Study: Most Racehorse Injuries in Britain are Minor

Findings from a recent study show that 70% of injuries recorded over a 14-year period were minor and not career-ending.
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Study: Most Racehorse Injuries in Britain are Minor
Findings from a recent study show that 70% of injuries recorded over a 14-year period were minor and not career-ending. | Photo: Stephanie L. Church/The Horse
There’s good news for Thoroughbred flat racing in Great Britain: Findings from a recent study show that 70% of injuries recorded over a 14-year period were minor and not career-ending.

Soft tissue injuries (including wounds and lacerations), respiratory conditions, and gait abnormalities were the most commonly reported incidences. Most horses with respiratory conditions had epistaxis (blood at the nostrils), and gait abnormalities primarily included horses reported as lame, moving poorly, or being stiff, but without identifying a specific cause.

“It was not surprising to find that most veterinary events reported on race day are relatively minor and not career-ending, which is obviously a good thing,” said Sarah Rosanowski, PhD, PGDipVCS, BSC, a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Veterinary College in London, United Kingdom.

“The fatality rate in Great Britain (0.76 per 1,000 starts) is relatively low and compares favorably to fatality rates in flat racing in other countries,” she said. However, while this figure is low, it has remained relatively stable rather than declining over the past decade

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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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