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Stud acts as 'strangles' case is diagnosed.

Byline: Rodney Masters

HORSE movements to and from Lambourn's Kingwood Stud have been temporarily suspended after a five-year-old gelding was diagnosed with 'strangles', writes Rodney Masters.

Another horse at the stud is currently being monitored for signs of the highly infectious disease after falling ill.

No breeding stock have been affected at the successful stud, which is owned by Fiona Marner and is next door to Derby-winning trainer Marcus Tregoning's Kingwood House Stables, which is owned by Sheikh Hamdan.

Strangles attacks a horse's larynx, leading to swollen glands that can restrict airways. It is caused by the bacterium streptococcus equi.

Marner was unwilling to name the racehorse involved, but said yesterday that the horse arrived at the stud a few days before he was diagnosed with the sickness.

A severe attack can require three to four weeks to recover from and could prove fatal - although the mortality rate is only one per cent.

"Fortunately the horse involved is recovering well and we are continuing to monitor the other horse for symptoms," said Marner.

"As a precaution, we've currently stopped horses coming to or leaving the stud. In addition, vets and farriers make us their final call of the day and are then changing their clothes and disinfecting."

Although strangles is no longer a notifiable sickness, Marner has informed the Animal Health Trust, the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association and her neighbour Tregoning.

The trainer said yesterday:

"Strangles is contagious only by contact, and as there is no crossover of staff between us and Kingwood Stud, I'm hopeful we will not have a problem."

An outbreak of strangles is rare within racing, but there was a case in the Lambourn area in 2000 in a horse imported from Ireland by Charles Egerton.

A case in a livery yard near Epsom racecourse in 2004 briefly put the Derby at risk.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 2, 2007
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