Thursday, May 19, 2016

Could Australia succeed in hosting WEG in 2022? - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 18 May 2016

Even Queen Elizabeth admitted to enduring an annus horribilis – a horrible year – in the early 1990s, so it can happen to the best of us.

Australia’s quarantine service racked up its shocker in 2007. That was when the equine influenza virus escaped from its Eastern Creek quarantine station near Sydney, probably from an infected Japanese stallion.

Australia’s horses had never been exposed to equine influenza and the disease swept up through New South Wales and into southern Queensland. At its peak, 47,000 horses were infected across New South Wales alone.

It was a massive and impressive biosecurity effort that finally eliminated the virus from Australia.

The country then rejoined New Zealand and Iceland as the only nations free of the disease.

I am sure that staff at the headquarters of the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service were gripping their pencils tighter than usual yesterday when Equestrian Australia announced it was interested in hosting the World Equestrian Games in 2022.

If successful, the event could potentially draw up to 1000 horses to Australia’s shores to compete across the eight disciplines showcased at the FEI event...

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