Entries to the Gold Coast 3 were at an all-time high, but then fear about the EHV-1 infection among cutting horses that attended one of two events began spreading faster than the disease itself. To be sure the show would not put horses at undue risk, the Langer Equestrian Group staff did their homework, talked to area veterinarians, and got information from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health. Although a few trainers decided to stay home, the show came off without a hitch and classes had strong entries from Opportunity to 1.35 meter jumpers.
“We evaluated the situation carefully,” stated Show Manager Michael Roy Curtis, “and given all the information we went ahead and ran the show.” Veterinarian Neil Gray concurred with the decision. “The fact is that this (the EHV-1 infection) is confined to those horses directly involved in a specific community at two specific cutting horse shows. There is no spread of the disease beyond that group.” Dr. Gray said that when his clients asked for his recommendation about whether to travel to shows, he told them, “I see no reason at this point not to go to a show.”
Dave Ramey, DVM agreed and offered additional food for thought. "The risk to hunter/jumper horses from the EHV-1 virus outbreak in Utah is so small as to be considered non-existent. Your horse will be in more danger from getting in the trailer to go to the show than it will be of contracting EHV-1. Most horses are exposed to EHV-1 at some point in their lives and don't develop serious problems. In the majority of cases when horses are exposed to EHV-1, if they show clinical signs at all, they will develop a fever or respiratory disease. Death from disease to the nervous system as a result of EHV-1 exposure is, fortunately, quite rare."
People were glad they came. “I talked to our vet,” said Mary Gatti, head trainer at Rainbow Canyon. “We took some prudent steps and bleached the stalls before moving the horses in. I have more risk driving my car on a freeway than these horses have of getting EHV.” Mary’s horses and riders did quite well at
Gold Coast 3 and took home their share of blue ribbons. Jennifer Jacky made a clean sweep of both the Amateur Equitation and the Amateur Owner Hunters. Sierrah Gonzales made the Junior Hunters all her business aboard Unfinished Business (Emma Townsend, owner) as she clinched the championship with two firsts and a third. Patrick Spanton had a full house of blue ribbons aboard Casino (Kimberly Nelson, owner) in the Pre-Green Hunters 3'3". “We had a great show and are looking forward to the Memorial Day Classic,” said Mary.
Devon Gibson did not let concerns about DHV distract her as she piloted Serendipity (Tracey Griswold, owner) to two wins in the 1.35M Jumpers. “I needed to be able to practice going fast for the even bigger classes,” said Devon, who has her eyes set on a few grands prix. Devon’s other horses and riders did quite well in their various classes at Gold Coast 3.
Jenni and Steve McAllister had a large contingent showing at Gold Coast 3. “These shows are great because there are classes for all levels of our horses and riders,” said Steve. “It is also a great way for us to prepare for the Memorial Day Classic next week.” Like both Mary Gatti and Devon Gibson, the McAllisters did not have undue concerns about EHV, even with all the horses coming to LAEC for the show. “My understanding is that the infection is just cutting horses, so I am not too worried,” said Steve. Their young horse, Here I Come, made his debut in the hunter ring and finished as reserve champion in the Performance Hunters behind Karen Perlow’s Lumier. Jenni and Glados (Marnco, owner) returned to the jumper ring and clinched the 1.20M championship. “Gladdy jumped great and I am hoping we’ll be ready for the Memorial Day Grand Prix,” said Jenni. Nicolas Rossi piloted Dominick (Halli Caracciolo, owner) to the championship in the 1.05M jumpers, while Jenni took No Sugar Added to the 1.10M championship, the Thoroughbred gelding’s first time at that height.
Points earned at Gold Coast 3 count toward the Gold Coast Series sponsored by LEGIS, and standings are available at: http://horseshowtime.com/showserieschampion.asp?Show=3800.
While the outbreak is EHV-1 is certainly something to keep an eye on, LEG has done due diligence to make sure they have made the right decision in continuing to hold horse shows. Those trainers and exhibitors who chose to attend the show found it to be well worth taking minor precautions to set their minds at ease about their horses' safety.
For more information about Gold Coast 3, including complete results, visit http://langershows.com/laec/show_details.php?show_id=184.
The much anticipated Memorial Day Classic kicks off this Friday and runs through Monday. Come on out for the CPHA Bowling Benefit on Friday, the Memorial Day Classic Equitation Challenge Final on Saturday, and the Derby Party benefiting After The Finish Line on Sunday. On Saturday or Sunday, make an appointment to test drive one of O'Gara Coach Company's fine luxury automobiles. It promises to be a great weekend for hunter/jumper fans!
Photos: Sierrah Gonzales is all business in the Junior Hunters Flying Horse Photography; Devon Gibson flies in the 1.35M Jumpers Photo: Flying Horse Photography; Jenni Martin-McAllister and Glados clinch the 1.20M championship Photo: Flying Horse Photography