Davis cancels horse event

May 24 2011 - 7:56pm

FARMINGTON -- A three-day roping event scheduled for the Davis County Legacy Events Center on Memorial Day weekend has been canceled to fight the spread of the deadly equine herpes virus.

"We can take three weeks off, or we can take the whole year off," Davis County Legacy Events Center Director Dave Hansen told the Standard-Examiner on Tuesday.

The cancellation of the three-day roping event scheduled is to restrict the movement of horses coming into the center, Hansen said.

The county is going to lose between $3,000 and $5,000 in direct revenues, not including revenues generated from lodging and meals, Davis County Commissioner John Petroff Jr. said.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, there were four quarantined private facilities in Box Elder, Davis, Kane and Utah counties, with a total of seven confirmed cases and eight suspected cases at those locations, according to a news release issued by State Veterinarian Bruce L. King.

Two of the horses were euthanized after going down and being unable to return to their feet.

Hansen said that although the center is not under quarantine, the county has imposed a self-quarantine and sanitized its arenas and barns.

"If we get that virus here, we would be shuttered all summer long," he said.

"If a horse hasn't been on our property, it is not going to be on our property," Petroff stressed.

Although the state veterinarian is not recommending a cancellation of horse shows, Petroff said, he has agreed with the wisdom of Davis County's decision to cancel two shows at the center last week.

The outbreak of the virus was first reported May 13 after it was diagnosed in horses that had been exposed to the illness during a cutting horse event at Golden Spike Event Center in Ogden from April 29 to May 8.

Golden Spike Event Center General Manager Jim Harvey said the center is not canceling horse shows, but it is giving customers all of the information available from the state veterinarian so they can make educated decisions.

Promoters of a miniature-horse show scheduled for Memorial Day weekend have decided to hold their show instead during the Fourth of July weekend, Harvey said.

Harvey said that, starting May 31, the center should be able to move ahead with the scheduling of horse events.

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