Horse racing to resume following flu outbreak

Horses being exercised in Newmarket on Monday despite the outbreak of horse flu. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Racing will resume in Britain on Wednesday, following a six-day shutdownbecause of the outbreak of horse flu, the British Horseracing Authority has announced.

Four more case of equine influenza were found in Newmarket, the home of horse racing, at the weekend but training was continuing in the town.

The ruling body had placed over 170 yards into lockdown in an attempt to halt the spread of the highly-contagious virus, with all meetings last Thursday cancelled the previous night.

However, following a period of extensive testing and after seeking the advice of a series of veterinary experts, the BHA gave the go-ahead for a resumption late on Monday - but with strict biosecurity controls in place.

The BHA's chief regulatory officer, Brant Dunshea, said: "Our approach since hearing about the first positive results last Wednesday has been based on accumulating as much information as we could as quickly as possible so we could properly understand the risks of this virulent strain of flu spreading to more horses.

Over the weekend it was announced around 1,500 tests had returned negative - but on Sunday evening it emerged four vaccinated horses from Simon Crisford's Newmarket yard had tested positive.