With the spreading of the Horse Herpes outbreak, rodeo queens at an event in Farmington Utah were forced to ride out for the opening event--on stick horses.

The Davis County Mounted Sheriffs Posse Junior Queen contest went on as planned this week, but for the equestrian portion of the event, contestants were asked to lope around the arena on toy stick horses.  All humor aside, participants agreed that since the outbreak of the Equine Herpes Virus, it's not a stretch to take every precaution.  According to KSL TV in Utah, the state has 13 suspected and seven confirmed cases of the disease that is considered VERY deadly to horses.  It doesn't affect humans, but can be passed by humans who may touch or work with an infected horse, then spread by contact with another.  Several such cases are suspected in the Mid Columbia, and horse owners are taking similar precautions.  Officials stress that while there is no cure for the illness, it IS treatable, and if caught soon enough,  medicines can effectively offset the symptoms of the virus which creates secondary issues that can be fatal if left untreated.   Horses in WA, OR and other states who participated in a cutting show earlier this spring in Utah came in contact with infected horses and the illness has been found or suspected to be found in 9 western states.