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The racing industry - Opinions?

This is a discussion on The racing industry - Opinions? within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

     
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        11-17-2010, 10:46 AM
      #81
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WildJessie    
    I think the racing industry needs to look into caring more about the horses they are producing instead of just breeding willy nilly to see if there is a chance a good horse will come along.

    Just because the horse has a awesome pedigree with big name horses in it doesn't mean the horse will be as great as them.
    Agreed.

    Big Brown is one who springs to my mind. Impeccably bred, but that horse's feet are horrendous.

    The industry should be focused on breeding animals not just for speed, but for stamina, good bone, and healthy feet.

    I also believe if Barbaro had been held back another year or two, we wouldn't have seen that horrific break to his right hind.

    I stopped watching live racing the year Ruffian had her awful injury. I couldn't take watching a horse break down like that again on live TV.

    The last Triple Crown I watched was Secretariat's wins in 1973. I knew Affirmed was up to win it in 1978, but I couldn't make myself watch any of the races live.
         
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        11-17-2010, 11:44 AM
      #82
    Green Broke
    Alrighty then, seems we're mostly back on track (aren't I funny?). Time for some more research findings (from medical journals) that support some of the arguments we are making here. I realize we all have slightly different ideas but I feel we are mostly on the same page.

    Vets in Pennsylvania studied 2-year-old Thoroughbred racehorses to assess their susceptibility to fatigue injury of the third metacarpal bone (bucked shins). They found that there was a relationship between different gaits and speeds and the occurrence of bucked shins. Their recommendadtions? Focus more on regalular short distance breezing and not so much on long distance galloping. I.e. Don't work the babies so hard!!!

    AVMA - American Journal of Veterinary Research - 61(6):602 - Abstract

    Edited to add: I don't think two year olds should be raced at all don't get me wrong!

    More importantly, research in the UK analysed Musculoskeletal injuries (MSI) in found that the injuries are related to the training stable the horse is trained at and the tracks that they are run at. Supports my argument that there should be more hoops that you have to jump through to become and remain a trainer so that the horses safety and wellbeing is in good hands. Also makes a good argument for ensuring track surfaces are mainained with the horses health in mind, not beating the land speed record.

    Musculoskeletal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorse... [Vet J. 2010] - PubMed result

    So my point after yet another rant is this: If you have to start them so young, take it easy and don't give them an adult workload. Trainers should be more regulated. Tracks and training tracks should be better regulated so that the surface miminizes musculoskeletal injuries rather than being optimized for a quick run.
         
        11-17-2010, 12:17 PM
      #83
    Showing
    Absolutely agree, Sarah.

    Just because it's a money making industry doesn't mean they need to use up their babies and throw them away.

    It makes much more sense to take the time to bring them along slowly and then make more money from them later, since they can race longer and harder if they're given the correct training for their age.
         
        11-17-2010, 12:21 PM
      #84
    Banned
    ^^Agreed!
         
        11-17-2010, 01:54 PM
      #85
    Foal
    What about the synthetic track? Does that help the horses at all?
         
        11-17-2010, 02:04 PM
      #86
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
    Agreed.

    Big Brown is one who springs to my mind. Impeccably bred, but that horse's feet are horrendous.

    The industry should be focused on breeding animals not just for speed, but for stamina, good bone, and healthy feet.

    I also believe if Barbaro had been held back another year or two, we wouldn't have seen that horrific break to his right hind.

    I stopped watching live racing the year Ruffian had her awful injury. I couldn't take watching a horse break down like that again on live TV.

    The last Triple Crown I watched was Secretariat's wins in 1973. I knew Affirmed was up to win it in 1978, but I couldn't make myself watch any of the races live.
    I only watch the Triple Crown races and Breeder's cup. I saw Eight Belles get put down, I had to leave the room. I cried that night too. She was rather big for a filly wasn't she? Also I heard they put her on steroids.

    I think they also don't need the horses on steroids unless medically necessary.
         
        11-17-2010, 05:05 PM
      #87
    Banned
    One of the things that ethical trainers struggle with in getting two year olds to the track is when they're old enough or physically mature enough to breeze.

    One trainer I knew would xray knees to determine when the growth plates closed and wouldn't breeze before then. Another swam and jogged his babies once they were broken rather than gallop the traditional mile to mile and half; and didn't start serious conditioning, let alone breezing until the growth plates were closed.

    I would love to see a program at the track where you couldn't work from the gate or work on the rail in the mornings without a vet exam certifying the horse's growth plates were closed. This would also reduce the incidence of bucked shins, because by the time the growth plates closed, the periosteum would be more mature as well and less prone to microfractures. (That's what bucked shins are, microfractures of the periosteum on anterior surface of the canon bone, caused by flexion of bone, which is caused by working babies with still soft bone on hard surfaces)

    Another under-acknowledged cause of breakdowns in race horses is yearling sales. HUH? I hear you say. Yearling sales cause breakdowns? Indirectly, yes. Horses destined for yearling sales are hot housed and feed lots of calorie dense food, because bidders like fat, shiny, slick yearlings rather than a normal looking yearling - gawky, ribby and scruffy. This contributes to ephiphysitis and OCD (osteochrondosis dessicans, not obssesive compulsive disorder) which leads to lots and lots of joint problems once the horse is in work.
         
        11-17-2010, 09:12 PM
      #88
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    Another under-acknowledged cause of breakdowns in race horses is yearling sales. HUH? I hear you say. Yearling sales cause breakdowns? Indirectly, yes. Horses destined for yearling sales are hot housed and feed lots of calorie dense food, because bidders like fat, shiny, slick yearlings rather than a normal looking yearling - gawky, ribby and scruffy. This contributes to ephiphysitis and OCD (osteochrondosis dessicans, not obssesive compulsive disorder) which leads to lots and lots of joint problems once the horse is in work.
    Another great point Maura and I completely agree. Having prepared yearlings for the bloodstock sales before it is truly ridiculous how early they develop, no matter how gorgeous they might look.

    Here is a good example, this is the first foal from Makybe Diva (my personal favourite racehorse BTW) when he was sold at the yearling sales a couple of years ago. Look like a yearling to you? Nup, not me either, he looks like a three year old.

    Galileo.jpg
         
        11-18-2010, 04:17 PM
      #89
    Banned
    I think there are two many flaws in the racing industry that make it hard for me to enjoy the sport.
    1. They start the horses to young to fast, maybe if they took there time training it would cut down on the number of injuried horses?!?!? Rushing a horse through training just to see if its a winner is just plain dumb, but I understand they're just trying to make money.
    2. I think they just breed and breed thinking that eventually they will end up with a winner without thinking about whats going to happen to all these horses who don't have homes because they sucked at racing?!? I'm just saying they should be more responsible about breeding. Plus weather or not the horse is going to be a fast isn't all about breeding.
    3. I've heard of things such as pin firing and nerving. Not sure how often it is done or even at all but things like this make me wonder why go through all of this just to put the horse through more pain after a tendon injury why not just retire the horse?
    4. I feel like sometimes all they train the horse to do is to run on a track, would cross training them in another discipline maybe be beneficial to the horse. And possible be easier to place the horse in a home after retirement?!?

    Just some thoughts
         

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