The horse racing magazines for the training and development of the thoroughbred racehorse
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America - Nov 2014 - Jan 2015
Published Oct 23rd 2014
The use and efficacy of tongue-ties has spawned much debate, and in 2009, veterinarians at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, led by Safia Barakzai conducted extensive research, which was published in the Equine Veterinary Journal, to evaluate the use of tongue-ties on racing performance in Thoroughbred racehorses.
Timing is everything. Nowhere is this more relevant than when preparing an elite equine athlete for a race. Thoroughbred trainers are critically aware of the importance of fine-tuning the feeding and exercise regimes of their charges in the months, weeks and days before a big event. Timing is also critical for the smooth functioning of a horse’s musculoskeletal system for optimal performance.
When a horse runs badly, lameness or respiratory disease tends to immediately spring to mind, and indeed these are the most common causes—in that order. The heart comes in third, albeit quite a way behind these other body systems. If sudden death occurs in an equine athlete, a heart problem is usually the first thing that’s suspected. A new study, published in The Equine Veterinary Journal, provides significant insights on the cardiac rhythm abnormalities that can develop during and after racing in Standardbreds.
The horseracing industry is battling for its life, and the key point of contention is medication—not just a push for uniform medication rules, but a movement to eliminate all race-day drugs. Two years after the Breeders' Cup banned anti-bleeding medication for its juvenile races, Gulfstream Park in Florida has announced its intention to offer Lasix-free races for 2015, and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is considering doing the same for its tracks. North America is the only region of the world that allows race-day medication.
If backstretch workers encounter conditions they can’t tolerate, they have an option of walking away. Horses don’t have that luxury. Whether a racetrack’s backstretch is horse-friendly or grossly indifferent, the horse remains. He relies on his trainer and his trainer’s staff to act in his best interest.
Plot: An ambitious two-pronged plan is hatched by some guys in Hong Kong, to take a local horse from Sha Tin Racecourse to the United States with the aim of winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on dirt in early November. First, though, they'll prep in a Grade 1 race on dirt at Santa Anita in California in early October as a practice run for the main event.
Europe - Oct - Dec 2014
Published September 30th 2014
Functionally adapted for speed and efficient use of energy, the thoroughbred foot is thin-walled and light compared to other breeds. This adaptation for speed renders the hoof more susceptible to hoof capsule distortions, or shape changes that interfere with the normal function of the foot, which are: support, traction, shock dissipation, and proprioception.
The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has invested over £7 million to protect racing and ensure horse welfare by disease surveillance and research on prevention of equine infections over the last decade. Infection with bacteria is one of the important causes. One bug in particular that can be found in many cases is Streptococcus zooepidemicus.
Tongue-ties (strips of material passed through the horse's mouth over the tongue and tied under the jaw) have been used for generations on racehorses worldwide as a method for the rider to retain control if his horse is prone to manoeuvering it's tongue over the bit. The use and efficacy of tongue-ties has spawned much debate and the Equine Veterinary Journal published reports in 2009 and 2013 evaluating use on racing performance and airway stability in thoroughbred racehorses.
When a horse runs badly, after lameness and respiratory disease have been ruled out, the heart is usually the next suspect. A new study, published in the Equine Veterinary Journal, provides significant insights into cardiac rhythm abnormalities that can develop during and after racing in standardbreds.
Everyone wants to see a good covering of grass on a racecourse but the watering of tracks is a highly contentious issue, even though it's essential for growth. With opinion split as to whether natural firm summer ground should prevail or artificial watering should be employed, the final word comes down to the Racecourse Manager, the Clerk of the Course and their highly skilled team of groundsmen.
While several texts are available on equine orthopaedics and sports medicine, information relating to the racehorse - taking into account the practicalities of management peculiar to the racing industry - is often fragmented and contradictory. A new and hugely useful, if not indispensable, book by leading equine veterinary practitioner Pieter H L Ramzan, BVsc(Sydney), MRCVS provides a practical source of accessible information for the clinician, trainer and owner.
One of the hardest things about being a jockey is the constant split second decisions that have to be made. It’s part of what makes the game what it is but I can pretty much guarantee that the overwhelming majority of my decisions and those of my colleagues are made with the intention of winning or at least finishing closer in every race.