CBA Striving to Educate Buyers About Endoscopic Evaluations

The Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA), which was formed in Central Kentucky earlier this year, has published a 20-page pamphlet about the pre-sale endoscopic evaluation of the throats of horses offered at public auction.

The organization gave copies of "Vet Work: Plain & Simple, What Is Scoping?" to its members to distribute at their barns during the Keeneland September yearling sale, which began Sept. 12 in Lexington.

Bayne Welker Jr., of the CBA, said the pamphlets would be available at the front of the Keeneland sale pavilion during the September auction, and he also planned to give them out during a Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association auction seminar that was scheduled for Sept. 16 at Keeneland.

Welker is one of the 15 members of the CBA's organizing committee. The organization, which has more than 100 members, spent approximately $15,000 to create the pamphlet and print around 5,000 copies, according to Welker.

Written by Kentucky journalist and bloodstock agent Frank Mitchell, it is illustrated with humorous cartoons. It addresses such topics as the reason for endoscopic evaluations, the characteristics of a normal equine throat, and the importance of getting second opinions from veterinarians about throats.

Included in the publication are the results of a study about the correlation of racing performance to yearling endoscopic evaluation that was conducted by veterinarians Scott Pierce and Rolf Embertson of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington. Ten other veterinarians contributed information to the pamphlet.

"It's part of the education initiative of the CBA," Welker said. "We're definitely going to have an ongoing series (of publications) addressing various veterinary and sale issues. In all probability, the next one will be about conformation surgeries, and we hope to have it out by January (of 2006). We also hope to partner up with sale companies, so that maybe they'll be willing to send them (the pamphlets) out to buyers using their mailing lists. We also will post the information on our Web site."

The CBA started its education efforts with the endoscpic evaluation issue because "we felt that it was the hottest topic we had to deal with at the yearling sales," Welker said. "It's a very subjective science. I think we've all had horses that scoped fine when they first came to a sale, but then, all of sudden, they didn't, whether it was because they were tired or it was a different part of the day."

According to Welker, the respomse of buyers to the pamphlet has been positive.

"At first people say, 'What is this?' Once they've read it, they come back and say, 'This is really good,'" he said.

In other news, the CBA, which met on Sept. 9 in Lexington, has formed a subcommittee that is exploring the feasibility of a futurity race for horses sold and bred by the organization's members.