The owners of Mezza Luna Farm in Montgomery County, which has been coping with an EHV-1 scare, has asked The Equiery to share with the community the following letter:

To the Equestrian Community:

We extend our sincere appreciation to the equestrian community for their support, understanding and professionalism during our recent equine health crisis.

On the morning of Tuesday, April 14, 2015, a broodmare (which had returned to the farm the prior afternoon prior) began presenting mild respiratory and neurological signs. Due to the swift response of our veterinarian, Dr. Pete Radue of Damascus Equine Associates, by 10 a.m. blood samples and mucus swabs were en route to the Maryland State veterinary diagnostic laboratory in Frederick, which boasts a state-of-the-art PCR machine. Concurrently, we immediately isolated the mare, Cali, and her foal Lilli. By 2 p.m., the results were positive for a mutant neurotropic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1).

We immediately cooperated with the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the request for a 28-day investigational hold order. In addition to isolating the mare and foal, we immediately instituted all appropriate bio-security measures.

Other than necessary professional care, only Keith Harpster has access to the Cali and Lilli. All others are being kept a minimum of 100 yards from the mare and foal. All traffic and delivery to the farm has been halted, except for appropriate health care personnel and the owners of the horses. The vets of all the privately owned horses are working in cooperation with DEA. All horses on the farm are being tested in addition to being monitored for symptoms, including having their temperatures taken twice daily and recorded for MDA.

We are pleased to report not only has Cali’s health improved, but we have cleared the critical incubation period of the virus. Nevertheless, we will continue with all isolation and bio-security procedures for the duration of the hold order, and beyond if deemed prudent by our health care advisors.

We extend our sincere appreciation to our clients for their understanding, support and cooperation. We are deeply indebted to Dr. Pete Radue and the staff of DEA for their wisdom, knowledge and experience. And we commend the new Maryland State Veterinarian, Dr. Michael Radebaugh, as well as the staff at the Frederick lab, for their compassionate professionalism.

Last, but just as importantly, we extend our sincere appreciation to the entire equestrian community for your continued support and understanding.

Keith and Kim Harpster
Mezza Luna Farm, LLC