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Vet J. 2008 Jan;175(1):76-81. Epub 2007 Jan 3.

Injuries in the event horse: training versus competition.

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Division of Equine Studies, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Neston, South Wirral, CH64 7TE, UK.


Two related studies on injuries sustained by event horses during competition and during training are reported. During the cross-country phase of competition, the most common injuries were lacerations and abrasions to the carpus and stifle. Superficial digital flexor tendonitis and exertional rhabdomyolysis were significantly more common during Cours Complete Internationale (CCI) competitions compared to one-day event (ODE) competitions. The difference in injury types at ODEs and CCI competitions probably relates to the increased athletic demands of the CCI and the closer veterinary observation at these competitions. The results of the training study indicate that 21% of horses intending to compete in a CCI did not start due to injury. Forty-three percent of these injuries involved soft tissue structures with injuries to the superficial digital flexor tendon and the suspensory ligament each accounting for 33%. The most important area for future research is investigation of the risk factors for these career-threatening soft tissue injuries.

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