Horse Health

Nix Horse 

By Erin McIntyre as published in The Daily Sentinal

“It’s a sad day for us, but we just felt that we’d rather have good integrity and have our clients trust us,”

Concerns about the spread of a debilitating livestock virus led organizers to cancel a western Colorado horse show at the Mesa County Fairgrounds scheduled for this weekend.

horse mouth with vesicular stomatits

horse mouth with vesicular stomatits

The Colorado West Paint Horse Club’s board of directors voted Wednesday morning to cancel the inaugural Colorado Canyons Color Classic, which originally reached capacity for the fairgrounds with 230 horses signed up for exhibition on Saturday and Sunday, according to Kimmer Jepson, the board’s secretary. By the time the board voted to cancel the show, all but 70 participants withdrew because of fears surrounding vesicular stomatitis.

Agriculture officials have located the disease in 11 Colorado counties, and have put animals in 91 different locations under quarantine. Horses and cattle primarily contract the viral disease, but it can also affect pigs, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. The symptoms include painful, blister-like lesions, and the disease is spread through saliva, fluid from ruptured blisters and insects.

According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, humans can contract the disease in rare cases by handling infected animals.

Jepson said the decision was not based on a veterinary recommendation or the quarantine of animals in western Colorado. The most recent information from the Colorado Department of Agriculture indicates quarantine of three animals in Mesa County, 15 animals in Delta County and 19 animals in Montrose County.

Participants were traveling from as far away as Arizona, Wyoming, Utah and California, Jepson said.

“It’s a sad day for us, but we just felt that we’d rather have good integrity and have our clients trust us,” Jepson said, adding that the board didn’t want to alarm anyone with the cancellation but felt it was better to be safe than sorry.

It was a tough decision for board members because of all the work they had put in for the first of what they expect will be an annual American Paint Horse Association regional show.

“We’ve been working like dogs on this for six months,” she said. “But if we go ahead and tell people to come, especially from out of state, and they take it back home with them, we just don’t want to be responsible for that.”

“It’s a bummer,” said Jo Carole Haxel, Mesa County Fairgrounds manager.

The facility, which not only hosts horse shows and livestock events but also offers boarding for horses passing through the area, takes precautions against communicable disease, said Haxel.

“We work really hard to keep manure out of the spaces that would collect flies, and it’s the flies and gnats that spread disease,” Haxel said. “I completely understand, but we work really hard at the fairgrounds to keep our facility clean and we disinfect every stall, every time it’s used.”

6 replies »

  1. Mustang haters getting just a taste of the wrath of God for the way they’ve treated the wildlife in that state. I hope that all of Salizars cattle die of the disease. I hope that if bastard loses everything. And thanks Cathy for reference to that article. Interesting reading.. Do they have any fracking going on in that state? Maybe they unearthed something….


    • Terri, I appreciate your passion but keep in mind there are many here in Colorado who love our wildlife, our domestic horses, and our wild horses. You are connecting dots to suit a preconceived answer – rarely a useful strategy.

      And yes, there is a lot of tracking going on statewide now, quite a lot along the Front Range with the highest densities of both people and domestic livestock.

      Salazar has dropped from sight; if his cattle do too he will just get a tax write-off for his losses but the animals will suffer and die. I don’t wish that on any innocent animals.


  2. ALERT
    How fast can we all write a letter? We need to do it today..ASAP

    It’s Time to Rally For Mercuria!
    Mercuria needs your help (yes you!) and she needs it fast.

    Because some horses matter more than others. If the BLM takes the wrong horse, they can accidentally wipe out an entire bloodline. Sometimes more than one! This is what happened to Santa Fe, a successful, fantastic stallion who lost so many offspring to roundups and removals that now his entire line rests on one colt.
    Mercuria is one such horse.

    Put simply, we need to politely request that the BLM not officially removed Mercuria and Paquita, but rather allow them to stay in the pens to gain some weight and then release them at the conclusion of the gather later this fall.

    Write a letter. That’s right, a letter, not an email… well, sort of. An amazing Montana local and good friend, Brigitte Conner, has offered to hand deliver letters to the BLM regarding Mercuria. Unlike an email, this will give our requests a personal touch and a completely different feel. It shows that we are taking this seriously, care a great deal about it, but are polite enough to not completely fill up Jared’s email with email after email of ranting and raving.

    This needs to be done by no later than 3:30 p.m. MST (5:30 Eastern Time). That way Brigitte has time to get these letters printed and ready to be delivered on Saturday. Yes, that is a short deadline. But this could make a difference in two horses lives and a HUGE difference in the long-term health of the Pryor horses that call the desert their home.


  3. Virus are no joke. As Horse show chair of our club’s Open Horse show, I had to make the decision to our Officers to cancel our show due to a wide spread virus when eight horses were euthanized in our area. Our first consideration was the health and safety of horses who might be attending. We will have the opportunity to hold our show again next year knowing that the Club made the right decision. It’s not worth the health andsafety of all concerned. Our horses come first!


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