Retrospective evaluation of all recorded horse race starts in Switzerland during a four-year period focusing on discipline specific risk factors for clinical events

Schweizer, Charlotte; Ramseyer, Alessandra; Gerber, Vinzenz; Christen, Garance Anne; Burger, Dominik; Remy, Franziska (2015). Retrospective evaluation of all recorded horse race starts in Switzerland during a four-year period focusing on discipline specific risk factors for clinical events. Equine veterinary journal, 48(6), n/a-n/a. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/evj.12515

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REASONS FOR PERFORMING THE STUDY: Racetrack injuries are of welfare concern and prevention of injuries is an important goal in many racing jurisdictions. Over the years this has led to more detailed recording of clinical events on racecourses. However, risk factor analyses of clinical events at race meetings have never been reported for Switzerland OBJECTIVE: To identify discipline-specific factors that influence the occurrence of clinical events during race meetings with the ultimate aim to improve the monitoring and safety on racetracks in Switzerland and optimise racehorse welfare. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study of horse race data collected by the Swiss horse racing association. METHODS: All race starts (n = 17,670, including 6,198 flat, 1,257 obstacle and 10,215 trot race starts) recorded over a period of four years (2009-2012) were analysed in multivariable mixed effect logistic regression models including horse and racecourse related data. The models were designed to identify discipline specific factors influencing the occurrence of clinical events on racecourses in Switzerland. RESULTS: Factors influencing the risk of clinical events during races were different for each discipline. The risk of a clinical event in trot racing was lower for racing on a Porphyre-sand track than on grass tracks. Horses whose driver was also their trainer had an approximately two times higher risk for clinical events. In obstacle races, longer distances (2401-3300 m and 3301-5400 m respectively) had a protective effect compared to racing over shorter distances. In flat racing, five racecourses reported significantly less clinical events. In all three disciplines, finishing 8th place or later was associated with clinical events. CONCLUSIONS: Changes in management that aim to improve the safety and welfare of racehorses, such as racetrack adaptations, need to be individualised for each discipline.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Equine Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)

UniBE Contributor:

Schweizer, Charlotte; Ramseyer, Alessandra; Gerber, Vinzenz; Christen, Garance Anne; Burger, Dominik and Remy, Franziska

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0425-1644

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Andrea Gassmann-Suter

Date Deposited:

23 Feb 2016 16:26

Last Modified:

16 Oct 2016 01:59

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/evj.12515

PubMed ID:

26408411

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.75822

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/75822

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