Neuropathogenic Equine Herpes Virus Confirmed in Idaho Horses

Neuropathogenic Equine Herpes Virus Confirmed in Idaho Horses
Updated 2/8/18 a.m.

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has received confirmation of equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM) diagnosed in horses on a premises in Jerome County and a premises in Gooding County. Both premises are privately owned and now are under quarantine.

EHM is caused by a neuropathogenic strain of equine herpes virus (EHV-1) infection and results in neurological symptoms. One additional premises in Gem County also is under quarantine due to a confirmed EHV abortion in a pregnant mare. An epidemiological investigation is under way for the three premises, but no connection between the operations is apparent. The EHV strain affecting the mare in Gem County was a non-neuropathogenic form, which is known to commonly cause respiratory disease as well as abortion in mares.

EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses. The virus poses no health threat to humans. EHV-1 is present in the environment and found in most horse populations around the world. Horses are typically exposed to the virus at a young age with no serious side effects. Research has not yet determined conclusively why horses with EHV-1 can develop the neuropathogenic strain, EHM.

Symptoms frequently associated with EHM infection in horses include a fever greater than 101.5 F, incoordination, hindquarter weakness, lethargy, incontinence and diminished tail tone. The virus is easily spread by airborne transmission, horse-to-horse contact and contact with nasal secretions on tack, feed and other surfaces. People can spread the virus to horses through contaminated hands, clothing, shoes and vehicles. There is no licensed equine vaccine to protect against EHM.

“We encourage owners to contact their veterinarian immediately if they observe any symptoms of illness in their horses,” said Dr. Bill Barton, ISDA State Veterinarian. EHM/EHV is a Notifiable Disease to the State Veterinarian in Idaho. Anyone suspecting or confirming a case of EHM/EHV should call (208) 332-8540 or (208) 332-8570 to report cases.

Horses that may have been exposed to EHV often take several days to demonstrate clinical illness and run the risk of shedding the virus undetected. Exposed horses that travel to shows or exhibitions could expose other horses before disease containment can be implemented.

ISDA urges horse owners to incorporate preventative biosecurity measures while transporting or boarding horses at facilities with regular traffic on and off the grounds and especially where horses are likely to come in contact with new horses such as at a racetrack, rodeo or fairgrounds. Several preventative biosecurity measures are important in minimizing a horse’s risk of contracting the virus:

Disinfect stalls before use,
Never share water or feed buckets and tack or grooming equipment,
Avoid unnecessary contact with other horses.

Additionally, people who work at multiple equine facilities should practice biosecurity measures by washing hands and changing footwear and clothing before entering each facility.

Idaho Horse Expo’s Private Horse Sale 2016


APRIL  15,16 &17,2016


“The solution to the frustrating procedure of buying or selling a horse.”

Consider the idea of buying a car, home or any major appliance, only through an auction. You have little idea of the history of the item and you have only 2 to 3 minutes to make up your mind Certainly, not an ideal situation, but many of us purchase horses in that very manner, only to get the horse home and find it is not suitable for our intended purpose.

Although the logical alternative to finding horses is to buy directly from the owner by going through publications, scheduling appointments (and finding that the horse is not what was represented); this can be time consuming and frustrating. If only there was an “equine department store” or a “car lot for horses” where you could go and try out prospects and talk to the owners! The Blue Ribbon Private Treaty Horse Sale offers this sensible solution to both sellers and purchasers alike. Continue reading


$901,920 Total Taxes Paid
$223,401 to Idaho Schools
$372,728 to the Idaho State Racing Commission
$121,710 to the Idaho Horse Breeders Association
$119,455 to Small Rural Horse Tracks
$38,791 to the Idaho Horse Council Youth Programs
$21,323 to the Equine Fund
Idaho Counties received $4,512
2014 Purses increased $899,778, an increase of 63% over 2013
Race days increased to 32 in 2015
$ 2,127,876 Total Payroll
271 Jobs provided
$ 180,330 Total Payroll Taxes


Horse owners are familiar with a Coggins test—that piece of paper required for entry into most horse shows and sales and/or for interstate horse transport. But many overlook the fact that this piece of paper, which serves as proof that the horses has tested negative for equine infectious anemia (EIA), is essential to protecting the health of the national equine population. A number of recent EIA positives in racing Quarter Horse populations in California and Texas has increased the need for awareness about this potentially fatal blood borne disease of horses, donkeys, and mules. Continue reading

Historical Racing – Pari-Mutuel Wagering HISTORICAL RACING – WHAT IT IS AND IS NOT


Historical Racing – Pari-Mutuel Wagering HISTORICAL RACING – WHAT IT IS AND IS NOT


Historical racing is a new version of pari-mutuel wagering using new technology. It uses horse races conducted in the past that are replayed on pari-mutuel wagering terminals only at a facility that is authorized to show simulcast horse races. The only substantive difference between Historical Racing and traditional pari- mutuel wagering is that a patron is wagering on a previously run horse race. Patrons are provided handicapping information but do not know the identity of the horse, jockey, trainer, owner, or the race track where the race was run.


Pari-mutuel wagering is a form of gaming where players wager one against another rather than against the house, as they do in casinos. Pari-mutuel wagers placed on horse races become part of a pool consisting of all wagers from all bettors. Winners win the pool – whatever the amount – less a deduction for state tax and the racetrack. The winnings are paid only from money contributed by other wagerers.  The racetrack has no interest in the outcome. The opposite is true in a casino where the house wins only when bettors lose. This is what makes Historical Racing pari-mutuel.


Pari-mutuel wagering is regulated and allowed in Idaho. It began in 1965, and Les Bois Park has offered pari- mutuel wagering on horse races at the current location since 1970.



The live horse racing industry relies on purses generated through pari-mutuel racing.  The live racing industry in Idaho and the nation has experienced a serious decline in pari-mutuel wagering over the past decade due to technology advances and other market factors.  Idaho is at risk of losing its horse racing industry.


In the 1980’s, the Idaho legislature foresaw the revenue problem and addressed it through the enabling of simulcast wagering. Unfortunately, 30+ years later, simulcast wagering is now accessible via the internet, leading to reduced sales revenue to live horse racing locations. Without additional sources of revenue, Idaho’s horse racing industry is not sustainable.



In the 2013 session a bill passed and was signed into law by the Governor that authorized wagering on Historical Horse Racing. The bill passed the Idaho House 58 – 12 and passed the Idaho Senate 27 to 8 during the 2013 legislative session. The update in state regulations was supported by the Idaho Racing Commission, the Idaho Thoroughbred Association, the Idaho Quarter Horse Association, Idaho Horsemen Benevolence and Protective Association, and literally dozens of industry professionals such as veterinarians, retail suppliers and small business owners.



Other states like Kentucky and Arkansas have addressed the decline in pari-mutuel wagering in their state through the authorization of Historical Racing with proven results. Historical Racing has saved their horse racing industries. In 2013, the Oregon and Wyoming legislatures authorized the use of the Historical Racing pari-mutuel product to address their need for new revenue streams through pari-mutuel wagering.


Kentucky Downs and Oaklawn Park offer wagering on Historical Racing and are two examples of the positive impacts to live race meets attributable to historical pari-mutuel racing. Purses to horse owners have increased significantly at both tracks since Historical Racing was introduced.



Increased purse payments for owners and breeders

Self-reliant, self-generating, self-sustaining gains for Idaho horses, horse people and horse businesses



200 self-service terminals at the Turf Club at Les Bois Park.

Operational in 2014

Turf Club capacity 499 persons.



Treasure Valley Racing at Les Bois Park is all-Idaho owned and operated. The new ownership entered into a lease agreement with Ada County to operate live and simulcast wagering at Les Bois Park in 2011. Live horse racing has been run at Les Bois Park for over 40 years. It is the sincere desire of this dedicated and reputable group to preserve this longstanding tradition for future generations.



Treasure Valley Racing runs a live meet each year from May to August in Garden City at Expo Idaho.  Nearly 110,000 enthusiastic race fans attended the live horse racing meet in 2013. Many of those 110,000 visitors to Les Bois Park also enjoy the many fine offerings that Garden City and the Treasure Valley have to offer in terms or eating, drinking, lodging and entertainment facilities.



Treasure Valley Racing understands, accepts and embraces its position as a responsible gaming business and a proactive member of the local community. Treasure Valley Racing employs a full-time security force to support both the live and simulcast wagering activities.


Treasure Valley Racing is committed to a safe and secure environment for its customers and will make a significant investment to increase the level of protection by installing the latest in video surveillance and camera systems to its existing security department.



Treasure Valley Racing has implemented an industry proven responsible gaming program and has actively partnered with a national agency dedicated to responsible gaming. Responsible gaming signs, documentation and literature will be available and prominently displayed in all key areas.





Congress Passes Tax Extender Bill for 2014

Congress Passes Tax Extender Bill for 2014

The Senate followed the House of Representatives and passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771).  The President is expected to sign the bill shortly, possibly this week before the lame-duck session of the 113th Congress ends.

The bill would extend for 2014 several tax provisions favorable to horse owners, breeders, and equine businesses that expired or were reduced at the end of 2013, including three-year depreciation for all race horses.  The bill extends these provisions retroactively for eligible equine assets, including horses, purchased and/or placed in service at any time in 2014.  The extensions are effective only through December 31, 2014.  On January 1, 2015 they again expire or revert to prior levels.  Continue reading