Risk Factors in training young racehorses
Dr CW Rogers and his team at Massey University in New Zealand have published another interesting paper on the risk factors in training a thoroughbred up to its first public appearance on a racetrack (in their case a registered 2YO Trial).
The study highlighted horse and training risk factors associated with two types of interruptions occurring during training - voluntary and musculoskeletal. 85.8% of the interruptions were voluntary interruptions, indicating that the trainer felt that the horse needed more time to adapt to the training regime while 14.2% were due to actual musculoskeletal injury.
Identification of modifiable risk factors may help to reduce the proportion of horses experiencing an interruption before the first trial start, reducing the number of lost training days and the associated cost. Interestingly there was no association with high speed work (works of 15, 13, and <12 seconds/furlong) and either voluntary interruptions or interruptions due to musculoskeletal injury indicating that horses did not necessarily to go to the sidelines as young horses because of high speed work.