If there will Ever be a Season

At the end of February a horse owner’s nightmare broke loose in Valencia. At one of the big jumping competitions: Horses started falling ill, some of them having clear neurological symptoms, and some of them dying. The horses were tested for Equine Herpes Virus 1, but the first results came back negative.

Meanwhile the competitions continued. Horses left the stables and horses arrived. I will not go into any discussion here on how this was handled. Sitting several hundred kilometers away it is hard to judge what went down.

In Denmark competitions kept running with the condition that everyone bringing horses in from outside of the country needed to keep the stable in quarantine for 28 days, this rule was to be upheld until the FEI would open for competitions again on April 12th. I enjoyed the first competitions since December and was really looking forward to the eventing season.

Unfortunately the happiness didn’t last long. According to the federation there was a problem with keeping horses quarantined and they had to close down all competitions until April 26th. No horses have, as far as I have been able to find out, died in Denmark or fallen ill from the EHV-1 strain found in Valencia. But as always it is hard to know, since EHV-1 is not on the list of infections that needs to be reported to the government.

Nothing was at this point mentioned about the quarantine period, and I was hoping that it would still be possible to go to Kristianstad International in April. This was confirmed by the equestrian federation just before easter. Meaning that the travel restrictions from horses arriving from international competitions were taken away by April 12th even though all the competitions in Denmark were still closed for another two weeks.

Again the happiness was very short lived since over the Easter holidays the Swedish federation decided that they didn’t want horses participating in competitions in Sweden from countries, where the national federation deemed it not safe to compete. A completely understandable decision. For now they cannot hinder the attendance of Danish horses in the international competition, but rumour has it that the FEI is looking into applying the same rules. 

This of course means that the season will start even later, leaving it harder to get Marco ready for the Danish Championship and Aristocrat ready for the European CCI3* cup.