Study: Four Risk Factors For Musculoskeletal Injuries In Racehorses Identified

Musculoskeletal injuries continue to plague Thoroughbred racehorses around the world, despite ongoing research into their causes. Many injuries occur during training, though many tracks report only race-day injuries.

Drs. Kylie L. Crawford, Anna Finnane, Clive Phillips, Ristan Greer, Solomon Woldeyohannes, Nigel Perkins, Lisa Kidd and Benjamin Ahern sought to determine the risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries and see if these factors were different for 2-year-old racehorses and older racehorses.

The team focused their study on Thoroughbreds training in southeast Queensland; they used injuries reported from training stables over a 56-week study. Control horses were recruited for every injury case. In total, information was gathered on 202 injured horses and 202 uninjured horses. Trainers and their staff were interviewed weekly regarding both injured and uninjured horses.

For this population of horses, the study team found four factors associated with higher odds of injury:

  • 2-year-old horses that were prepped for racing for between 10 and 14 weeks. Increasing length of preparation was linked to higher odds for injury in all horses, but particularly in 2-year-olds. Horses not given adequate time for their tissues to repair and adapt to race training are more prone to injury.
  • 2-year-old Thoroughbreds out of maiden mares (these horses were specifically at risk for shin soreness). They note that mares that have had multiple foals tend to have larger, heavier foals, which could be associated with bone density and ability to withstand race training.
  • Thoroughbreds of all ages that ran 1.5 miles to 2.3 miles at a fast gallop (faster than 34mph) in the four weeks preceding injury
  • 3-year-olds and older horses that ran 1.9 miles to 3 miles at nearly 30 mph and faster. The scientists found that exercising a horse at a slower pace for an increasing number of days decreased the odds of injury no matter the horse’s age. They reported that for horses thought to be at higher risk of injury, increasing the number of days worked at a slow pace may be more effective than completely resting the horse.

The scientists recommend that horses that fall into these categories be monitored closely for impending injury. The study team concluded that early identification of horses at increased risk, along with appropriate intervention, could significantly reduce the impact of musculoskeletal injuries in racehorses.

Read the full study here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

The post Study: Four Risk Factors For Musculoskeletal Injuries In Racehorses Identified appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.