The first event of the 2019 Northwest College Rodeo season has been delayed after two cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) were confirmed in the Powell area.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):
“Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease which primarily affects horses, cattle, and swine. The agent that causes vesicular stomatitis, VSV, has a wide host range and can occasionally infect sheep and goats. In affected livestock, VSV causes blister-like lesions to form in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals generally refuse to eat and drink and show signs of lameness.” – excerpt taken from USDA’s website
After consulting with veterinarians, Northwest College Coach Del Nose decided the risk of going on with the Trapper Stampede Rodeo at the Cody Stampede Park — scheduled for September 6-7 — outweighed the benefits.
“The virus is so contagious, and I couldn’t bring in 238 head of horses from Montana down here, knowing that they might get sick,” Nose said to the Casper Star-Tribune. “Once a horse is quarantined, it lasts for 14 days if they’ve been exposed.”
With the two confirmed cases and a third case awaiting test results as of Wednesday, it was decided that the rodeo would be postponed until October 4-5.