Objective—To compare financial returns between
pinhooked yearling horses (ie, bought and trained for
approximately 5 months with the goal of selling the
horse at "2-year-olds in training" sales) that had mild
or severe training failure and horses that had planned
versus nonplanned training failure.
Procedure—During the period from September 1998
through and April 1999, 20 horses had mild training
failure (1 to 11 days lost), and 20 horses had severe
training failure (13 to 108 days lost). Horses were
assigned to these 2 groups on the basis of frequency
distribution (median) of days lost during training.
Horses were also categorized on the basis of type of
training failure (planned vs nonplanned training failure).
The outcome of primary interest was financial
return. Median financial returns were compared
among groups by use of the Mann-Whitney U test.
Results—Median financial returns for horses that had
severe training failure ($1,000) were significantly different,
compared with horses that had mild training
failure ($24,000). Analysis of results also indicated
that median returns were significantly different
among horses that had planned training failure
(−$2,000; eg, horses with radiographic abnormalities
detected during routine prepurchase examinations
that required surgical treatment, resulting in days lost
during training), compared with horses that did not
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Training failure
has an economic impact on revenues in pinhooked
yearling horses. Lameness, planned training
failure, respiratory disease, and ringworm were common
and important causes of training failure.
(Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1418–1422)
Objective—To identify race-start characteristics associated
with catastrophic musculoskeletal (MS) injury
in Thoroughbred racehorses at 2 racetracks in Florida
during 1995 through 1998.
Design—Matched case-control study.
Animals—97 Thoroughbreds (case horses) that
incurred a catastrophic MS injury during racing and
388 Thoroughbreds (control horses) randomly selected
from noninjured participants and matched on the
basis of racetrack and year.
Procedure—Incidence of MS injury was calculated
for all race meets at 2 racetracks in Florida from 1995
through 1998. Race-start characteristics were compared
among case and control horses, using conditional
Results—Overall incidence of MS injury was
1.2/1,000 race starts (97/79,416 starts). Incidence of
injury was significantly higher for turf races (2.3/1,000
starts) than for dirt races (0.9/1,000 starts). Sex, number
of days since last race, and racing surface were
associated with risk of injury; geldings, ≥ 33 days
since the last race, and turf racing surface were associated
with a higher risk of injury.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Incidence of
injury among Thoroughbreds in Florida was associated
with sex, number of days since last race, and racing
surface. Days since last race may have been an
indicator of previous health and lameness problems.
Racing surface may have been a risk factor for MS
injury because turf races tended to be more competitive
than dirt races. Horses running in turf races were
more likely to participate in races with a large field,
handicap races, long races, and races with high purses.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:83–86)
Objective—To evaluate horseshoe characteristics
and high-speed exercise history as risk factors for catastrophic
musculoskeletal injury in Thoroughbred
Animals—377 horses (37,529 race starts).
Procedure—Shoe characteristics included material,
toe grab height, heel traction device, pads, and rim
shoes. Racing variables were obtained from a computerized
database. Forty-three horses that had a
musculoskeletal injury and then failed to race or train
for 6 months (cases) and 334 noninjured horses from
the same race in which a horse was injured (controls)
were compared regarding risk factors.
Results—Overall, 98% of race starts were associated
with aluminum shoes, 85% with toe grabs, 32% with
pads, and 12% with rims on forelimb horseshoes.
Among 43 horses with musculoskeletal injury, sex
(geldings), an extended interval since last race, and
reduced exercise during the 30 or 60 days preceding
injury were risk factors for catastrophic injury. Odds
of injury in racehorses with toe grabs on front shoes
were 1.5 times the odds of injury in horses without
toe grabs, but this association was not significant
(95% confidence interval, 0.5 to 4.1).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that horses that return to racing after an extended
period of reduced exercise are at high risk of catastrophic
musculoskeletal injury. Results regarding the
use of toe grabs as a possible risk factor for catastrophic
injury were inconclusive because the probability
of declaring (in error) that use of toe grabs was
associated with an increased risk of musculoskeletal
injury (eg, odds ratio > 1.0) was 38%. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1314–1320)