Update on Venturing Hills Farm EHV-1 Outbreak & How You Can Help

Photo via the Venturing Hills Farm Facebook page.

Our hearts have been with Venturing Hills Farm in Luskville, Quebec, which has been battling an EHV-1 outbreak since mid-February. Three horses have died and over half of the farm’s 39-horse population has fallen sick. Rae Beck, barn manager and part owner of the family farm, is an eventer.

The outbreak was traced to a horse that had been transported to the farm from the Toronto area; four other cases have been reported in Ontario.

With the help of veterinarians from Russell Equine, the farm remains in triage mode, with strict biosecurity measures in place to protect the horses. The staff has been working around the clock to treat and monitor horses.

Photo via the Venturing Hills Farm Facebook page.

From an update on Facebook: “Due to this constant never-ending battle, our barn team are completely exhausted, and despite the additional help that people have stepped up to give, those people have burned out and are exhausted as well,” It is a huge fight physically, emotionally and financially and we are completely drained. In all, seeing Cooper (a horse who, after being weaned off antiviral medication, is now once again in critical condition) on the backwards slide really hit the team spirit hard and we are trying to be positive, but are worried that this means round two for all the horses and we are about to relive the cycle. Our bodies are exhausted; however, our hearts remain hopeful… pushing us forward, together as a family, 120 minutes — temp check to temp check — at a time.”

Between the costs of veterinary treatment and medication, additional labor and stoppage of their typical income (and a quarantine period extending months into the future), Venturing Hills is struggling financially. Can you help? A fundraising effort to assist the farm can be found here, and you can keep up with all the latest updates as well as additional ways to share support on their Facebook page here.

Photo via the Venturing Hills Farm Facebook page.

We continue to monitor the EHV-1 outbreak in Europe, which has forced the cancellation of all FEI events on the European mainland in an effort to contain it. A single case of EHV-1 was reported on March 1 in Ocala.