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  • Author or Editor: Christopher M. Riggs x
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Objective—To identify the risk factors for premature retirement because of tendon injury in a Thoroughbred racehorse population.

Animals—175 Thoroughbred racehorses (cases) at the Hong Kong Jockey Club that were retired from racing because of tendon injury between 1997 and 2004 and for which the last preretirement exercise was at a fast pace were each matched with 3 control horses that were randomly selected from all uninjured horses that had galloped on the same date as that last exercise episode.

Procedures—Training data for all horses were examined. Conditional logistic regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors for retirement from racing attributable to tendon injury. Two multivariable conditional logistic regression models were created; each contained 8 explanatory variables.

Results—Compared with control horses, case horses were older at the time of import, accumulated more race distance soon after import, were more likely to have had previous official veterinary or ultrasonographic examinations, raced fewer times during their career, and were in training for a longer period and had exercised at a reduced intensity during the 180-day period preceding the last fast-paced work date.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In addition to identification of risk factors for tendon injury among racing Thoroughbreds, results have suggested that resources focused on obtaining accurate training data may be misdirected in the absence of internationally agreed criteria for incident tendon injury among racehorses. Nevertheless, changes in training intensity and findings of previous clinical examinations could be used to identify horses at risk of tendon injury–associated retirement.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research