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Can J Vet Res. 1986 Oct;50(4):449-56.

Career profile of the Canadian Standardbred. I. Influence of age, gait and sex upon chances of racing.


The objective of the present investigation was to provide demographic information regarding the career profile of the average Canadian Standardbred racehorse for application in undergraduate teaching and clinical decision-making. The study population of 762 horses was selected at random from the 1972 registrations of the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society. Sex, birthdate, and province of origin were recorded. Records of racing performance were summarized to provide annual statistics for number of races, money won, race times, and months raced over a ten year period from 1974 to 1983 inclusive. Results were analyzed to determine chances of racing, and the effect of sex, gait, and year of first race upon career duration. Of the 762 horses studied, 507 (66.5%) raced. Mean age at the time of the first race was 3.4 +/- 0.5 years (mean +/- SEM), mean career duration 4.1 +/- 0.1 years. Only 84 horses started racing at two years of age, the majority starting at three and four. Sex had a significant effect upon chances of racing, females having less chance than males or geldings. Females similarly had much shorter careers. As age at the time of the first race increased so did the rate of loss of horses from active competition (attrition rate). The difference between successive years was significant (p less than 0.01). Attrition rates were lower for trotters than for pacers, while geldings showed a significantly lower rate than either males or females (p less than 0.05). Relatively few of those horses for which year of first race was delayed beyond 1974 had been entered in qualifying races in previous years.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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