Horse racing: Cheltenham within exclusion zone

Thursday, March 01, 2001
It has been revealed that Cheltenham is within an exclusion zone after a farm five miles from the track has come under investigation for a possible case of foot-and-mouth disease.

If the case is confirmed it would probably end any hopes the National Hunt Festival, due to start in 12 days' time, might still take place as scheduled.

But Cheltenham's clerk of the course remains hopeful the scare may be a false alarm.

Simon Claisse said: "I'm told though by the ministry experts that there is only a five per cent chance that the farm is infected so we we will be keeping our fingers crossed.

"It has had what is called a 'class C notice' served on it which means for up to five miles from that farm there is an exclusion zone and we fall within that exclusion zone.

"I ought just to clarify that, by saying that there about 150 farms in the country that are under investigation and it will take a day or two before we know whether there is an infection on that farm. "