Descriptive epidemiology of fractures occurring in British Thoroughbred racehorses in training
Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
2004 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Volume 36, Issue 2, pages 167–173, March 2004
How to Cite
Verheyen, K. L. P. and Wood, J. L. N. (2004), Descriptive epidemiology of fractures occurring in British Thoroughbred racehorses in training. Equine Veterinary Journal, 36: 167–173. doi: 10.2746/0425164044868684
- Issue published online: 5 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
- Paper received for publication 14.04.03; Accepted 03.07.03]
Reasons for performing study: Musculoskeletal injury is the major cause of days lost from training and wastage in Thoroughbred racehorses. Little scientific information is available on the majority of injuries occurring in training.
Objectives: To estimate the incidence of fractures in British racehorses in training and describe the occurrence of different fracture types and bones involved.
Methods: Thirteen UK racehorse trainers participated in a prospective study, providing data on horses in their care for 2 years. Details on horses, their daily exercise and fracture occurrence were recorded.
Results: A total of 1178 horses provided 12,893 months at risk. Nontraumatic fracture incidence was 1.15/100 horse months (95% CI = 0.98, 1.35) and 78% of fractures occurred during training. A wide variety of fracture types and bones were involved, although at least 57% were stress fractures. Pelvic and tibial stress injuries accounted for 28% of fractures diagnosed.
Conclusions: It is important to study injuries in training as well as in racing. The number of stress fractures suggests that training regimes for young Thoroughbreds could often be improved to create a more robust skeleton, able to withstand injury.
Potential relevance: Studying injuries in racehorses in training can provide a scientific basis for the design of safer training regimes.;