Relationship between race start characteristics and risk of catastrophic injury in Thoroughbreds: 78 cases (1992)

Estberg Leah From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Susan M. Stover From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Ian A. Gardner From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Bill J. Johnson From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Robert A. Jack From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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James T. Case From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Alex Ardans From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Deryck H. Read From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Mark L. Anderson From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Bradd C. Barr From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Barbara M. Daft From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Hailu Kinde From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Janet Moore From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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James Stoltz From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Leslie Woods From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System (Estberg, Johnson, Jack, Case, Ardans, Read, Anderson, Barr, Daft, Kinde, Moore, Stoltz, Woods); and Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology (Stover) and Medicine and Epidemiology (Gardner), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8734.

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Objective

To investigate relationships of several racehorse characteristics and race conditions with risk of a catastrophic musculoskeletal injury (CMI) resulting in euthanasia in Thoroughbreds during racing in California in 1992.

Design

Retrospective longitudinal study.

Animals

Thoroughbreds that incurred CMI during racing and all California race entrants in 1992.

Procedure

Necropsy records were reviewed, and race start information was obtained. Incidence risk of CMI/1,000 race entrants was estimated. Relationships between CMI during racing and race-meet, entrant age and sex, race type and length, and racing surface type and condition were evaluated by use of logistic regression.

Results

Incidence risk of CMI was 1.7/1,000 entrants. A higher risk of CMI was found at 2 fair race-meets, with incidence risks of 4.9 and 5.5/1,000 entrants. Risk of injury in male horses was 1.7 times greater than that in female horses, and influence of age on risk depended on race type. Risk of injury for horses 2 to 5 years old was two times greater for claiming horses than for maiden horses. Race length or racing surface type (dirt vs turf) or condition (fast, muddy, yielding) were not significantly associated with risk of CMI.

Clinical Implications

Incidence of CMI was similar among 12 of 14 major and fair race-meets and among various race lengths and racing surface types and conditions, whereas incidence of CMI was influenced by entrant age and sex as well as race type. Investigators should consider controlling for age and sex, race-meet, and race type whenever possible in studies of risk of CMI. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:544-549)

Objective

To investigate relationships of several racehorse characteristics and race conditions with risk of a catastrophic musculoskeletal injury (CMI) resulting in euthanasia in Thoroughbreds during racing in California in 1992.

Design

Retrospective longitudinal study.

Animals

Thoroughbreds that incurred CMI during racing and all California race entrants in 1992.

Procedure

Necropsy records were reviewed, and race start information was obtained. Incidence risk of CMI/1,000 race entrants was estimated. Relationships between CMI during racing and race-meet, entrant age and sex, race type and length, and racing surface type and condition were evaluated by use of logistic regression.

Results

Incidence risk of CMI was 1.7/1,000 entrants. A higher risk of CMI was found at 2 fair race-meets, with incidence risks of 4.9 and 5.5/1,000 entrants. Risk of injury in male horses was 1.7 times greater than that in female horses, and influence of age on risk depended on race type. Risk of injury for horses 2 to 5 years old was two times greater for claiming horses than for maiden horses. Race length or racing surface type (dirt vs turf) or condition (fast, muddy, yielding) were not significantly associated with risk of CMI.

Clinical Implications

Incidence of CMI was similar among 12 of 14 major and fair race-meets and among various race lengths and racing surface types and conditions, whereas incidence of CMI was influenced by entrant age and sex as well as race type. Investigators should consider controlling for age and sex, race-meet, and race type whenever possible in studies of risk of CMI. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:544-549)

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