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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Dartnall back from the brinkHeadlines
Victor Dartnall

Victor Dartnall has reflected on what he has described as the worst six weeks of his training career.

The North Devon handler was forced to shut down his Barnstaple stables in November after an outbreak of equine herpes in the yard. Dartnall revealed six horses paid the ultimate price, including Pocket Too, a winner at Chepstow in early November, before the disease struck.

"The past six weeks or so have been the worst of my training career and not something I would ever want to live through again," he told www.victordartnallracing.com.

"We adopted a policy of openness from the outset and I hope from our experiences, people will learn a little about this devastating virus, and, also, take it very seriously. That way we can help prevent its spread and further suffering.

"All our horses have been vaccinated against herpes virus for the past 10 years, but we have subsequently learned that it just dampens the virus. However, if we hadn't been vaccinated, 90% of our yard could have been affected, instead of 25%.

"The most dangerous part of a herpes outbreak is the first few days, when you don't actually realise you have it. In all, 25% of our horses were affected in one way or another. The mildest had a raised temperature, the most severe loss of hind limb co-ordination to fatal paralysis.

"The remaining 75% of the yard carried on as normal and showed no clinical signs. The outbreak has had an immense effect on our business. Over the last six weeks we've lost six horses in total, including two very nice youngsters who were showing a lot of promise, and the gutsy Pocket Too.

"But it makes you fight back to get to where you were and we have some very nice horses to run and some good-looking three-year-olds to bring in and get going.

"I'm very much looking forward to the future and am delighted to say that the horses are all in great heart.

"We're very appreciative of all the support we have had from everyone. It has been brilliant."

23 November 2014

Un De Sceaux set for Thurles
Vautour off to impressive start
Melodic team face tough choice
Henderson aims at Listed prize
Croco in frame for Topham
Belle set for hurdling campaign
Deputy in Kempton firing line
McBratney banks on Boy progress
Silvi scraps to Betfair glory
Bally sparkles on Mullins' big day
Kelly's a Fixed Brush hero
Faugheen turns on the style
Fenton banned for three years
Amlin double for fab Ferof
New One excels in Haydock romp
Flyer grounds Ascot rivals
Vasco a cut above opposition

22 November 2014

Conti strikes Betfair Chase gold
Taken seeking Listed gold
Mogol facing Monksfield test
Vautour makes chasing bow
Gordon enjoys Dundalk spin
McCoy: Landmark swayed judgment
Jacob warms up with brace
Hill peaking for Troytown return
Billy back on winning track
Walsh back for Ferof ride
New ready for Haydock Rush
Cheltenham is Big aim
Mullins eager for Faugheen run
Cue primed for Betfair defence

21 November 2014

Geraghty snapped up for Seuil
Volnay aiming for quick repeat
Argocat camp play it cool
Leading Light retired
Frankel filly breaks Irish record
Linton loses Listed place
Doubles for Pipe and Scudamore
Nasty spill for Insole
McCoy targets midweek return
Farm comes Home to roost at Thurles
Flemenstar future dictated by scan
Cue lined up for Haydock return

20 November 2014

McNamara joy at turning pro
Volnay seeking Mersey paradise
Sloane Avenue books Dubai date
Spencer reveals Qatar riding snub
Doyle ready for Godolphin challenge
Good news at Huntingdon
BHA hear Linton case
Avenue shows winning way
Grugy diagnosed with hip issue
Meade plots Monksland comeback
Ptit secures swift double
Shanes shines in hurdles win
Mullins' stars set for weekend runs
Haydock aim for Aurore
Medermit in Betfair contention

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