Evaluation of catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries in Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses at three Midwestern racetracks

Thumbnail Image
Supplemental Files
Beisser, Andrea
McClure, Scott
Soring, Keith
Garrison, Rudy
Peckham, Bryce
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Veterinary Clinical Sciences
The mission of the Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department and the Veterinary Medical Center is to be strong academically, to provide outstanding services, and to conduct research in the multiple areas of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Our goals are to teach students in the multiple disciplines of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, to provide excellent veterinary services to clients, and to generate and disseminate new knowledge in the areas of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. Our objectives are to provide a curriculum in the various aspects of Veterinary Clinical Sciences which ensures students acquire the skills and knowledge to be successful in their chosen careers. We also strive to maintain a caseload of sufficient size and diversity which insures a broad clinical experience for students, residents, and faculty. In addition, we aim to provide clinical veterinary services of the highest standards to animal owners and to referring veterinarians. And finally, we strive to provide an environment and opportunities which foster and encourage the generation and dissemination of new knowledge in many of the disciplines of Veterinary Clinical Sciences.
Organizational Unit
As leaders in statistical research, collaboration, and education, the Department of Statistics at Iowa State University offers students an education like no other. We are committed to our mission of developing and applying statistical methods, and proud of our award-winning students and faculty.
Organizational Unit
Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
The mission of VDPAM is to educate current and future food animal veterinarians, population medicine scientists and stakeholders by increasing our understanding of issues that impact the health, productivity and well-being of food and fiber producing animals; developing innovative solutions for animal health and food safety; and providing the highest quality, most comprehensive clinical practice and diagnostic services. Our department is made up of highly trained specialists who span a wide range of veterinary disciplines and species interests. We have faculty of all ranks with expertise in diagnostics, medicine, surgery, pathology, microbiology, epidemiology, public health, and production medicine. Most have earned certification from specialty boards. Dozens of additional scientists and laboratory technicians support the research and service components of our department.
Journal Issue
Is Version Of

Objective—To determine the incidence of and compare the types of catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries (CMIs) sustained in Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses during racing at 3 Midwestern racetracks from 2000 to 2006.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—139 Thoroughbred and 50 Quarter Horse racehorses euthanized because of CMIs.

Procedures—Veterinary officials from 3 Midwestern racing jurisdictions provided injury reports for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses that sustained CMIs (which required euthanasia) and the total number of race starts for each year. The number of CMIs/1,000 starts was determined for each racetrack. Past performance reports for each horse with a CMI were evaluated.

Results—The total number of race starts (both breeds) at the 3 racetracks from 2000 through 2006 was 129,460, with an overall incidence of 1.46 CMIs/1,000 race starts. Incidences of CMIs among racetracks were similar. Of horses that sustained a CMI, the median age of Thoroughbreds at first race was 3 years, compared with a median age of 2 years for Quarter Horses. A larger proportion of Thoroughbreds sustained a CMI in a claiming race than did Quarter Horses, and a larger proportion of Quarter Horses sustained a CMI in a futurity trial than did Thoroughbreds. The most common site for CMIs in Thoroughbreds was the left forelimb (69/124 [55.6%]), whereas most CMIs in Quarter Horses involved the right forelimb (18/30 [60.0%]).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Differences identified between CMIs in Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racehorses should allow veterinarians to focus on horses and anatomic regions of greatest risk of CMI during racing.


This article is from Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 239 (2011): 1236, doi: 10.2460/javma.239.9.1236. Posted with permission.

Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011