Anyone following Triple Crown races this year knows there's a lot of controversy about the soundness of Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Big Brown's feet. But despite a third hoof problem in his short career--a quarter crack that showed up in his left front foot last Friday--his consulting farrier/repair expert Ian McKinlay isn't concerned.
Only a handful of racehorses continue racing for more than a few years. The most talented runners are retired to stud or join a broodmare band, but often horses must move out to make room for new prospects. The problem of what to do with ex-racehorses is ongoing, and several organizations have been created to help resolve this.
The complicated nature of regulating anabolic steroids in racehorses came to light May 20 when discussion among members of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council and others seemed to indicate the easiest route is an all-out ban on the substances.
Since late January, Pfizer Animal Health and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have joined forces to help fund laminitis research through the NTRA Charities - Barbaro Memorial Fund. Pfizer Animal Health displays, featuring "Riding with Barbaro" awareness bracelets, will appear in select veterinary clinics and retail outlets across the country and at major equine events. Due to the strong response thus far, Pfizer Animal Health will be expanding its number of display locations and manufacturing thousands of additional bracelets for public distribution.
Thoroughbred Charities of America, ("TCA"), has announced the formation of the Eight Belles Memorial Fund. Donations made in Eight Belles honor will go specifically toward retraining of Thoroughbreds for secondary careers and research into catastrophic breakdowns.
There were 417 races run on the flat in North America May 3, but only one captured the attention of the public. Normally that attention would be in celebration of the Kentucky Derby winner, but this year the attention came in the form of criticism due to the tragic catastrophic breakdown suffered by second-place finisher Eight Belles.
In the wake of two highly publicized catastrophic racetrack injuries since May 2006, questions and opinions regarding the safety of Thoroughbred racehorses have been generated and propagated by fans, the media, and animal rights groups.
Experts have reported that eastern tent caterpillars are now wandering and population levels are among the highest they've seen since the 2001, when Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome hit Central Kentucky particularly hard.
In the wake of the fatal injury sustained by filly Eight Belles in the May 3 Kentucky Derby, The Jockey Club has commissioned a seven-member Thoroughbred Safety Committee, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) board of directors has scheduled a special meeting May 9 to discuss a course of action.
Spring means vaccination time. In 2008, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Infectious Disease Committee released a revised online version of their "Guidelines for the Vaccination of Horses."
Pain originating in the upper cannon bone area, just below the knee or hock, is common in all types of equine athletes. However, it can be difficult to determine exactly what structure is injured; some injuries can only be seen with high-field MRI. At the 2007 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando, Fla., Matthew...
The airways of many breeds of horses, particularly Thoroughbreds, are evaluated via an endoscope and graded before sale. The intent is to identify horses whose airways might have problems that could limit the horses' performance at maximal exercise, so buyers can consider this in their purchasing decisions. At the 2007 American Association of Equine Pr...
Experts have reported that Eastern tent caterpillars are developing normally this spring and have just completed the egg hatch stage. Controlling the caterpillars is vital to area horse farms, as University of Kentucky research has strongly linked them with outbreaks of mare reproductive loss syndrome, which can cause late-term foal losses, early-term fetal losses, and weak foals.
Up to 86% of Australian Thoroughbred racehorses have been reported to have gastric ulcers. Many factors can contribute to ulcers, and researchers at Murdoch University set out to determine which ones were the most significant for this population.
Up to 86% of Australian Thoroughbred racehorses have been reported to have gastric ulcers. Many factors can contribute to ulcers, and researchers at Murdoch University set out to determine which ones were the most significant for this population. Guy Lester, BVMS, PhD, associate professor of large animal medicine at Murdoch University, presented the st...
Storm Cat, for years the No. 1 Thoroughbred stallion, has been experiencing difficulties impregnating his mares this breeding season at the Young's family's Overbrook Farm near Lexington. Fewer than half of the 31 mares that the 25-year-old stallion has covered are in foal.
"We've been dealing with his fertility, but as long as he's comfortable co...
Advancements in imaging technologies make diagnoses easier.
For decades veterinarians have relied upon a number of different imaging tools, from radiographs to ultrasonography, to diagnose lameness, pregnancy, and soft-tissue-related conditions. In recent years a host of advanced imaging modalities such as digital radiography, CT...
Although it's not a common injury, fracture of the scapula or shoulder blade does occur in horses and causes notable lameness. At the 2007 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in Orlando, Fla., Stuart Vallance, BVSc (Hons), of Shotter & Byers Equine Veterinary Services in Surrey, United Kingdom, presented a retrospect...
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has funded a research project to study threshold levels and withdrawal times of four approved anabolic steroids. But the timing of the study, which should be completed by August, could make it difficult for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to implement steroid regulations in the state by Jan. 1, 2009.
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) has funded a research project to study threshold levels and withdrawal times of four approved anabolic steroids. But the timing of the study, which should be completed by August, could make it difficult for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to implement steroid regulations in the state by Jan. 1, 2009....
Thoroughbred racehorses with obstructed respiratory tracts due to inflammation of the arytenoid cartilage or failed tiebacks treated via unilateral partial arytenoidectomy--a surgical technique that resolves the obstruction--are likely to return to racing within six months of the operation with few postoperative complications.
After the Louisiana Senate Commerce Committee struck down the Louisiana State Racing Commission's adoption of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium model rules for medication Feb. 11, the commission is yet to decide its next move.
A weekly feature found only on BloodHorseNOW.com, The "Inside Track" is dedicated to the people in Thoroughbred racing that may not always make the headlines, but nevertheless are vitally important to the sport.
It has been nearly 20 years since one of the most no...
The second Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, set for March 17-18 at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion, will feature wide-ranging discussions of critical equine health- and safety-related issues, including progress reports from the working committees established coming out of the original summit in October 2006.
Infertility is a major problem in some broodmares. A large incidence of infertility is seen in valuable, intensively bred mares such as racehorses and performance mares, and significant amounts of money and time are devoted to dealing with the problem.
There are many causes of infertility, but endometritis (inflammation of the endometrial lining of t...
A study led by Colorado State University and research partners will help to answer a long-debated question about health and performance effects of a drug commonly used to treat racehorses in the U.S. to prevent bleeding into their airways as they run (also known as
The proliferation of racehorse rescues and retirement programs means that thousands of retired Thoroughbred racehorses have been placed into new homes. Ensuring success in what comes next--the transition and retraining of Thoroughbreds by their new owners--is one of the primary missions of Wood End Farms, a nonprofit facility located north of Chicago t...
New South Wales racing was to return Sept. 22 to Sydney's Rosehill Gardens, with 12 races planned and more than 210 horses engaged. The morning of the meeting, that all changed. Horses at Warwick Farm, a track that had previously been clean of equine influenza, came down with the virus. Rosehill officials were forced to scrap the meeting, as many horses set to compete had been trained at Warwick.
Darley has decided to send one of the world's truly great stallions, Elusive Quality, to the New South Wales Hunter Valley's purple zone. The farm decided Sept. 21 which stallions to send home and which will remain in Australia to cover mares for the remainder of the crippled NSW breeding season.
Just when the newly created "purple zone" in Australia's New South Wales was to reinvigorate the beleaguered breeding season, the country's star stallion -- Redoute's Choice -- has been stricken with equine influenza.
Yet another massive setback to the breeding program in Australia' New South Wales occurred over the weekend, with another of the shuttlers locked up in quarantine testing positive for equine influenza.
American Thoroughbred breeders interested in supplying bred mares for the 2008 Australian spring sales should attend a meeting by William Inglis and Son, Australia's leading Thoroughbred sales agency, at the Keeneland Racecourse on Friday.
New York racing regulators July 31 adopted a series of new rules, including more restrictive prohibitions on betting by racetrack mutuel tellers and final action on a provision to combat "milkshaking" of horses.
"The board instituted a number of rules today that were designed (to) ensu...
The state veterinarian for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority mistakenly tossed out two split samples from two horses that had tested over the approved limit for the approved bleeder medication Salix. Because of the mistake, the investigation into the overages has been dropped.
It's common practice at some breeding farms--collecting the drippings from a stallion's penis after he breeds and dismounts a mare, evaluating the sample to confirm that ejaculation did occur, then placing the sample in the mare. Reinforcement breeding, as the last step of that procedure is called, was found to increase pregnancy rates by up to 11.7% in a...
The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium has completed a section of its Web site (www.rmtcnet.com) that enables licensed horsemen to look up guidelines for withdrawal times for approximately 75 therapeutic medications identified by the RMTC veterinary advisory committee.