Archie Watson Runners Out for Two Weeks Following Disease Positive


Archie Watson | Tattersalls

Trainer Archie Watson's runners will not compete at racecourses for at least two weeks after a horse was found to be positive for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) antibodies before an intended trip to France.

Watson withdrew a trio of UK runners from races on Saturday and another runner from Southwell on Sunday. Horses infected with the virus are typically asymptomatic, but can display a fever, and conjunctivitis among other symptoms.

“We recently had a horse undergo routine testing for transit to France as part of the new export testing protocols,” Watson said in a statement released on Sunday. “One of these tests revealed the presence of antibodies to EVA (Equine Viral Arteritis). As a result, the relevant bodies, including the BHA, were contacted immediately and we have been taking advice from them.

“The yard is attended daily by our veterinary team and at no point have there been any clinical signs of the disease. Whilst we continue to investigate, the most sensible course of action to safeguard the British racing industry was to stop the movement of horses from my yards as further testing takes place over the next two weeks.

“I would like to thank my staff, veterinarians, and James Given at the BHA for their professionalism and efficiency in managing the situation, and my owners for their understanding and continued support.”

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