The Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) officials on Thursday expressed the hope that the horses for the Indian equestrian team, which have been quarantined here at the Army Service Corps (ASC) College and Centre, would leave for the Asian Games in Guangzhou either on Thursday night or by Friday.
Speaking to The Hindu, EFI officials disclosed that the horses were subjected to antibody tests for 18 diseases. The horses were found to be negative for all of these tests.
“We are clear as far as our horses are concerned. All the horses have been cleared.'', said a senior member of the EFI.
EFI officials also said that the two Chinese vets who have been here monitoring the quarantine and other tests of the horses had asked that five antibody tests be sent abroad for analysis.
While three tests were done in Australia, two were conducted in the US. The results of the tests were handed over to the Chinese vets.
Officials expressed surprise at the host nation's demand for tests for these many diseases, some of which were not even prevalent in India.
According to one official the Chinese had been “very adamant” and he wondered why when other participating countries had been asked to conduct tests for only six or so diseases why India had been asked to test for 18.
EFI officials, however, admitted that there has been a long delay and the horses should have been in China at least a fortnight ago but for the lengthy tests.
It may be recalled that one of the original horses, Gabbar, which belonged to eventing team member Rajesh Pattu was reported for a protozoan disease after earlier tests and the horse and the rider were dropped from the team.
The ‘trotting up' in dressage is scheduled for Saturday while competition in the dressage team championship and individual qualifiers are to be held on Sunday.
The Indian team will really have to make a dash for it.