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Glanders Testing is a Slowly Evolving Process

After an international dressage horse turns up with a false positive this contagious disease, the USDA testing protocol comes under fire.

Chase Hickok wasn’t antici­pating anything unusual as she drove to the U.S. Department of Agriculture quarantine center at the Miami International Airport on Aug. 8 to pick up Grand Prix horse Sagacious HF after a successful European tour.

But when she got a phone call from the flight broker telling her the 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Welt Hit II—Judith, Cocktail) had tested positive for the highly contagious disease glanders, a routine pick-up turned into something much more stressful.

Sagacious, owned by Hyperion Farm, has traveled the world with Hickok, 27, as well as his former riders Caroline Roffman and Lauren Sammis. Hickok had just returned to Wellington, Fla., from a trip repre­senting the United States on Nations Cup teams at Hickstead (England) and Falsterbo (Sweden).

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