Riders barred from Little Book Cliffs because of virus

The Bureau of Land Management wants to keep domestic horses out of the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range, at least until Friday, because of the threat from the equine herpes virus referred to as EHV-1.

In a release Monday, the federal agency asked horse riders to refrain from riding in the wild horse area between Grand Junction and De Beque until Friday.

“The virus is highly contagious and potentially fatal to horses. The BLM, with advisement from a local veterinarian, is asking for this precautionary action by horseback riders while veterinary experts determine the extent and spread of this outbreak,” the release said. “Additional restrictions may be necessary if the outbreak gains severity throughout the area.”

The outbreak became known a little more than a week ago, after a number of horses that participated in a cutting horse competition in Ogden, Utah, contracted the disease.  Confirmed cases have been reported in Mesa County as well as Front Range counties.


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