement between different zones. A French team has provided an onsite PCR lab to help with monitoring sick horses, allowing a faster detection of the movement of the virus between horses and establish if there is a pattern.

New stabling arrived on venue, allowing the horses to be divided into smaller groups. Additional stables is available in the area and can be installed immediately if required.

The Veterinary Authority of Qatar confirmed that the four in-contact horses that had been in Valencia and were still in isolation in Doha, would not be flying home to Europe from Qatar with the other horses, and would be remaining in isolation until at least 15 March.

The FEI continued to address the Spanish Sunshine Tour Organisers about allowing additional Veterinary Delegates onsite to support the biosecurity measures on the venue and treatment of the affected horses in the isolation stables.

The FEI, supported by FEEVA and the Asociación de Veterinarios Especialistas en Équidos (the Spanish branch of FEEVA), provided assistance to two individual athletes and their veterinarians to ensure that the two horses with neurological signs in the Vejer de la Frontera isolation stables would be allowed into specialist treatment clinics.

The FEI received official notification that a second horse in Florida (USA) had been confirmed positive to EHV-1. The horse had a fever but was not exhibiting any neurological signs. The Florida Department of Agriculture published on its website that the first horse was housed at the World Equestrian Center Barn D during week seven and the second horse was housed in Barn D during week eight. The second horse left the World Equestrian Center on 25 February 2021. The Department update confirmed that 67 other horses had been exposed.

07 March 2021

The International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) published information for those with horses travelling back from Spain, reminding members of the importance of cleaning and disinfection of stables prior to departure, and of transport vehicles, to minimise the risk of further transmission of the virus. The Club listed transit stabling options in addition to the two stops in Le Mans and Lyons organised by the FFE. Details are available on the IJRC website.

The FEI continued to follow up on the condition and veterinary care of the two horses that had developed neurological signs in Vejer de la Frontera.

The FEI Veterinary Director requested an update from the primary Veterinary Delegate on the remaining horses on venue

The Athlete Representative in Valencia reported a very smooth daily meeting, where the onsite veterinary team distributed a short-term rehabilitation plan for the horses over the next seven days. The consignment of extra stabling organised by Katharina Offel is now onsite and 18 of these boxes have been provided to the Hospital Veterinario CEU clinic, which is treating the horses.

08 March 2021

The FEI was notified that a horse had been euthanised at the clinic in Valencia, bringing the number of related deaths to 10.

The FEI was notified of a related case of EHV-1 in Milan (ITA).

The Organisers of the Jumping Tour in Gorla Minore (ITA) advised the FEI of the cancellation of the remaining three weeks of competition. This was done due to low entry numbers. There were no sick horses at the Italian venue.

Offers of help continued to flood in, including offers of truck drivers to assist with transporting horses to their home countries.

09 March 2021
The FEI was advised of a further equine fatality at the clinic in Valencia, bringing the number of related deaths to 11.

The number of horses still onsite in Valencia is 138, 10 of which are still being treated, but none of these have neurological symptoms. There are currently 14 horses in the University Hospital in Valencia (CEU) and one horse horse in the University Hospital in Barcelona (UAB).

A total of 78 horses on-venue in Valencia have tested positive so far under the official testing programme conducted by the Spanish Veterinary Authorities).

The FEI received notification of a confirmed positive for EHV-1 in a horse in Belgium after returning from the Spanish Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera (ESP). This horse, which was placed in isolation immediately on return to its home stables in Belgium, was a close in-contact to the first horse that developed a fever on the Vejer de la Frontera venue. This first horse was put into isolation on 26 February, displayed neurological signs on 4 March and, although it tested negative to EHV-1, that result was inconclusive. A second horse on the venue developed neurological signs on 5 March and was also transferred to the isolation stables.

As a result of the confirmed positive in Belgium, all horses that have participated in the Spanish Sunshine Tour since 9 February 2021 have been blocked in the FEI Database and athletes have been advised of the necessary biosecurity measures that must be implemented prior to return to competition.

The Swiss National Federation confirmed to the FEI that it had cancelled all national events until 29 March 2021.

The FEI held a press conference with media that have covered the outbreak in Europe, giving an overview of the outbreak and outlining next steps, including that there will be a comprehensive and fully transparent investigation into every aspect of this outbreak and the way it has been handled and the measures that will need to be taken for a safe return to play.

10 March 2021

A horse in the Veterinary Clinic in Valencia, which had undergone colic surgery on 9 March, was euthanised. This brought the number of related deaths to 12.

The FEI was notified that precautionary testing of a horse that had returned to its home stables in Belgium after competing in Doha (QAT) has come back positive to EHV-1. The horse is not displaying any clinical signs and a re-test has been done. A second horse in the same stables has tested negative.

As a result, the FEI has blocked all 85 horses that were competing in Doha and any other horses that may have been in contact with them. Athletes have been advised to implement strict biosecurity protocols – including isolation – or equivalent measures as requested by their National Federation.

The FEI was advised of new EHV-1 positives in Belgium (4) and France (6) in horses that have returned from the Spanish Sunshine Tour from Vejer de la Frontera (ESP). These new positives include the first horse that displayed neurological signs on 4 March 2021 in the isolation stables at the Sunshine Tour, which tested positive after its return to Belgium. Today’s confirmed positives are in addition to the positive in Belgium yesterday (9 March), meaning the total currently stands at 11.

All 2,053 horses that have participated in the Spanish Sunshine Tour since 9 February 2021 had already been blocked in the FEI Database yesterday and athletes were advised of the necessary biosecurity measures that must be implemented prior to return to competition. Athletes were also advised not to participate in any training sessions or national competitions with their horses, nor any breeding activities.

11 March 2021

The FEI has been notified that the re-test on one of the horses returning from Doha (QAT) has come back negative for EHV-1. However, all 85 horses will remain blocked in the FEI Database until they have completed the necessary biosecurity measures.

A protocol was agreed with the Vejer de la Frontera Organisers for athletes who wish to keep their horses onsite at the Spanish Sunshine Tour venue for the required 21-day isolation period.

The first group of horses to leave Valencia departed the venue at 5am, following agreement between the French and Spanish Ministries. These horses are quarantined in biosecure stabling outside Paris.

A separate plan for the remaining horses to depart the Valencia venue was agreed with the regional branch of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA).

The CHIO Aachen Campus hosted a live online forum to answer questions about the EHV-1 outbreak. Speakers were Dr Friedrich-Wilhelm Hanbuecken, Professor Dr Karsten Feige, and German National Federation Secretary General Soenke Lauterbach. The Dutch National Federation had previously hosted a similar webinar, which attracted an audience of close to 4,000.

12 March 2021

The FEI imposed a further two-week extension of the shutdown of all international events in mainland Europe until 11 April 2021 due to the ongoing outbreak. The FEI had previously announced a 28-day shutdown on 1 March 2021.

The move, aimed at minimising the further spread of the very aggressive strain of the virus, was unanimously approved at an emergency FEI Executive Board meeting today. The extended lockdown applies to all FEI disciplines and was put in place based on detailed scientific risk assessment conducted by world leading epidemiologist Dr Richard Newton and the FEI Veterinary Department.

The extended lockdown applies to all countries that have international scheduled events in the period to 11 April – Austria, Belgium, Spain, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Sweden. However, the FEI again strongly recommended that all National Federations in mainland Europe cancel their national events in order to minimise horse movement.

The continued shutdown means cancellation of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final and the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final, originally scheduled to be held in Gothenburg (SWE) from 31 March to 4 April 2021. This is the second year in a row that the FEI World Cup™ Finals have been cancelled following the loss of the 2020 Finals in Las Vegas (USA) to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Work on identifying the gene sequencing of this strain of the virus underway.

The FEI continued to monitor the evolution of the virus through the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group, formalised this week. The Group is composed of world-leading EHV specialists, the FEI Veterinary Director and FEI Senior Veterinary Advisor, supported by the Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee. Reports and recommendations from this Group will be published on a weekly basis.

The FEI stressed the importance of the community working together to contain the virus so that competition can resume as soon as possible, and requested National Federations to monitor extremely carefully and keep the FEI Veterinary Department updated on the situation in their country, particularly reporting any suspected and confirmed cases.

The group of 10 horses that travelled to France from Valencia (ESP) have safely arrived at the quarantine stables outside Paris.

The Polish National Federation confirmed that all its national events have been cancelled.

13 March 2021

A group of eight Belgian horses departed from the Valencia venue this morning. Paperwork for the Dutch, German and British horses is in the process of being prepared.

All horses on-venue in Valencia are now off medication. These horses are being monitored by the two OC Veterinarians and an FEI Treating Veterinarian. There is also an FEI Treating Veterinarian supporting the work at the Valencia equine hospital, which is still treating 10 horses.

The FEI has been notified that a horse in France is showing clinic symptoms and has tested positive for EHV-1 after returning from Doha. This is a close in-contact of the horse in Belgium that, after returning to its home stables, had initially tested positive, but negative on a re-test. All 85 horses from Doha are already blocked in the FEI Database until they have completed the necessary biosecurity measures.

14 March 2021

The horse in Belgium that tested positive and was showing clinical signs after returning from Vejer de Frontera is recovering well. A large number of horses in Belgium that had participated in the Spanish Sunshine Tour have been screened for EHV-1, and three horses have now returned positive results and are displaying mild clinical signs, but no neurological symptoms.

A group of Belgian veterinarians has set up a dedicated clinic with 25 boxes for isolating and treating EHV-1 positive horses.

The FEI has received a detailed report from the Spanish Sunshine Tour Organisers that horses are departing the venue in Vejer de la Frontera in a correct and biosecure way. A total of 73 have already left the showgrounds, and the required paperwork is already in place for more than 50% of those still onsite.

15 March 2021

Following confirmation of the two positive tests in Jumping horses that had participated in Doha (QAT), one in Belgium and one in France, the FEI blocked all 19 Dressage and 17 Para Dressage horses that competed in Al Shaqab at the end of February. These horses flew back separately from the Jumping horses, but a negative PCR test will have to be provided to the FEI before these horses will be unblocked in the FEI Database.

A horse returning from Gorla Minore (ITA) has tested positive for EHV-1 following a precautionary test at its home stables in Austria. The horse was not showing any clinical symptoms. The FEI has investigated this positive and concluded it is unlikely that this is linked to the Valencia outbreak.

The French National Federation confirmed to the FEI that it will extend the shutdown of all national competitions until 11 April 2021. Other National Federations are also looking at prolonging the lockdown on their national events.

16 March 2021

The FEI was notified of five new deaths– two in Belgium and three in Germany (including a neonatal foal), where it was also confirmed that five mares had aborted foals at the same stables. This brought the total number of related deaths in this outbreak to 17.

The FEI was advised that two horses had tested positive for EHV-1 at their home stables in Belgium and another horse in Switzerland after returning from the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour (MET) in Oliva (ESP). Although the two horses in Belgium were subsequently negative in re-tests, all 856 horses that participated in Oliva since the start of MET II on 9 February 2021 have been blocked in the FEI Database.

The FEI has been notified of a confirmed positive for EHV-1 in a horse that had returned from Valencia and was tested at its home stables in Slovakia.

Horses continued to leave the Valencia venue, including three from Denmark, seven from Sweden and 12 from both the Netherlands and Spain. There are still 10 horses in the Valencia veterinary clinic, none of these are in intensive care.

The Portuguese National Federation informed the FEI that it had cancelled all national events until 12 April.

17 March 2021

A total of 84 horses have left the Valencia venue and a further 22 are scheduled to leave on 18 March. This will leave a total of 35 horses onsite, with four still in the Valencia veterinary hospital, and seven at a nearby private stable.

The Polish National Federation advised the FEI that it had cancelled all national events until 12 April.

18 March 2021

The FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group, which was formalised last week, held its first formal meeting to discuss virus gene typing, the evolution of the outbreak, return to competition protocols and preventive measures. The Group is composed of leading EHV experts Professor Ann Cullinan (IRL), Dr Richard Newton (GBR) and Dr Gittan Gröndahl (SWE), the FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Akerström and FEI Senior Veterinary Advisor Dr Caterina Termine, supported by Dr Jenny Hall, Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee. A report from the meeting will be published in the next 24 hours.

The FEI has received notification from the International Collating Centre (ICC) of eight horses in two separate premises in France that have tested positive for EHV-1. A further five horses are showing clinical signs. The ICC report states that these two outbreaks are related to a competition in Spain. The FEI is following up to establish the venue or venues.

A total of 218 horses have left the Spanish Sunshine Tour showgrounds, with other departures planned over the coming days. This will leave just over 150 horses that will complete their 21-day isolation period onsite in Vejer de la Frontera.

19 March 2021

The FEI has been notified of four new EHV-1 positives in horses in Denmark that have returned to their home stables from Valencia, two of which are showing neurological symptoms. The horses are in full isolation.

The FEI is following up on a reported EHV-1 positive in a horse that was tested at its home stables in Scotland after returning from Vilamoura (POR). Neither the positive horse nor any of its stable companions that had travelled back from Portugal are showing any clinical signs and have been isolated since their return.

The last of the German horses have now left the Valencia venue. Other horses from Hong Kong and China have also departed.

It has been confirmed that the virus strain in the horse that tested positive after participating in Gorla Minore (ITA) is not linked to the Valencia

outbreak.

The Veterinary Delegate in Wellington, Florida (USA) confirmed to the FEI Veterinary Department that testing on a horse with fever in

isolation on the venue had returned negative for EHV-1.

The Swedish National Federation confirmed that it has extended the shutdown of all national events until 11 April.

20 March 2021

The FEI continues to follow up on the horse in Scotland that tested positive for EHV-1 after its return from Vilamoura (POR). All horses from the Scottish stable that were at the Portuguese venue returned negative tests on 5 March prior to their departure from Vilamoura. The focus now is on identifying the strain of the virus to establish whether or not it is linked to the Valencia outbreak.

The French National Federation confirmed to the FEI that the eight horses in two separate premises in France that have tested positive for EHV-1 had returned from Valencia (ESP).

21 March 2021

The Danish National Federation has provided a very thorough brief to the FEI about its horses that participated at the Tours in Valencia or Vejer de la Frontera. Both groups of horses are in isolation back at their home stables.

22 March 2021

A total of 41 horses remain in Valencia, 34 of which are onsite at the venue and seven at a nearby private stable.

The German National Federation advised the FEI of a further three mares that had aborted foals at the same stables where two adult horses and one neonatal foal had already died and five mares had aborted previously.

The FEI received notification from the International Collating Centre (ICC) of a horse that has tested positive to EHV-1 at its home stables in Germany following its return from Valencia.

The FEI was notified that the four horses that were in isolation in Doha (QAT) have returned safely to Europe.

The Spanish and Belgian National Federations notified the FEI that they have cancelled all national events until 12 April 2021.

The FEI IT Department continued unblocking horses in the FEI Database as the necessary biosecurity protocols were fulfilled.

23 March 2021

The FEI Veterinary Committee met to review draft proposals for a safe Return To Play in mainland Europe following the EHV-1 outbreak.

Horses continue to leave the Valencia venue. The Danish horses left on 22 March, and the first of a group of Swedish horses will leave tomorrow. A further group of British horses will leave on 29 March.

24 March 2021

The FEI hosted a two-hour stakeholder consultation session to review comprehensive draft Return To Competition protocols. The measures are aimed at, in the short term, minimising the risks associated with the restart of FEI competitions in mainland Europe on 12 April 2021 and, in the long term, increasing biosecurity knowledge, skills and awareness among all FEI stakeholders in order to prevent a recurrence of the devastating the EHV-1 outbreak. See Updates for full details.

Plans for the departure of the last horses from Valencia continued. Four horses are still in the Valencia veterinary clinic, but all are expected to be cleared fit to leave this week. Paperwork for these horses is being processed.

A total of 171 horses remain onsite in Vejer de la Frontera completing their 21-day isolation period.

Additional biosecurity guidelines now available in a new section on the EHV-1 hub, including best practice for setting up isolation units, monitoring and managing horses in isolation and correct cleaning and disinfection measures. Click here to go directly to this section.

25 March 2021

There are currently no new reported outbreaks of EHV-1 linked to Spain. The figures remain static at 31 outbreaks in a total of 10 countries.

The FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group held the second of its weekly meetings. The Group reviewed the draft Return To Competition protocols, updated after feedback from the stakeholder consultation session and discussions with the Veterinary Committee. A report from the Working Group’s meeting will be published in the next 24 hours.

The FEI has been informed that both Germany and Switzerland will lift the EHV-1 restrictions to allow national competitions to restart as of 29 March.

26 March 2021

Publication of the report from the second weekly meeting of the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group, which was held online on 25 March. The Group’s next meeting is scheduled for 30 March 2021.

27 March 2021

A group of 10 horses from Sweden and seven British horses left Valencia. Three more are due to leave tomorrow (28 March) and a further 12 on Monday 29 March. Subject to negative PRC results, the final four British horses are due to leave on Wednesday 31 March.

28 March 2021

The FEI was notified that a horse, which had been recovering in Valencia, had been euthanised at a clinic in Barcelona. This brought the total number of related deaths in this outbreak to 18.

Unblocking of horses by the FEI continued, following confirmation that the required isolation period had been completed and receipt of a confirmed negative PCR test.

The FEI has drafted in additional external veterinary support to process the PCR test results received for blocked horses.

30 March 2021

The FEI published the Return To Competition measures that will allow for a safe resumption of international sport in mainland Europe on 12 April following the six-week shutdown to control the spread of the neurological form of the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1).

The FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group held the third of its weekly meetings. The Group discussed the current situation with the virus in mainland Europe, mandatory EHV vaccination in France for racehorses and the elements that need to be considered when declaring an EHV outbreak. A report from the meeting will be published in the next 24 hours.

31 March 2021

Publication of the report from the third weekly meeting of the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group, which was held online on 30 March. The Group’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 April 2021.

7 April 2021

The FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group held the fourth of its weekly meetings. The Group discussed the current situation with the virus in mainland Europe and globally available vaccines, and reviewed the list of laboratories recommended by National Head Veterinarians that can conduct PCR testing in line with the FEI’s Return To Competition measures. The OIE Reference Laboratory at the Irish Equine Centre has offered to provide proficiency testing kits for stable-side systems. The Group also continued its discussion on the elements that need to be considered when declaring an EHV outbreak. A report from the meeting will be published in the next 24 hours.

The FEI published the list of Approved Laboratories that can be used for PCR testing for EHV-1, and also the Pre-Event Biosecurity Measures Checklist that will be used by Official Veterinarians appointed to go to designated venues (those stabling more than 400 horses) one week in advance of their event. These are now available in the Forms & Downloads section of the Return To Competition page, which also includes the Horse Arrival procedure, the FEI Equine Health Self-Certification form and a list of events in mainland Europe from 12 April to 30 May 2021 that will be covered by the temporary measures.

8 April 2021

Publication of the report from the fourth weekly meeting of the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group, which was held online on 7 April. The Group’s next meeting is scheduled for 15 April 2021.

The FEI Veterinary and Jumping Directors initiated a series of meetings with Organisers of Jumping events with more than 400 horses that will take place during the seven-week period when the Return To Competition measures will be in force.

9 April 2021

The FEI Board approved legally binding By-Laws for the Return To Competition measures (published on 30 March 2021), which come into force on 12 April 2021. The By-Laws, which are available in the Forms & Downloads section of the Return to Competition page, formalise the temporary provisions in the measures that are not covered by either the FEI Veterinary Regulations or the FEI General Regulations. See Updates for more information.

EHV-1 Return To Competition Athlete Information Seminar – The  FEI hosted an athlete information seminar for athletes entered in FEI events during the first two weeks following the return to competition on 12 April, and the 66 National Federations that those athletes represent. Athletes were asked to invite their grooms to attend. The FEI Athlete Representatives, plus the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) and the International Dressage Riders Club (IDRC) were also invited. See Updates for more information.

12 April 2021

Publication of the EHV Relief Fund Guidelines and application form.

A Return To Competition Factsheet for Athletes and Grooms is published in the Return to Competition section. The Factsheet is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Addition of new modules to the FEI HorseApp to facilitate the mandatory requirements in the Return To Competition measures.