Racegoers arriving at a Milnerton Saturday meeting in December find the track deserted. Equine flu has swept through the stables in a matter of hours and racing is cancelled. The same devastating flu hits the Transvaal and Eastern Cape virtually at the same time. Racing in all provinces except Natal comes to a sudden halt, while most of the studfarms in the regions are also affected.
How bad, people ask, can it get?
The virus, which infects horses' respiratory systems and gives rise to secondary complications in a small percentage of cases, was introduced to South Africa by six US horses that arrived on Friday, December 5. Two were ill and were treated for travel fatigue by a veterinary surgeon, who unwittingly carried the virus to trainer Ricky Howard-Ginsberg's Turffontein stables.
March 1987 SA Racehorse - Racing Around The Country
March 1987 SA Racehorse – The Flu in Perspective
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