THE Heythrop Hunt has cancelled its meets for at least a week after cases of equine herpes broke out in the area the hunt covers.

The virus, which can be life-threatening, has been found in four horses stabled at a yard near Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire, close to the hunt's headquarters in Chipping Norton. A number of members of the hunt keep horses at the yard.

Anyone who rode out with the Heythrop last week is being advised to isolate their horse, check its temperature morning and evening, and contact a vet if they suspect the animal could be infected.

Symptoms of the infection can include respiratory problems, coughing, nasal discharge, a raised or spiking temperature and lack of interest in food.

The infected horses are reported to be responding to treatment and vet Tom Campbell is trying to trace the source of the outbreak.

As a result of the situation, the Heythrop Pony Club has cancelled a number of showjumping and dressage events planned for the half-term break next week. For more details, see