Catastrophic Injuries in Racing Quarter Horses Studied

More than 56% of injuries occurred in the right forelimb, the opposite of what’s most commonly seen in Thoroughbreds.
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Thoroughbreds demand much of the spotlight when it comes to racing, but they’re not the only ones that compete on racetracks, And researchers recently turned their attention to Quarter Horses to gain a better understanding of the frequency of and risk factors associated with catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries in these animals.

Scott McClure, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, associate professor of equine surgery at Iowa State University, and colleagues studied 67 catastrophic musculoskeletal injures (CMIs) that occurred at two Midwestern racetracks between 2000 and 2011.

The team found that 56.7% of the CMI injuries occurred in the right forelimb, the opposite of what is most commonly seen in Thoroughbreds.

“We (also) followed the lead limb, and almost 70% of the horses in this study were on the right lead when failure occurred,” McClure said, adding that this serves as a reminder for regulatory veterinarians dealing with multiple racing breeds to closely evaluate Quarter Horses’ right forelimbs

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Written by:

Katie Navarra has worked as a freelance writer since 2001. A lifelong horse lover, she owns and enjoys competing a dun Quarter Horse mare.

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