About the rhinopneumonia virus

Not the coronavirus, but an outbreak of the rhinopneumonia virus is plaguing equestrian sports. The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has canceled all international competitions until the end of March.


Some time ago, an outbreak of the horse rhinopneumonia virus was diagnosed at the international show in Valencia. At least 4 horses that were present in Valencia have passed away. More than 80 horses show symptoms.

Infections have also been detected in France, Germany and England in the meantime. To curb the spread, all international competitions in 10 European countries, including Belgium, will be canceled until the end of March.

"The virus has several variants, the complaints can vary from mild cold complaints to serious neurological symptoms," says a spokeswoman for the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation. "The neurological symptoms can lead to death." Most horses have been vaccinated against the disease, but that is not 100 percent certainty.

The FEI has now sent 21 veterinarians to Valencia to help the sick animals and assist the two local veterinarians. Additional aid materials will also be sent to the Spanish city.