Bramlage: Trip Not World Cup Fatigue Cause

Long trip to Middle East not the problem for competing horses from U.S.

When Captain Steve, Curlin , Silver Charm, and Street Cry scored their respective victories in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March, they didn’t race again for two months or so. Well Armed, this year’s World Cup winner, didn’t return to competition after his spring triumph until August.

The break many horses receive after traveling to Dubai is much needed, according to well-known equine surgeon Larry Bramlage. But it’s not because the journey to the Middle East is so long and grueling. Instead, Dr. Bramlage explained, it’s because of the extended period of training and competition prior to the World Cup.

 “It’s not the trip at all; it’s the wear and tear,” said Bramlage during the American Association Equine Practitioners’ 55th annual convention Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas. “They’ve been campaigning hard the year before and to get there, they can’t take a break over the (Christmas) holidays like a lot of horses do. They have to be training for the World Cup right at the time it’s the most convenient on the U.S. racing calendar to give many horses a break. They have to stay at a peak all that time, and it’s tough for a horse to stay at the peak for more than a year.”