The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board had announced earlier that horses from Britain “will be permitted to race in Ireland with immediate effect”. Dr Lynn Hillyer, chief veterinary officer at the IHRB, said: “They are fine [to run in Ireland], provided they can fill the requirements that we set out in our release on Friday night, which said that horses need to have received a vaccine for equine influenza, which contains Clade One virus, within eight weeks of their race. As long as they can fulfil that requirement, they are fine.”
Crisford was tested after becoming one of 174 stables to be placed in lockdown. He had a runner last Tuesday at Newcastle where trainer Rebecca Menzies, who had also had runners at the meeting, reported a “suspicious” case.
The leading owner Dai Walters had earlier been critical of the response by the BHA, saying officials have “lit a fire they can’t put out” in deciding to suspend racing. Walters – who has seen two of his leading Cheltenham Festival hopes, Al Dancer and Angels Breath, miss engagements in recent days – believes any further delay would be a bad move.
Walters said: “I think we should be getting back racing now. In every walk of life you get flu and things like that. I employ 500 people, and if one or two of them are ill I send them home – I don’t just stop the whole operation altogether. Every yard has boxes away from the main stables, where they can isolate any horses that get ill. Fair enough, close down the yards with horses that have picked this up, but to close down racing altogether is idiotic in my view – they’ve lit a fire that they can’t put out.