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Relieved Schiergen back on track after Cologne quarantine restrictions lifted.

THE quarantine restrictions in force at Cologne racecourse since October 1 following an outbreak of equine infectious anemia, or swamp fever, were finally lifted yesterday after tests taken earlier this week proved negative, writes David Conolly-Smith.

The 300 horses trained at Cologne are now free to leave the area and run in races worldwide.

Leading trainer Peter Schiergen, whose Danedream was the highest-profile victim of the ban, having been prevented from defending the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, said: "This is good news for all of us and we are very relieved. It has been a most frustrating time, but we are now looking forward to 2013."

Schiergen (below), despite having no runners for the final three months of 2012, was still the leading German trainer by prize-money last year, and is also the quickest off the mark with runners in two races at Neuss tomorrow.

He also has five horses due to fly out this weekend for the Dubai Racing Carnival, with his first runners on January 17.

Cologne race club president Eckhard Sauren released a statement, which said: "We are happy this whole business is now over and can now go ahead planning our first fixture for 2013 on Easter Monday.

"I would like to thank all our trainers and their owners for their patience, as well as all my colleagues and the city veterinary authorities for their constructive co-operation in this difficult period."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Jan 5, 2013
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