Friday, August 24, 2018

WEG endurance course awaits USDA approval - Full Article

By Leah Justice
Published 8:00 am Friday, August 24, 2018

Commissioners, TIEC discuss equine disease

MILL SPRING — The endurance course for the upcoming World Equestrian Games is still awaiting approval by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from Commissioner Ray Gasperson, who brought up some concerns about the course, as well as a disease called equine piroplasmosis.

Gasperson released documentation sent to the county from Gregory Atchley, with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, who said the endurance course is not complete, but the USDA has been persuaded to allow for another 30 days to correct the issues.

Atchley also said approximately 40 international horses have tested positive for a tick-borne disease, and are not allowed to compete in the endurance race.

“One of the horses is owned by a member of [United Arab Emirates] royal family,” Atchley said in an email to the county. “Political pressure is anticipated to reverse [the]decision to bar the positive horses...”

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