Reliability of two 2,400-m time-trial protocols for assessing performance of Standardbred racehorses

View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ, Great Britain.
  • | 2 Department of Physiology, School of Medical Science and Physical Education, University of Otago, Dunedin 9001, New Zealand.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the reliability of 2 time-trial protocols, 1 that involved use of a pacemaker and 1 that did not, for assessing performance of Standardbred racehorses.

Animals—3- to 7-year-old Standardbred maiden pacers.

Procedure—11 Standardbred pacers were used to determine the reliability of a time-trial protocol that involved use of a galloping pacemaker. All tests were performed by a single driver. Horses were paced for an initial 1,600 m then raced and timed for the final 800 m. They were retested 9 days later. Twenty-two horses were used to determine the reliability of a time-trial protocol that did not involve use of a pacemaker. All tests were performed by a second driver. Horses were paced for the first 1,200 m then raced and timed for the final 1,200 m. They were retested 3 and 8 days later.

Results—Reliability of performance time, expressed as the coefficient of variation (ie, the typical percentage variation in a horse's time between trials), was similar for the 2 protocols (1.0% and 1.3%, respectively).

Conclusions—The small variations in performance times for the 2 time-trial protocols were similar to those of the best comparable laboratory and field tests of human and equine performance. Both protocols would be suitable for investigating factors affecting performance of Standardbred racehorses. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1339–1342)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the reliability of 2 time-trial protocols, 1 that involved use of a pacemaker and 1 that did not, for assessing performance of Standardbred racehorses.

Animals—3- to 7-year-old Standardbred maiden pacers.

Procedure—11 Standardbred pacers were used to determine the reliability of a time-trial protocol that involved use of a galloping pacemaker. All tests were performed by a single driver. Horses were paced for an initial 1,600 m then raced and timed for the final 800 m. They were retested 9 days later. Twenty-two horses were used to determine the reliability of a time-trial protocol that did not involve use of a pacemaker. All tests were performed by a second driver. Horses were paced for the first 1,200 m then raced and timed for the final 1,200 m. They were retested 3 and 8 days later.

Results—Reliability of performance time, expressed as the coefficient of variation (ie, the typical percentage variation in a horse's time between trials), was similar for the 2 protocols (1.0% and 1.3%, respectively).

Conclusions—The small variations in performance times for the 2 time-trial protocols were similar to those of the best comparable laboratory and field tests of human and equine performance. Both protocols would be suitable for investigating factors affecting performance of Standardbred racehorses. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1339–1342)