The epidemiology of thoroughbred racehorse injuries

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54 Scopus citations


Musculoskeletal injuries have a huge, adverse effect on the Thoroughbred racehorse industry. Although fatal musculoskeletal injuries have a low prevalence, many lameness conditions have a high prevalence. Many of the common lameness conditions in racehorses occur over weeks to months, giving ample time to intervene. Injuries may be prevented by including management practices to minimize low hoof heel angle, incorporation of more frequent, shorter high speed works or races in exercise regimes, avoiding excessive accumulation of high speed distances over short periods of time, recognizing and rehabilitating horses with mild injuries and avoiding the use of high toe grabs. It appears important to achieve uniformity of racing surfaces and for the spectrum of environmental conditions "seen" by the horse's musculoskeletal system. Key to tracking the prevalence of injuries and the success (or lack of success) of interventions is a comprehensive method to manage racehorse inventory, horse location, and horse movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-322
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Techniques in Equine Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Fatal musculoskeletal injury
  • Musculoskeletal injury
  • Racehorses
  • Stress fractures
  • Suspensory apparatus injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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