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

"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."

7 October 2015

New series of races announced by BHA and Jockey Club Racecourses
Aidan O'Brien's Minding and Coolmore lead Fillies' Mile field at Newmarket
Andre Fabre waiting on Esoterique Breeders' Cup decision
Aidan O'Brien decides against sending Order Of St George to Melbourne
Nicky Richards considering Cheltenham target for Simply Ned
Ascot ground key to Decorated Knight's QEII run
Market Rasen option for Malcolm Jefferson's Cyrus Darius
Air Force Blue on track for Dewhurst - Aidan O'Brien
Frankie Dettori dreaming of America for Golden Horn
Mecca's Angel ruled out of Champions Sprint reckoning
Guineas heroine Legatissimo likely to race on in 2016
Eduard injury blow for Nicky Richards
Paddy Power option for David Pipe's Kings Palace
Andre Fabre unveils Lockinge option for Make Believe
Andre Fabre hoping for 2016 campaign with Arc third New Bay
Henry Candy eager to step up to a mile with Foret second Limato

6 October 2015

Seamour heads strong British presence in Irish Cesarewitch
Frankie Dettori 'extremely grateful' for support of Sheikh Joaan in dream season
Cheltenham's new stand to debut at The Open meeting
Ed Walker considering French trip for Persona Grata
David Marnane mulling Lingfield run for Jamesie
Saint-Cloud aim for Harry Dunlop's Robin Of Navan
Warren Greatrex issues Cole Harden Wetherby warning
Champion-elect Silvestre De Sousa lands Pontefract double
David Pipe "optimistic" of a bold show from Low Key in Cesarewitch
David Pipe considers French return for Dynaste
Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby an option for National hero Many Clouds
No decision yet on Free Eagle's future plans
Anthony Oppenheimer eager to tackle Breeders' Cup challenge with Golden Horn
Godolphin and Coolmore big guns all set for Dewhurst clash
Hugo Palmer in no hurry to decide Covert Love plan
Criquette Head- Maarek focusing on her post-Treve future

5 October 2015

Pascal Bary reveals Antonoe suffered pelvic injury in Boussac defeat
Low Key one of 56 remaining in Cesarewitch
Chelmsford hoping to introduce seven-furlong chute this month
Joe Tuite excited by Field Of Vision's Cornwallis claims
Joe Tuite maps out Ascot aim for Litigant after Longchamp withdrawal
Freddy Head hoping for Ascot rain ahead of Solow QEII bid
Wetherby target for Neil Mulholland's Aintree hope The Druids Nephew
Arc-winning rider Frankie Dettori misses Monday Windsor rides
Make Believe floors Limato in Prix de la Foret
Sovereign Debt on top in Tipperary drama
Goldream speeds to Prix de l'Abbaye victory for Robert Cowell
Treve set to bow out after Longchamp defeat
Golden Horn storms to Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe glory at Longchamp
Covert Love digs deep to give Hugo Palmer big-race glory at Longchamp
Ultra impressive for Andre Fabre in Lagardere
Ballydoyle strikes for Aidan O'Brien in Prix Marcel Boussac
Andrea Atzeni leaves Qatar Racing to ride for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid

4 October 2015

Qatar hero Dubday returning home
John Gosden's Mr Singh to stay in training
Dutch Connection only fifth in Shadwell Mile at Keeneland
Tuite in confident mood ahead of Litigant's Cadran test at Longchamp
Palmer thrilled with Covert Love condition ahead of Opera assignment
Storm looks a Star in the making after Cumberland Lodge stroll at Ascot
Lester Piggott backing Treve to claim historic third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Cirrus Des Aigles beaten in quest for fourth Dollar at Longchamp
Eastern Impact gives red-hot Richard Fahey another big Saturday winner at Ascot
Esoterique cuts down Integral to take Sun Chariot prize
Log Out Island lifts Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar
Gifted Master runs rivals ragged to claim big Newmarket prize
No joy for British hope The Twisler as Vazirabad dazzles in Chaudenay
Mecca's Angel misses Abbaye due to drying ground

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