Queen Elizabeth's racehorse breeding plans have been upset by a virus outbreak at a stud farm she uses.
The Jockey Club's National Stud was due to welcome a number of mares owned by the royal for breeding within the next few wees but the plans are in disarray after the equine herpes virus was discovered in a horse which recently arrived at the stud from overseas.
Brian O'Rourke, managing director of the stud, told the Dailt Telegraph: "It's highly contagious and, because we are so close to Newmarket where there are 3,000 horses in training, we are shutting down the stud, with no public access. We are setting the standard by being ultra ultra cautious, taking every precaution and leaving nothing to chance."
"The animal will be in quarantine for 30 days. All the tests show she's not been passing it on. We are testing every two days and we will do so for the next month."
British Equine Veterinary Association President Mark Bowen said: "The herpes virus is a relatively common virus in race horses.
"But when it affects breeding horses it can lead to abortion in large numbers so it can lead to large financial losses in the racing industry.
"It's a particular strain of the herpes virus that goes on to lead to abortions. It's spread largely by direct contact through horse to horse so it's something that can be relatively controlled.
"There is also a form which can effect the nervous system. When that happens the horses are unable to stand and it can be fatal but we don't tend to see this strain in the UK."
The stud has been closed until further notice