Breeding latest- Hendra hits!

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HENDRA IS HERE
FIRST CASES OF HENDRA THIS SEASON
Two horses have died and 11 people have been exposed in separate outbreaks of hendra virus in central and north Queensland.
One horse fell ill on a property at Nerimbera Rockhampton (pictured courtesy Marlina Whop, ABC News) last Saturday and died the next day (May 27th).
The other horse fell ill at a property near Ingham on Sunday (May 27th) and died on Monday.
Eleven people had low-level exposure to the horses and have been tested, but it is mainly for peace of mind, according to Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young.
They will be provided with medical support and counselling.
The properties were quarantined and Biosecurity Queensland has tested other horses and animals there.
It is believed to be the first time simultaneous cases have been reported in different locations.
Queensland chief veterinary officer Dr Rick Symons says the outbreaks are just a coincidence.
“The properties are quite a distance apart and in fact the horses are showing slightly different clinical signs around it as well,” he said.
A vet from the Capricorn Vet Surgery, who responded to the Rockhampton case, has praised the property owners for their vigilant response to the sick horse.
Neil Farmer told ABC News he won’t be tested for hendra because he has been assessed by Queensland Health as having a low-risk of contracting the virus.
He says he and the Rockhampton property owners took all necessary precautions.
“The owners should be praised in their approach to this case. They were very vigilant and they took the required measures to minimise any risk to themselves and also any other horses on the property,” he said.
“They isolated the horse very early in the piece when they noticed it was just a bit off colour, they separated it away from other horses and kept their distance.”
In 2009, there was an outbreak at a Cawarral property near Rockhampton, where local vet Alistair Rodgers and several horses died.
The latest case near Rockhampton is 40 kilometres from the 2009 outbreak.
The CSIRO hopes to have a vaccine ready for horses next year.
Professor Martin Jaggo, the director of the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory, says more research is need before scientists can says if there is a pattern to the outbreaks.
“It’ll be about around the distribution of the bats, but also climate conditions, and it may well be related to the habitats they have in Queensland and it may even be what they feed on,” he said.
“We really don’t know what the trigger is for bats shedding virus.”
However, he says scientists are making excellent progress developing a vaccine.
Professor Jaggo says the horse vaccine is expected to be available early next year.
He says it is working with a commercial company to meet the regulatory requirements for safety and effectiveness.
“We’ve got to make sure the vaccine doesn’t cause any harm to the horses, but at the same time, protects the horses from diseases,” he said.
“We’re collecting that data now to meet those regulatory requirements.
“If we look at how normally it goes with this sort of work, we would certainly be hoping the vaccine would be available early next year.”
TAKE PRECAUTIONS NOW
Following the deaths of two horses infected with the Hendra virus in Queensland this week, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) reminds horse owners to take precautions around any sick horse.
With the unprecedented number of Hendra virus cases in Queensland and New South Wales last year, the AVA expects more cases in the next few months.
AVA spokesman Dr Barry Smyth said that the new cases were a reminder to horse owners to take all necessary precautions that reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
“It’s a timely reminder for horse owners to prevent contact between horses and flying foxes as far as possible and to adopt good hygiene practices when handling any sick horse. It’s also important to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible when your horse is sick,” he added.
“Although so far the virus has appeared predominantly in Queensland, there have also been cases in New South Wales and in theory it’s possible that Hendra could appear anywhere in Australia at any time.
“Personal protective equipment and clothing are critical to reducing the risk of contracting and spreading the disease.
“The AVA welcomed the Queensland government’s investment of one million dollars over four years to allow private vets to claim for personal protective equipment used while investigating suspected Hendra virus cases, however we call on other state governments to step in with similar programs to help prevent Hendra infections in people.
“These two recent cases also demonstrate the urgency of a Hendra vaccine for horses and the AVA believes all horses should be vaccinated against the disease. Horse vaccination and microchipping will give veterinarians, horse owners and handlers a high level of protection against Hendra virus” said Dr Smyth.

The TBQA would like to remind you of some simple preventative measures to take to avoid HeV:

* Make sure water and feeding facilities are away from trees where flying foxes roost, or fly over.
* Fence off fruit and flowering trees
* Always wear protective clothing when examining sick horses
* Report any suspicious cases.
You can find out more on the TBQA website www.queenslandbreeders.com.au
PEPPERWOOD ROCKS HOME EASY
Wattlebrae Stud is once again celebrating following another winner for consistent sire, Easy Rocking.
Pepperwood (pictured)sent his earnings over $900,000 with a strong finishing win in the listed Spear Chief Handicap (1500m) at Eagle Farm.A proven big race performer, Pepperwood raced off the speed but found plenty when called upon by rider Larry Cassidy to reel in the leader Dusty Star and beat the Victorian by a widening length and a quarter margin.

The gelding, purchased by trainer Liam Birchley, for just $38,000 from the Glenlogan Park draft at the 2006 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, is now the winner of nine races and his earnings have raced to $912,600.

Prior to today’s stakes success he’d already won a Group Three Doomben Classic, two editions of the listed Bernborough Handicap, a listed Recognition Stakes as well as the rich Magic Millions Stayers Cup.

Birchley was all smiles after the race and told reporters he expected a positive performance from the long shot.

“He’s been a stable favourite for a long time but he hasn’t been suited in a lot of his races of late as they’ve been in weight-for-age races.”

“He showed he’s still got the dash. I was a little more confident of him running well today on the heavy track. He loves the conditions.”

The tough gelding will return to Eagle Farm next Saturday to contest the listed Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m).

“He generally comes good and wins a race or two each preparation.”

“He’s done it again now and hopefully he can do it next week.”

One of eight individual stakes winners for the former record breaking sprinter Easy Rocking, Pepperwood is from the unraced Woodman mare Rhianna Louise.

Hailing from the family of Charge Forward, Sydney’s Dream, Kidman’s Cove and Donna Natalia, Rhianna Louise has been represented by three runners to date – all of them winners.

Pepperwood’s full sister Inthemix is a Brisbane winner, while his half brother Unyazi is a winner of three races at distances from 1600 to 2000 metres in South Africa.

Winner: Pepperwood
Breeding: Easy Rocking-Rhianna Louse (Woodman)
Race: BRC Spear Chief Handicap LR (1500m)
Sold for: $38,000
Sale: 2006 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Glenlogan Park
Buyer: Liam Birchley
Earnings: $912,600
Owner(s): MP Casey, Mrs ML Casey, BJ Murphy, Mrs LR Hood, RN Hood, BJ Dmitronow, Mrs GS Dmitronow & Mrs CM Murphy
Trainer: Liam Birchley (Eagle Farm)

DAZZLING THEM IN SINGAPORE
Queensland’s Champion First Season Sire, Red Dazzler, is continuing his top form.
His international juvenile, Golden Prince, was a stunning winner at Kranji in Singapore on Friday night.
The ‘Tan’ prepared runner was purchased by connections for $60,000 at October’s Magic Millions National Horses in Training Sale.