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Relationship between repository radiographic findings and subsequent performance of Quarter Horses competing in cutting events

Myra F. BarrettDepartment of Environmental and Radiologic Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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C. Wayne McIlwraithDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Erin K. ContinoDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Richard D. ParkDepartment of Environmental and Radiologic Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Christopher E. KawcakDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

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David D. FrisbieDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

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James R. zumBrunnenDepartment of Statistics, College of Natural Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To investigate potential associations between repository radiographic findings and subsequent performance of Quarter Horses competing in cutting events.

DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.

SAMPLE Repository radiographs (ie, radiographs obtained at the time of sale) for 343 client-owned horses.

PROCEDURES Repository radiographic findings were compared with objective measures of performance, including the likelihood of competing; the likelihood of earning money as a 3-year-old, as a 4-year-old, and as a 3- and 4-year-old combined; and the amount of money earned as a 3-year-old, as a 4-year-old, and as a 3- and 4-year-old combined.

RESULTS The presence of mild osteophytes involving the distal aspect of the tarsal joint was significantly associated with lower mean earnings as a 4-year-old. The presence of osteophytes on the dorsoproximal aspect of the middle phalanx of the hind limbs was significantly associated with an increased odds of earning money as a 4-year-old. Radiographic lesions of the medial femoral condyle of the stifle joint were not significantly associated with subsequent performance.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Most abnormalities identified on repository radiographs were not significantly associated with subsequent performance. The significant association between mild tarsal osteophytosis and earnings was unexpected. Results of the present study indicated the need for further investigation of the relationship between radiographic findings and performance outcome in Western performance horses.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To investigate potential associations between repository radiographic findings and subsequent performance of Quarter Horses competing in cutting events.

DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.

SAMPLE Repository radiographs (ie, radiographs obtained at the time of sale) for 343 client-owned horses.

PROCEDURES Repository radiographic findings were compared with objective measures of performance, including the likelihood of competing; the likelihood of earning money as a 3-year-old, as a 4-year-old, and as a 3- and 4-year-old combined; and the amount of money earned as a 3-year-old, as a 4-year-old, and as a 3- and 4-year-old combined.

RESULTS The presence of mild osteophytes involving the distal aspect of the tarsal joint was significantly associated with lower mean earnings as a 4-year-old. The presence of osteophytes on the dorsoproximal aspect of the middle phalanx of the hind limbs was significantly associated with an increased odds of earning money as a 4-year-old. Radiographic lesions of the medial femoral condyle of the stifle joint were not significantly associated with subsequent performance.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Most abnormalities identified on repository radiographs were not significantly associated with subsequent performance. The significant association between mild tarsal osteophytosis and earnings was unexpected. Results of the present study indicated the need for further investigation of the relationship between radiographic findings and performance outcome in Western performance horses.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Barrett (barrettdvm@gmail.com).