Risk factors for equine fractures in Thoroughbred flat racing in North America

Georgopoulos, S. P. and Parkin, T. D.H. (2017) Risk factors for equine fractures in Thoroughbred flat racing in North America. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 139(Pt. B), pp. 99-104. (doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.12.006) (PMID:28017453)

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The aim of this paper is to identify risk factors associated with equine fractures in flat horse racing of Thoroughbreds in North America. Equine fractures were defined as any fracture sustained by a horse during a race. This was a cohort study that made use of all starts from the racecourses reporting injuries. The analysis was based on 2,201,152 racing starts that represent 91% of all official racing starts in the USA and Canada from 1 st January 2009–31 st December 2014. Approximately 3,990,000 workout starts made by the 171,523 Thoroughbreds that raced during that period were also included in the analysis. During this period the incidence of equine fractures was 2 per 1000 starts. The final multivariable logistic regression models identified risk factors significantly associated (p < 0.05) with equine fracture. For example, horses were found to have a 32% higher chance of sustaining a fracture when racing on a dirt surface compared to a synthetic surface; a 35% higher chance if they had sustained a previous injury during racing and a 47% higher chance was also found for stallions compared to mares and geldings. Furthermore, logistic regression models based on data available only from the period 2009–2013 were used to predict the probability of a Thoroughbred sustaining a fracture for 2014. The 5% of starts that had the highest score in our predictive models for 2014 were found to have 2.4 times (95% CI: 1.9–2.9) higher fracture prevalence than the mean fracture prevalence of 2014. The results of this study can be used to identify horses at higher risk on entering a race and could help inform the design and implementation of preventive measures aimed at minimising the number of Thoroughbreds sustaining fractures during racing in North America.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work is funded through an Industry Partnership PhD provided by The Jockey Club and the University of Glasgow.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Georgopoulos, Stamatis-Panagiotis and Parkin, Prof Timothy
Authors: Georgopoulos, S. P., and Parkin, T. D.H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Preventive Veterinary Medicine
ISSN (Online):1873-1716
Published Online:12 December 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine 139(pt. B):99-104
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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