AN information evening is being held tonight (Wednesday) for horse owners concerned about the recent outbreak of equine flu.

Rainbow Equine Hospital in Old Malton, which is hosting the event, and Minster Equine Clinic in Norton, are also urging people to ensure their horses or ponies are vaccinated.

Horse racing in Britain has now resumed after a six-day shutdown following an outbreak of equine flu.

Signs of equine flu include nasal discharge, a dry cough, high temperature, loss of appetite and generally feeling unwell.

Both Rainbow and Minister practices are urging owners to check their horses for signs of flu, not to mix or travel them if they show signs of being unwell and to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date to maximise protection from infection.

Rainbow Equine Hospital medicine specialist David Rendle said: “Horses that are not vaccinated are at serious risk if they come into direct contact with a horse that is excreting flu virus. A lot has been made in the media about vaccinated horses becoming infected. Horses that have been vaccinated have been effectively protected as the signs they have shown have been minimal.

“This has demonstrated that the vaccines are doing what we want them to do, reducing clinical signs and limiting spread to other horses.

“Horses that haven’t been vaccinated have been pretty sick and these horses continue to spread infection.”

Gemma Dransfield, Minster Vets clinical director, added: “We don’t want to panic people, but owners should protect their horses by vaccinating against flu and keeping these vaccines up to date.

“People need to be sensible and not take any chances moving horses that might be showing signs of flu.”

Anyone who suspects their horse might have flu should contact their vet immediately.

To attend the information evening at Malton and Norton Golf Club at 7.30pm, email