Study: 50% of Barrel Racing Horses Could Experience EIPH

At this time there’s no evidence that EIPH affects barrel racing horses’ performance, but more research on the topic is needed, scientists say.
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At this time there’s no evidence that EIPH affects barrel racing horses’ performance, but more research on the topic is needed, Gold said. | Photo: cjuneau/Wikimedia Commons

More than 50% of barrel horses could be suffering from exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), a condition that has been widely researched in racehorses, but less well-understood in horses participating in other disciplines. And, researchers said, unless bleeding is seen from the nose or mouth after running, it’s likely that owners, trainers, and veterinarians don’t know it’s occurring.

Researchers recently took a closer look at 149 barrel racing horses entered at events in Washington, Idaho, and Montana, but their findings are likely applicable to barrel racers across the country.

“I don’t think horses in the Pacific Northwest are at a higher risk for EIPH than any other barrel racing horses in the United States,” said Jenifer R. Gold, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC, a clinical associate professor at Washington State University, in Pullman. “I believe EIPH occurs in barrel racing horses regardless of where they live and race

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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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