Champion South African stallion Jet Master will not be covering mares this season after contracting West Nile Virus. News of his plight has sent shockwaves through the breeding industry.
Klipdrift Stud reported Jet Master was eating well and his coat was good but WNV has affected his balance and he is lame. Devine said veterinarians could not confirm whether he would recover fully.
The West Nile Virus is a mosquito borne virus that causes encephalitis or meningitis. Most horses bitten by carrier mosquitoes do not develop disease. Of those that do, approximately one-third develop severe disease and die or are so affected that euthanasia is required.
Jet Master was crowned champion South African sire for 2010-11 after a protracted battle with Captain Al. He is the sire of Group 1 winners Pocket Power, J J The Jet Plane, River Jetez, Ebony Flyer and Mythical Flight
Jet Master (Rakeen) is owned by Henry and Patricia Devine and he won 8 Group 1 events under trainer Tony Millard. He retired to Highlands Stud in 2001 but moved to Klipdrift Stud a year later.