VERNON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Vernon Downs horse track is announcing that the barn area is closed and all horses stabled there are under quarantine until further notice due to the deaths of two horses.

Once management was notified of the first death on Monday, the horse was transported to Cornell University Equine hospital for necropsy and the barn area was locked down. The results of that necropsy have confirmed that Equine Herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) was the cause of death. 

A second horse died Tuesday and a third was transported to Cornell while still alive on Wednesday, testing is pending on those animals. 

Out of an abundance of caution, live racing for Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 and this week’s qualifiers at Vernon Downs have been cancelled.

The NY State Gaming Commission and NY Department of Agriculture are engaged and advising Vernon staff. A separate, informational release from those offices with greater detail on the events and the virus itself is expected soon.