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Effects of various presale radiographic findings for yearling Thoroughbreds on 2-year-old racing performance

Stephanie A. Preston MSc1, Murray P. Brown DVM, MSc2, Troy N. Trumble DVM, PhD3, Terese L. Chmielewski PT, PhD4, Dana N. Zimmel DVM, DACVIM, DABVP5, and Jorge A. Hernandez DVM, MPVM, PhD6
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  • 1 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 2 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.
  • | 4 Department of Physical Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 5 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 6 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of various presale radiographic findings for Thoroughbreds sold at a yearling sale on 2-year-old racing performance of those horses.

Animals—397 Thoroughbreds.

Design—Cohort study.

Procedures—Thoroughbreds offered for sale at a Thoroughbred sales facility in Kentucky were selected via a randomization procedure. Effects of various presale radiographic findings on the following measures of 2-year-old racing performance were determined: having started a race and having placed (ie, finished in first, second, or third place) in a race at least once, total amount of money earned, and amount of money earned per start.

Results—Of the 397 horses, 192 (48%) started in at least 1 race during the 2-year-old racing year. The odds of failure to start a race as a 2-year-old were 1.78 times as great for horses with forelimb proximal sesamoid bone osteophytes or enthesophytes as for horses without this finding (95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 3.16). The odds of failure to start a race as a 2-year-old were 2.02 times as great for horses with hind limb proximal phalanx osteochondral fragments as for horses without this finding (95% confidence interval, 0.95 to 4.31), although this result was not significant. Radiographic findings did not have an effect on total amount of money earned, amount of money earned per start, or whether horses placed in a race.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Presale radiographic detection of forelimb proximal sesamoid bone osteophytes or enthesophytes or hind limb proximal phalanx osteochondral fragments in yearlings were associated with failure to start a race during the 2-year-old racing year in study horses.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of various presale radiographic findings for Thoroughbreds sold at a yearling sale on 2-year-old racing performance of those horses.

Animals—397 Thoroughbreds.

Design—Cohort study.

Procedures—Thoroughbreds offered for sale at a Thoroughbred sales facility in Kentucky were selected via a randomization procedure. Effects of various presale radiographic findings on the following measures of 2-year-old racing performance were determined: having started a race and having placed (ie, finished in first, second, or third place) in a race at least once, total amount of money earned, and amount of money earned per start.

Results—Of the 397 horses, 192 (48%) started in at least 1 race during the 2-year-old racing year. The odds of failure to start a race as a 2-year-old were 1.78 times as great for horses with forelimb proximal sesamoid bone osteophytes or enthesophytes as for horses without this finding (95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 3.16). The odds of failure to start a race as a 2-year-old were 2.02 times as great for horses with hind limb proximal phalanx osteochondral fragments as for horses without this finding (95% confidence interval, 0.95 to 4.31), although this result was not significant. Radiographic findings did not have an effect on total amount of money earned, amount of money earned per start, or whether horses placed in a race.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Presale radiographic detection of forelimb proximal sesamoid bone osteophytes or enthesophytes or hind limb proximal phalanx osteochondral fragments in yearlings were associated with failure to start a race during the 2-year-old racing year in study horses.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the University of Florida Equine Soundness Program.

Address correspondence to Dr. Hernandez (hernandezja@ufl.edu).