The ban on British-trained horses running in Ireland during the outbreak of equine influenza has been lifted with immediate effect, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board has confirmed.
The sport was rocked last Wednesday after it emerged three horses – which subsequently rose to six – were found to have the highly-infectious disease at Donald McCain’s stable in Cheshire.
The ruling body quickly enforced a six-day shutdown of racing in Britain, but the IHRB confirmed racing would continue in Ireland – with all runners from Britain not be permitted to race until further notice.
The IHRB said in a statement: “Following on from the update issued on Friday, February 9, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) today announced that runners from Great Britain will be permitted to race in Ireland with immediate effect provided that the horses comply with the IHRB requirements.”
Dr Lynn Hillyer, chief veterinary officer at the IHRB, added: “They are fine (to run in Ireland), provided they can fill the requirements that we set out in our release on Friday night, which said that horses need to have received a vaccine for equine influenza which contains Clade 1 virus within eight weeks of their race.
“As long as they can fulfil that requirement, they are fine. Obviously, by definition, they will only be coming from yards which aren’t under restriction from the BHA.
“Having had the opportunity to consider things over the weekend, the board have made the decision that we are able to support that movement – which is obviously good news for everybody.
“The critical thing is they have to have had the correct vaccination within the eight weeks preceding the run.”