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Vet Rec. 1999 Oct 23;145(17):487-93.

Impact of injuries and disease on a cohort of two- and three-year-old thoroughbreds in training.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University Veterinary Centre (Camden), NSW, Australia.


A prospective study of injuries and disease in a cohort of Australian thoroughbreds in training was conducted with the participation of 24 trainers. From the horses catalogued at a major yearling sale in 1995, 169 were enrolled in the study and followed through their two- and three-year-old racing seasons. The principal aim was to quantify the time lost in training as a result of the various categories of injuries and disease, recorded as either days of modified training, or weeks rested at pasture. Shin soreness was the most common condition in two-year-olds (affecting 42 per cent of the horses that had entered training), followed by fetlock problems (25 per cent), and coughs and nasal discharge (16 per cent). Lameness, excluding lacerations and traumatic injuries, was the most common reason for lost training days (56.2 per cent of total days modified) and for resting horses at pasture (81.2 per cent of total weeks rested for injury or disease). Of the individual categories of injury or disease, lacerations and traumatic injuries, coughs and nasal discharge, shin soreness, carpal problems and fetlock problems were the most important causes of modified training days. In terms of weeks rested at pasture, fetlock problems, shin soreness, carpal problems, and coughs and nasal discharge had the greatest impact. Major injury was uncommon in young horses in training, but there was a high incidence of relatively low-grade injuries and disease during the training of two-year-olds.

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