Risk factors associated with fatal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses competing in flat racing in the United States and Canada

Georgopoulos, S.-P. and Parkin, T. D.H. (2016) Risk factors associated with fatal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses competing in flat racing in the United States and Canada. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 249(8), pp. 931-939. (doi:10.2460/javma.249.8.931) (PMID:27700272)

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Abstract

Objective: To identify risk factors associated with fatal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses in the United States and Canada. Design: Retrospective study. Animals: 1,891,483 race starts by 154,527 Thoroughbred racehorses at 89 racetracks in the United States and Canada from 2009 to 2013. Procedures: Data were extracted from the Equine Injury Database, which contained information for 93.9% of all official flat racing events in the United States and Canada during the 5-year observation period. Forty-four possible risk factors were evaluated by univariate then multivariable logistic regression to identify those that were significantly associated with fatal injury (death or euthanasia of a horse within 3 days after sustaining an injury during a race). Results: 3,572 race starts ended with a fatal injury, resulting in a period incidence rate of 1.9 fatal injuries/1,000 race starts. Twenty-two risk factors were significantly associated with fatal injury. Risk of fatal injury was greater for stallions than for mares and geldings and increased as the number of previous nonfatal injuries and race withdrawals and level of competitiveness (eg, horse's winning percentage and race purse) of the horse or race increased. Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results identified several risk factors associated with fatal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses. This information can be used as a guideline for the identification of racehorses at high risk of sustaining a fatal injury and in the design and implementation of preventative measures to minimize the number of fatal injuries sustained by horses competing in flat racing in the United States and Canada.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Georgopoulos, Stamatis-Panagiotis and Parkin, Professor 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:Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Publisher:American Veterinary Medical Association
ISSN:0003-1488
ISSN (Online):1943-569X

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