Articles: Press Release
Horse Stabled at Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Tested
Positive for Rabies
From the Tennessee Department of
Officials with the Tennessee Department of Health are notifying persons who
attended the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville of
a confirmed case of rabies in a horse stabled on the grounds during the
event. The horse was not involved in any of the Celebration competitions.
The horse originated from Missouri and was a 3-year-old gelding (neutered
male horse), buckskin (cream to tan) in color with a black mane and tail.
The horse was described as "small," standing approximately 14 hands (or 56
inches) at the withers, which is the area near the base of the mane. During
the event, the horse was ridden on the grounds by owners and was stabled in
barn number 50 on the Celebration grounds. Illness was first noted in the
horse on August 28. Over the next few days, the horse developed severe
neurological signs, and as a result was euthanized. Persons directly
involved in the care of the horse are being contacted and are being
assessed for possible rabies exposure and the need for rabies post-exposure
"Rabies is transmitted mainly through bite wounds from an infected animal.
In some cases it may be transmitted through fresh open cuts in the skin or
onto mucous membranes such as the eyes, mouth or nose from the saliva of a
rabid animal," said Public Health Veterinarian John Dunn with the Tennessee
Department of Health. "However, attending an event where a rabid animal was
present, petting a rabid animal or contact with the blood, urine or feces
of a rabid animal does not constitute a risk for transmission."
The Tennessee Department of Health is requesting that persons who attended
the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration between August 23 and
August 31 call its Public Information Line 1-866-355-6129 if they possibly
had contact with this horse and any of the following occurred during their
visit to the Celebration.