REDMOND, OR -- An event that would have brought more than 1,000 people to Redmond has been canceled due to the outbreak of an infectious virus in Oregon. For the first time, the Oregon High School Equestrian Team will not hold the state championship event this week.
After an EHV-1 outbreak was seen in the Willamette Valley during a horse meet, event organizers hoped to keep the outbreak from spreading to the rest of the state. However, recent reports confirm the the virus is no longer isolated.
"We feel it's necessary to keep the horses home until the initial incubation time has passed," says State Chair Candi Bothum.
Bothum says canceling the event now will have a negative impact on the group. The event was scheduled for Thursday at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.
"This is huge," Bothum tells KBND News. "We're talking about 500 athletes and 600 horses. Canceling it is not only enormously expensive, it's also very, very difficult."
The largest concern now is the unintentional spread of the virus. EHV-1 is a respiratory illness effecting horses. It can be passed by infected horses not yet showing symptoms.
"Oftentimes there's a second wave that comes through," Bothum says. "You have that 21 days where it takes the horses time to hit the neurological symptoms."
The event will likely be rescheduled for June or July.