Tevis Cup Offers Field Research Opportunities

This year researchers will be collecting blood to evaluate the horses’ total protein, chloride, and potassium levels.
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The 2015 Tevis Cup will commence tomorrow (Aug. 1) at 5:15 a.m., local times, when more than 200 horses and riders will depart the Robie Equestrian Park near Lake Tahoe, California, on a 100 mile journey.

This year’s renewal of the ride also marks the fourth year that Langdon Fielding, DVM, Dipl. ACVECC; Gary Magdesian, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC, ACVCP; and Greg Fellers, DVM, will oversee a field blood draw 36 miles into the course at Robinson Flat, the site of a mandatory one-hour rest period.

“We hope to duplicate the nearly 100% participation of last year in order to substantiate and expand this physiological data base,” said Fellers. “Every year we collect more data, it becomes more meaningful.”

Researchers will be looking at horses’ total protein, chloride, and potassium levels (adjusted for dehydration) to learn more about their well-being when competing at high levels. By analyzing the data and comparing it to the success and failure of specific competitors, the researchers hope to develop a scientific tool to supplement the physical exam and aid ride control veterinarians in the protection and treatment of equine athletes

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Marsha Hayes has been covering endurance, trail, and other equine topics since 2005. She believes every horse has a story.

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