Three Chimneys presents Good News Friday: Injury Research Pays Dividends

by | 11.22.2013 | 1:12pm
This device in the UC-Davis lab is used to simulate the limb motion of racehorses

Thoroughbred injuries are clearly an ongoing and major concern for the sport of racing. Scientists around the world have been studying the issue for decades, and in recent years, have seen significant progress towards a better understanding of why certain injuries occur and what can be done to prevent many of them.

At the University of California-Davis, the Center for Equine Health has been on the cutting edge of this research, led by innovative thinkers like Dr. Sue Stover. Many of the Center's findings have resulted in greater awareness and changes in the racing industry. During our recent Breeders' Cup or Bust trip, we highlighted organizations such as the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation that provide funding to programs like UC-Davis.  We visited Stover and her team to get a glimpse of the work they're doing on racing surfaces, shoeing, limb motion, and other aspects of racehorse health.

Paulick Report Editor-in-Chief Scott Jagow shares some of the things we learned in this video edition of Three Chimneys presents Good News Friday.

  • WelbourneStud

    Critical statistic from that report was that 90% of major injuries are a result of a pre-existing injury. Dr. Stover has contributed so much to the advancement of safety in horse racing. I was citing to her research articles 25 years ago. She deserves an Eclipse Award of Merit.

    • Beach

      Full agreement that that was the money sentence. Very valuable work–many thanks and kudos to Dr. Stover and her team…

  • princessspiro

    Very interesting article, perhaps if they discover the surface that is most effective and safe, whatever the compounds actually are, including maybe a “synthetic dirt”? the surface can then be installed uniformly at all tracks. Therefore it would alter the influence of track biases and perhaps make entering horses to a variety of different tracks across the country a more desirable and beneficial event. Am I being naive again?

    • nu-fan

      Are you being naïve? No. You are asking reasonable questions. I’ve also often wondered why aren’t all tracks of the same surface? I would assume, however, there are other variables that go into the type of surface and there might not be a one-size-fits-all answer to this.

      • princessspiro

        Thank you for your comment, I would think that the composition of dirt for dirt tracks is different in each state as well as grass, i presume. Which is why i posed the question that if an amazing vet like Dr Stover can design the safest surface then it would give uniformity to tracks and reduce injuries both during workouts and races, since i am presuming any pre-existing injuries occur during one or the other. (This is aside from any drug factor and just regarding surfaces) I like your idea of offering lectures to the general public and by extension prospective owners. Share the knowledge.

  • nu-fan

    I have had the need, in the past, to consult with vets at UC Davis. (And, my own private vets are all graduates of that school.) They amaze me. So many specialists and, always, with the best interests, obviously, of the animals. I wonder if they offer lectures to the general public? It would be interesting to hear about some of their research (such as in this RP article) as well as a great opportunity for local vets and the public to have a question-and-answer period with them.

    • AngelaFromAbilene

      UC Davis does absolutely amazing work. Last year, they released a study on what may indeed end up being a vaccination for laminitis. I know Tx A&M does seminars at our County Extension offices. It might be worth a phone call to your CEO to see if they offer them. Also, most of their studies and research reports can usually be found online. Granted, a Q&A is always better than reading a report but I still find the reports extremely informative and quite helpful.

  • Grayson-Jockey Club Research

    Thanks so much for recognizing Dr. Sue Stover. Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is proud to have provided funding for the research you highlighted as well as other projects over the years, including the pivotal work on high front toe grabs. Dr. Stover is one of the prime examples of the brilliance that is so prevalent in the equine research community, and her contributions to the horse have been profound. She also is an excellent teacher. I have seen her address the Track Superintendents Field Day, and those guys hang on her every word. .
    Ed Bowen
    Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

  • Mimi Hunter

    I’d like to see them contact U of Washington about those modified MRI’s that can pin point previous and current stress points. The joint research would be awesome.

  • Thank you Scott for bringing this info and Sue Stover into the limelight! A hard working, extremely dedicated and most valuable member of the horse industry! Thanks to Grayson-Jockey Club for their many important contributions as well! Keep ’em comin’ cuz we love to read and learn all we can about our industry!

  • MrKnowItAll58

    How about just preventing the problems altogether, instead of just the diagnosis, treatment, and control? Cause there is very little fame and fortune in solutions. Research is geared to “answers”. This provides a steady stream of money and gives the illusion of diligence to “finding” the cause!

    My bad…… is just ignorance and the Equine Industry really does NOT have a clue to what is going on!

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