Wexford racehorse trainer Ferdy Murphy has closed his Yorkshire stable and will not have any runners until the foot and mouth crisis is resolved. Murphy was due to have five runners at Catterick but is worried his horses could bring back the disease.
The trainer has one of the most powerful yards in the north of England, housing more than 80 horses at West Witton in North Yorkshire. Murphy said: "I shouldn't have declared them in the first place but I didn't realise how quickly the situation is escalating. I live in the middle of a farming community in West Witton and if I brought this disease back here I could never forgive myself."
He added: "We have closed the stable down and we will not have any runners until this is sorted - it is frightening." Murphy, who also has a satellite yard in Suffolk, was due to send a strong team to the Cheltenham Festival in a fortnight.
Another trainer, Pam Sly, shares Mr Murphy's fears and has withdrawn her two runners at Catterick. She said she will not race any of her Peterborough-based string until the outbreak is contained.