Equine herpes outbreak prompts Tournament of Roses officials to cancel horse show

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After hundreds of horses became infected with equine herpes at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses canceled the long-running horse show, Equestfest. (KABC)

Several horses have become infected with equine herpes in Los Angeles County, prompting Pasadena Tournament of Roses officials to cancel this year's Equestfest, an annual horse show.

"Even though it was a tough, tough decision, it was an easy decision to make based upon the value of the family relationship that we have with the participants," said Craig Washington, chairman of the Tournament Roses equestrian committee.

Hundreds of horses were quarantined at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center after infected horses returned from show in Las Vegas. One of the horses, a 5-year-old, was euthanized in November.

"The quarantine still has not lifted. We made the decision based on the purpose for the importance of safety," Washington said.

For the past 28 years, more than 200 horses have participated annually in Equestfest, composed of local horse units and others from across the U.S.

"One of our highlighted events units coming from all over the country this gives them opportunity more than parade route," Washington said.

"America's New Year's celebration Rose Parade will go on," he said. "All of our participants that are scheduled to participate in the parade will be participating in the parade."

State officials said that there have been 13 confirmed cases at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, where one horse remains in isolation.

"We've recommended that all of our units find boarding at different locations throughout L.A. County," Washington said.

As many as 3,000 people bought tickets for the horse show, all of whom will be offered refunds, according to the Tournament of Roses.

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