More than 100 Grand Island racehorses in quarantine after herpes spread

While the horses quarantine, their owners are struggling to keep up with costs.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Over 100 racehorses in Grand Island have been placed in a 21-day quarantine amid a herpes outbreak.

The horses are quarantining at Fonner Park after some tested positive for equine herpes, which can affect their neurological system.

During their quarantine, the horses aren’t allowed to train or race, which means they aren’t making any money.  However, the expenses to care for them are still rolling in.

Lynne McNally, CEO of The Nebraska Horsemen said, “Obviously, they’re prohibited from entering during that time, it does create a significant financial hardship for the trainers and the owners in that barn.”

McNally said some of the expenses include food and medical treatments.  The costs of these necessities are made much worse by the horses’ inability to race.

The Nebraska Horsemen is providing some compensation to help owners during this time.

“You know, it doesn’t totally make them whole, probably, but we like to do our part,” McNally said. “The expenses still continue, even though they have no opportunity to get any revenue back. So that’s really the issue right now.”

According to McNally, Fonner Park and the state are doing a great job of isolating the horses to make sure the virus doesn’t spread.

They are even trying a new treatment to help in the recovery of the horses and potentially shorten the quarantine time.

McNally said that so far, there have been no reports of any other horses testing positive outside of Fonner Park, which is a good omen that things will get back on track by April.

McNally received an email Friday morning saying the horses are receiving the new treatment.  She said they will have to wait and see if it works.

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