Gait evaluation of race trotters using an accelerometric device

Authors

  • E. BARREY,

    Corresponding author
    1. INRA, Station de Génétique Quantitative et Appliquée, Groupe Cheval F-78352, Jouy-en-Josas, France
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  • B. AUVINET,

    1. INRA, Station de Génétique Quantitative et Appliquée, Groupe Cheval F-78352, Jouy-en-Josas, France
    2. Unité de Recherche de Medecine du Sport Humaine et Équine Comparée, Pegase, F-53024 Laval, France.
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  • ANNE COUROUCÉ

    1. INRA, Station de Génétique Quantitative et Appliquée, Groupe Cheval F-78352, Jouy-en-Josas, France
    2. Unité de Recherche de Medecine du Sport Humaine et Équine Comparée, Pegase, F-53024 Laval, France.
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INRA, Station de Génétique Quantitative et Appliquée, Groupe Cheval F-78352, Jouy-en-Josas, France

Summary

Some basic stride characteristics of race trotters were measured by means of an accelerometric device during a locomotor test in order to find stride parameters, predictive for race performance. Twenty-four horses of various racing abilities were tested on the same flat racetrack. They were allocated to 3 groups according to their performance indices. The locomotor test consisted of 3 stages at increasing speeds and the third stage was performed at maximum individual speed. Basic stride variables were extracted from the acceleration data using specific procedures including built-in functions of a data analysis programme. Some significant relationships were found between stride characteristics measured at maximum individual speed and race performances obtained during the year. The maximum speed and stride length were positively correlated (r=0.60 and 0.45, P<0.05) with the performance index. The maximum stride frequency was negatively correlated with the best time (r/-0.46, P<0.05). The maximum speed, stride frequency, contribution of stride frequency to the speed and stride length were greater in the high performance group than in the other groups (P<0.05). The symmetry and regularity of the trot were not significantly related to the performance. A good performer should have a high maximum speed which is mainly produced by a high stride frequency greater than 2.40 strides/s. The accelerometric device was efficient for testing trotters and could be used to predict potential performance.

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