Thu, 07 Feb 2019
NEWBURY Racecourse have been forced to cancel Saturday's Betfair Hurdle due to the outbreak of equine flu.
The decision has been made by the British Horseracing Authority after three vaccinated horses in an active yard were tested positive for the disease on Wednesday.
On Thursday four British meetings in Huntingdon, Doncaster, Ffos Las and Chelmsford, were cancelled.
Elsewhere, Wolverhampton have been forced to cancel their meeting on Saturday as a result of what has happened.
It also means that the seven races at Newbury, including the Betfair Hurdle and the Denman Chase, have had to be cancelled.
A statement from the BHA read:
"The fact that the cases have been identified in vaccinated horses presents a cause for significant concern over welfare and the potential spread of the disease and the action to cancel racing has been viewed as necessary in order to restrict, as far as possible, the risk of further spread of the disease," the BHA said in a statement.
"This precautionary approach is intended to ensure we put the health of the horse population and control of the virus first, and avoid any unnecessary risk that might come from returning to racing too quickly.
"We appreciate the impact that this may have on the sport commercially, but disease control in order to mitigate the risk of further disruption to the sport - and safeguard the health and welfare of our horses - must be a priority."
It was later announced that racing in Britain has been suspended until at least Wednesday, February 13.
Please be aware racing on Saturday 9 February 2019 has been abandoned. All pre-purchased tickets will be refunded within 14 days. For further information, please visit the @BHAPressOffice statement below. https://t.co/R4qA6UuKwC— Newbury Racecourse (@NewburyRacing) February 7, 2019