Page 1

ISSUE 66 – JULY-SEPTEMBER 2019 £6.95 www.trainermagazine.com

THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE FOR THE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE THOROUGHBRED

KEVIN PRENDERGAST

The legendary octogenarian Irish trainer in profile

GOOD GOING

Are ground descriptions accurate across Europe?

HAS HORSES’ FEED CHANGED? Thoroughbred nutrition past and present

CONFORMATION How a horse’s conformation affects their running style


CONTROLLED OR NOT ? ALL OCCURS DURING EFFORT

www.twydil.com

Efficacy proven by science, no side effects, no doping risk

TWYDIL速 STOMACARE

If your horse complains when tightening its girth, paws the ground during meals, yawns quite often, shows difficulty for cantering, consider a possible stomach problem. In that case TWYDIL速 STOMACARE helps to carry on with a normal training. The beneficial effect is felt from the first administration. The right time of administration is important because the stomach wall aggression takes place during training. Therefore, give TWYDIL速 STOMACARE 15 to 20 minutes before workout. - Each batch is officially certified by the LCH (following controls on final product, urine and blood) - Declared content guaranteed until expiry date

TWYDIL速 is used by most of the key professionals in the world for over 50 years. PAVESCO AG Head Office CH-4010 Basel, Switzerland Tel. +41 61 272 23 72 Fax +41 61 272 23 88U

PAVESCO U.K. LTD. 116, High Road Needham, Harleston, Norfolk IP20 9LG Tel. 01379-85 28 85 Fax 01379-85 41 78

e-mail: info@twydil.com


| OPINION |

GILES AN DERSON PUBLISHER’S OPINION

evin Prendergast has been training racehorses for the last 56 years. By my simple reckoning, there must only be a handful of octogenarians with a training licence, not only in Europe but also around the world. Spending time in his company was, according to Lissa Oliver, a fascinating but refreshing experience. He took time to catch up on many of his career highlights and also to share his frank opinions on the differences between training today and when he first set out as a trainer back in 1963. But even by the time he set up his operation, he had already seen racing from the other side of the world when based in the country of his birth, Australia, back in the late 1940s. I get the impression that the techniques he learned there will have proven to be the cornerstone of his methodology. But like all great horsemen, the foundation to his career can probably be summed up in this key sentence, “just keep them healthy and happy”. Fast forward to today and the man who has been responsible for eight Irish classic winners over his career, has the very talented Madhmoon on his hands. Fourth in the 2000 Guineas and then second in The Derby, this is one colt who could yet emulate a previous occupant of Friarstown Stables, Awtaad, and give his handler success at the highest level this season. Quite what Prendergast will make of all the technical changes in the practice of racehorse training, I don’t know. But as technology advances, so does its role in the training of racehorses. We’ve covered the advances in methodology in two different ways in this issue. By not only looking at some of the ‘raw’ technical products which are now available to trainers across Europe, but we also take an interesting look at the way the horse feeds have developed and changed over time. Before we know it, the yearling crop of 2018 will soon be on offer at public auction. So in this issue, I am running in an article which I first published in North American Trainer that looks at how a horse's conformation can affect their running style. It’s a truly fascinating piece which examines the differences thrown up by three different horses and should make for interesting reading ahead of this sales season. Being the summer time, I couldn’t but help include an article on the different ground descriptions and ask if different ground descriptions are accurate across Europe. The ground description is something which so many trainers rely on and in the days of increased awareness of equine welfare; it’s something of a bug bear to many trainers that they can be facing fines should they withdraw horses on the basis of acting in the horse’s best welfare. Finally, in our last issue we ran an article which looked at VAT and tax-deductible expenditure across Europe. In the accompanying table we stated that in Germany ‘withholding tax’ is deducted at 25%. In fact, the rate is indeed 15.1%. Wherever your racing takes you this summer - good luck!

K

NEW

RACING LIGHT CUBES TICKS ALL THE BOXES FOR HELPING MAINTAIN CONDITION & A LEVEL HEAD 9.5% starch For those on the ‘easy list’ or in pre-training Especially for those prone to excitability - Non-heating - Quality protein

- With superfibres - Antioxidants

CONTACTS: Export Manager, Mark Buchan - +44 (0)7711 701 565 Director of Nutrition, Liz Bulbrook - 07850 368 271 Racing Manager, Simon Venner - 07977 441 571 Tel: 01371 850 247 www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

01


| CONTENTS |

10

22

62

ISSUE SUE

66

34

CONTENTS F E AT U R E S 10 Kevin Prendergast

Lissa Oliver meets the octogenarian trainer riding high with leading 3yo Madhmoon.

22 Equine pain management

How we can recognise and manage pain in horses by Professor Celia Marr.

48 How has horses' feed changed?

Catherine Rudenko looks at thoroughbred nutrition past and present.

56 Post-race collapse

Dr. David Marlin examines the tell-tale signs and ways to prevent horses collapsing post race.

28 An introduction to the functional 62 News from the EMHF aspects of conformation The first in a series of articles by Judy Wardrope which set out different ways to examine how a horse’s conformation affects their running style.

34 Good going

Are ground descriptions accurate across Europe? Lissa Oliver investigates.

42 Advances in imaging of the equine athletic heart

Francesca Worsman examines how veterinary surgeons can now examine the equine heart and learns about the benefits that the new opportunities present.

02

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

Dr. Paull Khan reports from this years EMHF general assembly in Oslo.

74 REGULARS 04 Contributors 06 ETF Members 08 VetSet Trainers

of the Quarter – Agostino Affe and John Quinn

84 Product Focus @t ra in er _m ag /t ra in er ma ga zi ne /t ra in er ma ga zi ne

70 Trainer welfare

Lissa Oliver finds out what trainers can do when ‘trolls’ target trainers on social media sites and asks trainers how they deal with it.

74 Technical focus

Alysen Miller discovers a number of ways technology is advancing training regimes across Europe.

86 Hindsight

Andreas Löwe in conversation with Peter Mühlfeit about his career journey.

Visit trainermagazine.com to download the digital edition of this issue.


Editorial Director/Publisher Giles Anderson Sub-Editor Jana Cavalier Design ATG Media Advert Production Shae Hardy Circulation/Website Anna Alcock Advertising Sales Giles Anderson, Anna Alcock Photo Credits: Caroline Norris, Shutterstock, Alamy, Eclipse Sportswire, John Keen, Francesca Altoft, Frank Sorge Cover Photograph Caroline Norris

Trainer magazine is published by Anderson & Co Publishing Ltd. This magazine is distributed for free to all ETF members. Editorial views expressed are not necessarily those of the ETF. Additional copies can be purchased for £6.95 (ex P&P). No part of this publication may be reproduced in any format without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Printed in the European Union For all editorial and advertising queries please contact: Anderson & Co. Publishing Tel: +44 (0) 1380 816777 Fax: +44 (0) 1380 816778 email: info@trainermagazine.com www.trainermagazine.com Issue 66

Paull Khan PhD. is an international horseracing consultant. He is SecretaryGeneral of the European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation and Technical Advisor for Europe to the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. His other clients include the British Horseracing Authority. Previously, Dr. Khan held many senior roles at Weatherbys, including Banking Director and Racing Director.

Peter Mühlfeit works for the public broadcaster SWR in his hometown, BadenBaden (Radio and Online News) and has been a freelance racing journalist for more than three decades. Peter writes for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the regional paper BNN, the German column in EBN and for the German thoroughbred magazine, Vollblut. Peter also worked for the BBC World Service for ten years.

David Marlin PhD. first studied racehorses as part of his PhD at the Animal Health Trust and was the first person in the UK to run horses on a high-speed treadmill. He then worked for 3 years in Newmarket for Luca Cumani. From 1990-2005 David was Senior Scientist and Head of Physiology at the Animal Health Trust. His main areas of professional interest are exercise physiology, including nutrition, fitness training, thermoregulation, competition strategy, transport and respiratory disease.

Lissa Oliver lives in Co. Kildare, Ireland and is a regular contributor to The Irish Field and the Australian magazine, Racetrack. Lissa is also the author of several collections of short stories and two novels.

Professor Celia Marr is an RCVS-recognised specialist in Equine Internal Medicine based Rossdales Equine Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Newmarket. She is also Editor-inchief of Equine Veterinary Journal and Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow and has previously worked at Cambridge University, the Royal Veterinary College, the University of Pennsylvania, and in racehorse practice in Lambourn. Alysen Miller is a writer, editor and producer based in London. She has written about racing for publications including The Sunday Times. She launched and produced CNN International’s first dedicated horseracing magazine show, Winning Post. She has ridden on the Flat as an amateur and currently competes in eventing on her retrained racehorse, Southfork.

ISSN 17580293

9 771478 961223

04

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

Catherine Rudenko is an independent registered nutritionist with a focus on thoroughbreds. Based in the UK, Catherine has worked in the USA, Europe and Asia with trainers and studs creating feeds and feeding plans customised to their needs and climate. With a keen interest in education and research, Catherine works with professional bodies and universities to promote knowledge of nutrition and its importance in the management of thoroughbreds and other breeds. Judy Wardrope mechanically inclined by nature, Wardrope has applied her curiosity regarding how things work in several directions, including a 17-year stint as a locomotive engineer. Combined with an avid interest in horses, she started looking beyond straight legs and subjective descriptors to explain what she was seeing in individual horses. Francesca Worsman graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh in 2011. After working in mixed practice for 2 years and completing an equine hospital rotating internship at the University of Liverpool, she then worked at a racing practice in New Zealand. She then completed a busy internal medicine fellowship at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Lexington, Kentucky and is now in her third year of an internal medicine residency at the University of Edinburgh. She is a member of the Association of Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons.


Melbourne, Australia

September - November 2019

DATE

RACE NAME

DISTANCE

CONDITIONS

PRIZEMONEY (AUD$)

ENTRIES CLOSE

Sat 12 Oct

G2 Schillaci Stakes

5.5f / 1100m

WFA

$401,000

Mon 7 Oct

Sat 12 Oct

G2 Herbert Power Stakes

12f / 2400m

Q Hcp

$401,000

Mon 7 Oct

Sat 12 Oct

G1 Toorak Handicap

8f / 1600m

Hcp

$502,750

Mon 7 Oct

Sat 12 Oct

G1 Ladbrokes Stakes

10f / 2000m

WFA

$1,002,750 ($602,750 first prize)

Mon 7 Oct

Sun 13 Oct

Listed Cranbourne Cup

10f / 2025m

Q Hcp

$350,000

Tue 8 Oct

Sat 19 Oct

G2 Caulfield Sprint

5f / 1000m

Hcp

$201,000

Mon 14 Oct

Sat 19 Oct

G1 Stella Artois Caulfield Cup

12f / 2400m

Hcp

$5,150,000 ($3,150,000 first prize)

Thu 29 Aug

Wed 23 Oct

G3 Geelong Cup

12f / 2400m

Hcp

$365,000

Thu 17 Oct

Fri 25 Oct

G1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes

6f / 1200m

WFA

$1,015,000 ($615,000 first prize)

Tue 24 Sep

Sat 26 Oct

G2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup

12.5f / 2500m

SW&P

$500,000

Mon 21 Oct

Sat 26 Oct

G1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate

10f / 2040m

WFA

$5,050,000 ($3,050,000 first prize)

Tue 6 Aug

Sat 26 Oct

G2 Crystal Mile

8f / 1600m

WFA

$203,000

Mon 21 Oct

Wed 30 Oct

G3 Bendigo Cup

12f / 2400m

Hcp

$303,500

Thu 24 Oct

Sat 2 Nov

G3 Lexus Stakes

12.5f / 2500m

Q Hcp

$301,500

Mon 28 Oct

Sat 2 Nov

G1 Kennedy Mile

8f / 1600m

Q Hcp

$1,002,500 ($602,500 first prize)

Mon 21 Oct

Sat 2 Nov

G2 Linlithgow Stakes

6f / 1200m

Hcp

$302,000

Mon 28 Oct

Tues 5 Nov

G1 Lexus Melbourne Cup

16f / 3200m

Hcp

$7,300,000 ($4,250,000 first prize)

Thu 29 Aug

Sat 9 Nov

G3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

13f / 2600m

Q Hcp

$301,500

Mon 4 Nov

Sat 9 Nov

G1 LKS Mackinnon Stakes

10f / 2000m

WFA

$2,005,000 ($1,205,000 first prize)

Mon 4 Nov

Sat 9 Nov

G1 VRC Sprint Classic

6f / 1200m

WFA

$1,002,500 ($602,500 first prize)

Tue 24 Sep

Sat 16 Nov

Listed Sandown Cup

16f / 3200m

Q Hcp

$150,500

Mon 11 Nov

Sat 16 Nov

G3 Eclipse Stakes

9f / 1800m

Q Hcp

$150,750

Mon 11 Nov

Sat 16 Nov

G2 Zipping Classic

12f / 2400m

WFA

$301,000

Mon 11 Nov

Sat 23 Nov

Listed Ballarat Cup

11f / 2200m

Hcp

$350,000

Mon 18 Nov

Hcp – Handicap

Q Hcp – Quality Handicap

SW&P – Set Weights & Penalties

WFA – Weight-For-Age

For further information contact Racing Victoria Paul Bloodworth E: p.bloodworth@racingvictoria.net.au M: +61 (0) 403 346 467 racingvictoria.com.au/international


EUROPEAN TRAINERS’ FEDERATION AIMS and OBJECTIVES of the ETF:

a) To represent the interests of all member trainers’ associations in Europe. b) To liaise with political and administrative bodies on behalf of European trainers. c) To exchange information between members for the benefit of European trainers. d) To provide a network of contacts to assist each member to develop its policy and services to member trainers.

ETF REPRESENTATIVES Chairmanship: Guy Heymans (Belgium) Tel: +32 (0) 495 389 140 Email: heymans1@telenet.be

Vice Chairmanship:

Nicolas Clément (France) Tel: +33 (0)3 44 57 25 39 Fax: +33 (0)3 44 57 58 85 Email: entraineurs.de.galop@wanadoo.fr

AUSTRIA

Mrs Živa Prunk Tel: +38640669918 Email: ziva.prunk@gmail.com

CZECH REPUBLIC

Vice Chairmanship:

Treasureship:

Christian von der Recke (Germany) Tel: +49 (022 54) 84 53 14 Fax: +49 (022 54) 84 53 15 Email: recke@t-online.de

Michael Grassick (Ireland) Tel: +353 (0)45 522 981 Mobile: +353 (0)87 258 87 70 Fax: +353 (0)45 522 982 Email: office@irta.ie

HUNGARY

UNITED KINGDOM

Mr Botond Kovács Email: botond.kovacs@kincsempark.hu

ITALY

Rupert Arnold Tel: +44 (0) 1488 71719 Fax: +44 (0) 1488 73005 Email: r.arnold@racehorsetrainers.org

RUSSIA

Joseph Vana Tel: +42 (0) 6024 296 29 Email: horova@velka-chuchle.cz

Agostino Affe Email: affegaloppo@gmail.com

Olga Polushkina Email: p120186@yandex.ru

GREECE

NETHERLANDS

SLOVAKIA

Aggeliki Amitsis Tel: 30 229 908 1332+ Email: angieamitsis@yahoo.com

Geert van Kempen Mobile: +31 (0)6 204 02 830 Email: renstalvankempen@hotmail.com

GERMANY

NORWAY

Erika Mäder Tel: +49 (0) 2151 594911 Fax: +49 (0) 2151 590542 Email: trainer-und-jockeys@netcologne.de

Are Hyldmo Mobile: +47 984 16 712 Email: arehyldmo@hotmail.com

www.trainersfederation.eu

Jaroslav Brecka Email: jaroslav.brecka@gmail.com

SWEDEN

Caroline Malmborg Email: caroline@stallmalmborg.se


Your next chances to find a Derby winner

Weltstar winner of the German Derby 2018 - a BBAG graduate

Windstoss - winner of the German Derby 2017 - a BBAG graduate

Isfahan - winner of the German Derby 2016 - a BBAG graduate

Premier Yearling Sales 30th August 2019

Sales & Racing Festival 18th and 19th October 2019 www.bbag-sales.de


care with conďŹ dence

Distributed by www.dandhdirect.com

|

01553 819590

Agostino Affe (second from left).

TRAINERS OF THE QUARTER

The VetSet Trainers of the Quarter awards have been won by Agostino Affe (Italy) and by John Quinn (UK). Both trainers will receive a large selection of VetSet veterinary bandages, dressings and hygiene products, as well as a bottle of artisan British gin. Giles Anderson

Fabrizio Procino, Alamy, Haydock Park

AGOSTINO AFFE gostino Affe is enjoying the best start to a season in his 15-year career to date. This year, the Capanelle-based trainer, who has a total of 40 horses under his care, has enjoyed particular success with his team of juveniles, who at the time of this writing have produced eight winners and four places from a total of 18 starters. The pick of the bunch of his juvenile team is currently Avengers Queen, who provided her exciting young sire, Brazen Beau, with his first northern hemisphere success when winning the listed Premio Vittorio over 1200m (6f ) on Sunday 9th June in Milan. The filly was purchased for just ÂŁ8,000 when offered at the Doncaster Goffs UK premier yearling sale last August.

A

08

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

Avengers Queen

The filly was originally under consideration for a tilt at the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot but an issue with one of her hooves scuppered that plan.

Instead, she will be rerouted to France this summer, with her handler feeling she could well be good enough to run in the Gp1 Darley Prix Morny this August.


care with confidence

Distributed by www.dandhdirect.com

|

01553 819590

JOHN QUINN ohn Quinn has been training since the early 1990s and today runs a 60-something strong string from his Malton base in Yorkshire. On Saturday 8th June, Quinn had a day to remember when training three winners across three different courses. The biggest win of the three coming with Safe Voyage in the Gp3 John of Gaunt Stakes, run on heavy ground at Haydock Park. The victory was the horse’s fourth victory at the Lancashire venue and third straight win (at Haydock Park) this season. The 6yo has always been the apple of the trainer’s eye since his juvenile days. He was well fancied on debut at Pontefract back in 2015, but the day after the race, he was lame and on further veterinary examination and had been found to have fractured his pelvis. Nursed patiently back to health, Quinn has taken Safe Voyage from a 67 rated handicapper to a 110+ group horse.

J

Safe Voyage

John Quinn

And Quinn reckons there is further improvement in his Fast Company gelding, saying, “The Lennox Stakes (30th July) at (Glorious) Goodwood and the (Prix) Foret in France (6th October) are the two races that spring to mind”.

care with confidence

! K C A P E L P M A S E E R CLAIM YOUR F www.dandhdirect.com the full range op sh or 90 95 81 3 55 01 l Cal VetSet 100mm Wraptec

at

Poldress Poultice

VetSet Kaolin Poultice

The perfect choice for infected, open wounds, abscesses, sprains, bruising, skin disorders such as mud fever and foot conditions.

BUY 2 x 10PKS AND GET 1 x 10PK FREE! VetSet Alumiiniium Spray

VettSett Combee VetSet Combbee T

Best Seller Pree--cccuut Pr hoof shape

VetSet MelaTec Adhesiive

Code VetSet PolDress Poultice

Price

Code VetSet PolDress Hoof Poultice

Price

4268 Each

£4.60

4269 Each

£2.25

4343 Pack of 10

£37.80

4344 Pack of 40

£72.50

Distributed by D&H Direct www.dandhdirect.com | 01553 819590 ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

09


PROFILE

K EV IN P RE ND ER GA ST Lissa Oliver

Caroline Norris

The best horses are the best bred,� says Kevin Prendergast; and he should know.

10

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| KEVIN PRENDERGAST |

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

11


PROFILE

Right now, he’s watching a potential champion walk quietly past. Madhmoon has yet to w wiin i this year, but havi ving i ffiiinished fourth in the 2000 Guineas and second in The Derby, a w wiin i isn’t likely to be long in coming. Prendergast trained his dam, Aaraas and grand dam Adaala, both w wiinners, i and a long list of their siblings and progeny, too. No less than My Charmer, dam of Seattle Slew, is the ffiifth i dam of the Friarstown Stables star. Much like Madhmoon, Prendergast, who wi will i be 87 this July, can also boast an illustrious line. He has followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Patrick, and father, the renowned Paddy ‘Darkie’ Prendergast; as have his brother Paddy Jr and nephew Patrick, the latter recently joining forces wi with i John Oxx in a dual-venture new to Ireland. Innovation was nothing new to ‘D Darkie’, who pioneered traans-A Atlantic travel for racehorses and rem mains to daate the only Irish trainer to become Britain’s Champion Trainer three years in a row. “It wil ill never be done again”, says Prendergast, who took out his own training licence in 1963—the year his father won the fi first of those titles. Up fir until then, Prendergast had been working wiitth his father as assistant trainer. “It was the logical thing”, he says now of his decision to go out on his own. “I had always wanted to be a trainer. It’s a labour of love more than a job. There are more ups than downs. The good days are great days, but at the same time the bad days are very bad.

12

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

“I don’t know if starting out on my own was made easier because of my family background or harder, because I’ve never had to do it w wiithout i that background”! He may have learned a lot from his father, but Prendergast also gained a wealth of experience during a ffiive-year i stint in Australia, where he ventured in 1949 as a 17-year-old. The connection had started much earlier, however, as it is where he was born while his father was riding there. “I was assistant to Frank Dalton; he had a very successful stable at the time”, recalls Prendergast. Indeed, during his time w wiith i Dalton, some of the country’s top prizes fell their way, wi wiith horses such as Oversight and Barfl fleur. l “I wouldn’t say the methods of training were any diffe ferent out there”,, he notes. “M Methods are basically the same for everyone. But they were so far ahead. Even then, all the tracks were watered, whereas in Ireland theyy weree building a facility at the Curragh and forgot about the water! There was no thought given to how they would get water onto the track. “I left Frank Dalton to come back home again in 1954, to work wit ith my father. I was riding as an amateur then, too. I was assistant to my father for eight years”. There was no shortage of top-class horses in his care at Darkie’s, and in 1960 Martial became the fi first Irishfir trained win inner of the English 2000 Guineas, in the same year that the stable saddled Allccaeus and Kyt ythnos to yth


| KEVIN PRENDERGAST |

I HAD ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A TRAINER. IT’S A LABOUR OF LOVE MORE THAN A JOB.

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

13


PROFILE

| KEVIN PRENDERGAST |

finish second and third in the Epsom Derby. Prendergast has gone on to have seven runners in the great race— Madhmoon going tantalisingly close this year. Setting up on his own, Prendergast got off the mark quickly when Zara won at Phoenix Park in May 1963—the victory all the sweeter because he was also the winning jockey. He had bought Zara, described as “a bit of a monkey”, from his father; and it wasn’t long before he stepped out of Darkie’s shadow to establish himself as a Classic-winning trainer. Like Zara, Pidget wasn’t easy to train, but Prendergast knew how to get the best from the filly, and she provided the first two of his eight Irish Classics, taking the Irish 1000 Guineas and Irish St Leger in 1972, as well as the Pretty Polly Stakes. The following year Conor Pass gave him a back-to-back Irish St Leger win, a feat Prendergast repeated in 1996 and 1997 with Oscar Schindler. In 1977, Nebbiolo provided him with an English Classic when landing the 2000 Guineas. There are not too many trainers blessed with the skill and longevity to boast a 40-year gap between their first Irish 2000 Guineas winner and their most recent, but Northern Treasure (1976) and Awtaad (2016) are testament to Prendergast’s vast experience. “There’s no secret to it, we all want the same thing”, he says of that skill. “Just keep them healthy and happy”. When Tell The Wind gave him his landmark 2,000th winner at Dundalk in 2010, it was as good a proof as any of a healthy happy stable. Friarstown Stables are conducive to contentment. Just close enough to the bustle of the Curragh to avail of the world-class facilities on the doorstep, yet tucked quietly

14

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


WHERE THE BEST IN THE WORLD MEET 14 SEPTEMBER LEOPARDSTOWN & 15 SEPTEMBER THE CURRAGH

GROUP 1 SECOND ENTRIES CLOSING DATE

31 JULY 2019

The QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes of €1,250,000 over 10f The Comer Group International Irish St. Leger of €600,000 over 14f The Moyglare Stud Stakes of €400,000 over 7f The Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes of €400,000 over 7f The Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes of €350,000 over 8f The Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes of €400,000 over 5f

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT

irishchampionsweekend.ie irishchampionsweekend

@IrishChampsWknd


PROFILE

away from the main thoroughfare, providing a little slice of peace and tranquillity. Mature trees shelter the farm and its fields, and private grass and all-weather gallops nestle imperceptibly in pastureland, protected by natural hedgerow. Natural is the operative word. This is a working stable with traditional boxes, well-maintained and tidy, certainly, but with no airs and graces. Functional, not showy. Prendergast is very much stamped upon his surroundings. For a successful yard, he has always kept a relatively small string. He has 35 horses and a small team of staff, who go about their work with quiet efficiency. There are no shouts or raised voices, but lots of laughter. Even first lot, keen to stretch their legs and get out, match the calm mood. There’s no skittish behaviour, no wilful shows of temperament, and each of the nine horses walk by on a long rein, perfectly settled. “He has a bit of temperament, which Awtaad never had”, Prendergast says of Madhmoon, who is in the first lot and on best behaviour. “I was never worried about him training on at three as we’d looked after him. It’s the busy two-year-olds you’d worry about. He does everyt ything right yth and he’s a good horse to work—you can set your clock by him. I trained the dam and the grand dam; I’ve had all the family here. He’s never been away from here since he arrived at two and I see him every day.” Methods might be the same the world over and he might not be one for new technology, but therein

16

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

| KEVIN PRENDERGAST |

lies the secret to Prendergast’s success. Observing the individuals and retaining a familiarity with the families that go back several generations. Much of that is owed to the loyalty of owner breeders such as Lady O’Reilly and Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, for whom Prendergast has trained for over 30 years. “I’m very, very lucky to have good owners like Lady O’Reilly and Sheikh Hamdan”, Prendergast acknowledges. “They have been with me for a long time and so have my Irish owners. Unfortunately, Ireland is losing a marvellous owner because conditions in France are so much better. The prize money is good and then there are the bonuses; it’s hard for us to compete. We tried to get a Tote monopoly here—my father tried hard. Australia, France, New Zealand, America—they all have a thriving Tote. “Trainers are getting run out of it. the €2,000 or €3,000 we’re running for doesn’t pay for the horsebox to get them there. Trainers are giving up in England every day. It’s all to do now with agents and how well a horse is bred; everybody wants black type, but at the other end there are not too many races for horses that cost €72,000 or less. It puts the smaller fella out of the game. They don’t look after the smaller trainer, and it’s the smaller trainers who are the backbone of the game. If you lose them, you may as well close the whole game down”. He has seen many changes during his career and suspects some may be for the worse—too often a case of,


RaceOn

Clean Wind

Feed Clean Wind this season for... COMPROMISED RESPIRATORY SYSTEMS COUGHING

Healthy, clear lungs and optimal immunity

NASAL DISCHARGE ABNORMAL LUNG SOUNDS LACK OF STAMINA WHEN POLLEN STRIKES

See the benefit and RACEON CLEAN WIND AID THE NATURAL DRAINAGE PROCESS HELPS IMPROVE AEROBIC CAPACITY, RESPIRATORY HEALTH AND IMMUNITY TARGETED INGREDIENTS REACH THE LUNGS QUICKLY, FOR FAST, EFFECTIVE ACTION IN 48 HOURS SUPPORTS IMMATURE IMMUNE AND RESPIRATORY SYSTEMS PART OF A RACEHORSES ONGOING DIET TO SUPPORT AGAINST THE STRESSES OF DAILY ROUTINE

Breathtaking results in 48 hours For more details please contact:

Sammy Martin Racing Manager 07980 922041 a Nutritional Advanced Formulas brand

NAF, Wonastow Road Ind Est West, Monmouth NP25 5JA UK T +44 (0) 1600 710700 www.naf-equine.eu/uk


PROFILE

| KEVIN PRENDERGAST |

“Common sense gone out the window”. He smiles at the idea of giving horses Guinness or eggs: “That’s something in the past. Nowadays you’d be afraid to give them spring water”. But there’s an edge to the joke. Like many, he feels the IHRB is too quick to follow the BHA and the equine flu scare was a case in point. “We had immunised our horses at Christmas, and then we were forced to get them done again. It made them ill, and we lost the early part of the season”. He is quick to identify the biggest modern issue, however. “First and foremost, staff. Personally, I’m alright but a shortage of skilled staff is prevalent. There’s no incentive for the younger generation to work in racing any more; they have so many other outlets and they’ve just no interest in racing. We’re losing the population in racing we once had.” He doesn’t feel size is to blame, pointing out, “There has always been an issue with weight; Lester Piggott had an issue with weight”. That he has never personally had a staffing problem is no doubt due to his ability to train people as equally well as racehorses. Top jockeys Kieran Fallon, Declan McDonogh, Charlie Swan, Brian Hughes, Stephen Craine, now his assistant, and the late Gabriel ‘Squibs’ Curran all began their careers with him. He was also not shy in retaining Australian jockeys, mainly because the bigger yards had retained the big-name jockeys. His own experience had taught him that the Australian tracks were a great education for riders. “Eddie Leonard was apprenticed here. Chris Hayes came here at 15 as an apprentice and he’s still here.” He also recalls with sorrow that the late David Parnell’s last winner was for him on Sadie Jordan. “I give the apprentices a lot of time—you have to,” he says. “I’m with them every day and watching over them all the time.” Not surprisingly, he’s a strong supporter of RACE, the Kildare academy for racing professionals, which he feels is easing the staffing difficulties. “Race does a very good job; we’re lucky to have such a good facility. They turn out people to a good standard and without

I GIVE THE APPRENTICES A LOT OF TIME –YOU HAVE TO.

18

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


Jackdaws Castle


PROFILE

| KEVIN PRENDERGAST |

IT’S GOOD FOR THEM TO GET PLENTY OF PRACTISE, ESPECIALLY THE ONES WHO NEED IT.

RACE it would be hard to get staff at all”. Attention returns to the horses as the first of four lots step from the yard into a field enclosed by hedgerow. The lack of white rails or fencing is conspicuous as they go for a walk, up into the next field and loop back. “They always have a walk round the field first”, their trainer tells us, “just to warm up”. They cross back to an adjacent field with a seven-furlong (1400m) sand and fibre round gallop and trot a circuit before cantering. There is a set of starting stalls in the centre of the round gallop, and a couple of horses are given some practise. “It’s good for them to get plenty of practise,

20

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

especially the ones who need it”, Prendergast says. “You’ll notice there’s no fence around the gallop”, he points out. “That’s because if a horse gets loose he can turn around and get off it. If he was fenced in, he would have to turn back into the oncoming horses”. The string cool off with another walk to the top of the first field and are walked back in-hand, completing an hour of exercise. The indoor schooling ring then provides the relaxing conclusion to their work as each in turn is let off for a roll in the sand. They are led back past looking as relaxed as when they had first stepped out of their boxes. It’s what every trainer wants, after all: healthy, happy horses. Prendergast is a practical man, but there’s a trace of sentiment there, too. He might regard broodmares as an expensive drain on finances, but he still keeps a couple, “Just because they’ve been in the family. My father bred Arctique Royale and Ardross”, he reminds us. The former was trained by Prendergast to win the 1981 Irish 1000 Guineas, while Ardross, trained by his father, provides a more poignant memory. Prendergast saddled Ardross to be second in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on the day Darkie died. Family is important to Prendergast, and he and wife Lesley have seven daughters and 11 grandchildren, most of whom were at Epsom on Derby day to cheer home Madhmoon. Away from the stables, his hobbies are typical of a natural horseman who appreciates the countryside. Golf, shooting and fishing fill his leisure hours. Perhaps we should add to his list of hobbies that of training racehorses, because he does make it appear more pleasure than work. It isn’t only the horses who are healthy and happy. No wonder Prendergast doesn’t yet plan to retire just yet.


| WELFARE |

EQ UI NE PAI N:

HOW CAN WE RECOGNISE IT AND WHICH PAINKILLER SHOULD WE USE? Professor Celia M Marr Catriona Mackenzie, Rossdales LLP, Newmarket, Shutterstock, Eclipse Sportswire, Alamy

Equine Veterinary Journal

Find free resources at wileyonlinelibrary/journal/evj

22

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| PA I N M A N A G E M E N T |

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

23


| WELFARE |

How well do we recognise pain in horses?

We can all agree that alleviating pain in our patients is an important goal, but we may not be as good as we might hope at recognising pain in horses. Studies have shown that there is considerable variation in the scores vets assign when asked to predict how much pain they expect to see with specific clinical conditions. Acute severe pain is perhaps most easily recognised by horsemen and vets; signs of severe colic, such as rolling, are usually very obvious. Low-grade pain, and pain not associated with abdominal disease can be more difficult to detect and go unrecognised. In particular, intra-thoracic pain and pain associated with injuries to the thoracic cage, withers and spine can be difficult to pinpoint. Comfortable horses interact with their environment, look out over their stable door and eat willingly. Reluctance to move and restlessness indicate pain while looking at the flank, and kicking at the abdomen all suggest localised pain. Behaviours such as lifting hindlimbs, extending head, lateral and/or vertical head movements and pawing are also observed in uncomfortable horses.

Facial expression and pain

In humans, facial expressions are an important part of nonverbal communication. The Horse Grimace Scale has been developed to help identify subtle pain in horses. The grimace scale is easy to learn, can be applied quickly and takes into account our natural human tendency to focus on the face when evaluating both human and non-humans around us. This scale looks at ear position, tension around the eyes, tension in the chewing muscles and shape of the nostrils which tend to be held in a strained position if in pain. More complex pain scales incorporate facial expression with head position, flehmen, yawning, teeth grinding and intteraction w wiith i people. These scales were used in a reecent Equine Veterinary Journal article looking at optim mal methods to provi vide i anaessthesiaa for castraation. Bu ut, the focuss on a sttrain ned

24

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

FIG

1

Fig 1 This horse is clearly showing signs of abdominal pain—colic. It is lying down, has been rolling and is looking at its flank.

facial expression, ears held back and lack of interaction with people can easily be misinterpreted as poor temperament. It is well worth trainers taking time to make sure their staff are educated on how to recognise signs of pain, as these sorts of clinical signs might indicate important conditions such as gastric ulcers, pneumonia or even musculoskeletal conditions such as fractured ribs. Yard staff should be encouraged to give horses the benefit of the doubt and report any apparent poor temperament so that veterinary investigations can be undertaken to get to the bottom of the problem. Similarly, these signs can be used to monitor horses after potentially painful procedures such as following surgery or castration.

What do we know about analgesic use in equine practice?

There is an increasingly large number of painkiillers, also known as analgesics, which are either licen nsed for use in the horse or supported by research evi vidence. i But it is likely that most equine vets use a relativelyy small


| PA I N M A N A G E M E N T |

range. British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has recently tasked a team of its members to look at the evidence with underpin best practice for selections of analgesics in common clinical scenarios. This group is chaired by Professor Mark Bowen of the University of Nottingham and has been working for two years now and has collected evidence from the veterinary literature; and in parallel the group has consulted BEVA members to develop robust recommendations. The BEVA Clinical Practice Guidelines report on analgesia will be published soon and looks at the most effective analgesia in horses undergoing routine castration, horses with acute colic, orthopaedic pain and in horses with chronic pain that does not respond to standard non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as phenylbutazone (aka “Bute�). In making their recommendations around use of analgesics in horses, the BEVA team considered both the effectiveness of each analgesic drug, its safety and potential for side-effects.

FIG

2

FIG

3

What are the desirable characteristics of analgesic drugs?

The ideal analgesic has predictable effect and duration, minimal side effects and is easy to prescribe, purchase and administer, lacking any impact on the horse’s future status for human consumption. Of course, the ideal analgesic does not exist. To a large extent, the most appropriate analgesic will be dictated by the specific clinical indication.

Analgesia in colic

miss this individual as sour, but its ear position and Fig 2 It might be easy to dism low head carriage are due to chronic pain. Fig 3 An anxious expression in the eyes can be an important sign of chronic pain.

With colic, predictable level of analgesia and duration of action are key characteristics. The BEVA team found moderate evidence that flunixin provides superior analgesia to meloxicam and phenylbutazone in horses with colic. However, effective analgesia is desirable but very potent drugs are usually avoided for fear of masking declining clinical status in a horse which would be best served by surgical exploration rather than controlled with extremely potent analgesics. Potential damage to the gastrointestinal tract and effects on gastrointestinal motility are critical and the impact of concurrent shock and volume depletion must be considered. Similar considerations come into play with peri-operative pain but here, the level of analgesia required may be modified by the exact surgical indication and specific procedure and with some procedures, it will be appropriate to provide very potent analgesia, for example with surgical repair of fractures or other painful orthopaedic surgeries. In these cases, multimodal analgesia may well be indicated.

Analgesia following castration

The BEVA team found robust evidence to support a recommendation that pre-operative NSAIDs should be administered prior to surgery. They also recommended that analgesia should be given for at least three days after surgery and that local anaesthetic should be infused into the testicle even when a general anaesthetic is administered. Finally, they counselled that pre-operative use of butorphanol (a commonly used component of sedative protocols) alone should not be considered adequate analgesia for horses undergoing castration. ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

25


| WELFARE |

| PA I N M A N A G E M E N T |

Selection of NSAIDs for musculoskeletal pain

There is moderate evidence to indicate that phenylbutazone provides superior analgesia for hoof pain / laminitis, compared to firocoxib and meloxicam but strong evidence to show that Suxibuzone can be used as a direct replacement for phenylbutazone in chronic orthopaedic pain. The evidence supporting the use of other NSAIDs is less definitive. Meloxicam and firocoxib may be equivalent to phenylbutazone for pain associated with inflammation of the joint lining and, although studies are not conclusive, the group came to the conclusion that ketoprofen is not as effective for addressing musculoskeletal pain. One of the key safety recommendations relating to the use of phenylbutazone was that it is the NSAID that is most likely to induce gastrointestinal adverse events (right dorsal colitis or gastric glandular ulceration). However, although other NSAIDs have less adverse intestinal effects but can all be considered as potentially ulcerogenic. Horses on long-term analgesic therapy should be monitored carefully and further investigations undertaken if they show weight loss, poor appetite or develop the more general signs of pain described above, as this might indicate that the NSAID is having adverse effects on the intestine. The BEVA team also concluded that giving NSAIDs at doses above those generally recommended in veterinary texts and stacking (i.e., combining maximal doses of different NSAIDs) should be avoided. These practices simply increase risk with no analgesic benefit.

Alternative analgesics

Unfortunately, there are not many practical alternatives to NSAIDs. There is research ongoing looking at topical NSAIDs and alternative drugs such as paracetamol, tramadol and fentanyl. These drugs are unlikely to be in common use in horses in training but do have a place in management of horses with more severe clinical problems.

BELOW: Feed with phenylbutazone powder.

Similarly, morphine and methadone are used commonly in equine hospitals, but these Schedule 2 controlled drugs are generally not used widely in practice. Buprenorphine has been extensively researched recently and evidence is accumulating supporting its use particularly in the peri-operative patient.

Final warnings

The BEVA group’s report contained a clear warning that highly potent analgesia should only be utilised under the direct control of a veterinary surgeon who has fully evaluated a horse and having developed a therapeutic, analgesic plan that includes ongoing monitoring. It is also important to bear in mind that the best way to alleviate pain associated with a specific clinical condition is to cure the underlying cause. Painkillers should always be used with respect and not be seen as a way to patch up a horse that has an undiagnosed musculoskeletal problem or internal condition. Links Sanchez, LC, Robertson, SA. Pain Control in horses: what do we really know? Equine Vet J. 2014 46:517-523. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/evj.12265 Abass, M. Picek, S, Garzon, JFG, Kuhnle, C, Zaghlou, A, BettschartWolfensberger, Local mepivacaine before castration of horses under metdetomidine isoflurance balanced anaethesia is effective to reduce perioperative nociception and cytokine release. Equine Vet J. 2018 50:733–738 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evj.12947 Bowen, IM. BEVA Gudeilines for Clinical Practice: Analgesia. Equine Vet J. 2019: Link not available yet

26

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


Extensive state of the art facilities complemented by expert, knowledgeable staff. Set in peaceful surroundings with acres of year round turnout.

Rehabilitation & pre-training centre

For more information please contact Louise Cornwell: T: +44 (0) 1638 730321

M: +44 (0) 7792 260666

E: ofďŹ ce@longholes.com

W: longholes.com

KURASYN 360X

FASTER ABSORPTION

Curcumin & Hyaluronic Acid Support Supplement

MAINTAINS SUPPLENESS

CO

AINS HI NT

LY GH

For The Complete Art of Movement

ED W I BIN

TH

CO M

BETTER MOVEMENT

BIOAVAIL ABLE CURCUM IN

NIC HYALURO ACID

www.farm ww mstable.com www.farmstable.com

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

27


| VETERINARY |

A N I N T RO D U C T I ON T O T H E F U N C T I ON A L A SP E CT S O F C ON F OR M AT I O N Judy Wardrope

hy is one horse a sprinter and another a stayer? Why is one sibling a star and another a disappointment? Why does one horse stay sound and another does not? Over the course of the next few issues, we will delve into the mechanics of the racehorse to discern the answer to these questions and others. We will be learning by example, and we will be using objective terminology as well as repeatable measures. This knowledge can be applied to the selection of racing prospects, to the consideration of distance or surface preferences and, of course, to mating choices. Introducing a different way of looking at things requires some forethought.

W

28

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

Eclipse Sportswire, Judy Wardrope, Caroline Norris

Questions need to be addressed in order to provide educational value for the audience. How does one organise the information, and how does one back up the information? In the case of equine functionality in racing, which horses will provide the best corroborative visuals? After considerable thought, these three horses were selected: Tiznow (Horse #1) twice won the Breeders’ Cup Classic (1¼ miles) ; Lady Eli (Horse #2) won the Juvenile Fillies Turf and was twice second in the Filly and Mare Turf (13/8 miles); while our third example (Horse #3) did not earn enough to pay his way on the track. Let’s see if we can explain the commonalities and the differences so that we can apply that knowledge in the future.

Factors for athleticism

If we consider the horse’s hindquarters to be the motor, then we should consider the connection between hindquarters and body to be the horse’s transmission. Like in a vehicle, if the motor is strong, but the transmission is weak, the horse will either have to protect the transmission or damage it. According to Dr. Hilary M. Clayton (BVMS, PhD, MRCVS), the hind limb rotates around the hip joint in the walk and trot and around the lumbosacral joint in the canter and gallop. “The lumbosacral joint is the only part of the vertebral column between the base of the neck and the tail that allows a significant amount of flexion (rounding) and extension


| CONFORMATION |

First published in North American Trainer Magazine

(hollowing) of the back. At all the other vertebral joints, the amount of motion is much smaller. Moving the point of rotation from the hip joint to the lumbosacral joint increases the effective length of the hind limbs and, therefore, increases stride length.” From a functional perspective, that explains why a canter or gallop is loftier in the forehand than the walk or the trot. In order to establish an objective measure, I use the lumbosacral (LS) gap, which is located just in front of the high point of the croup. This is where the articulation of the spine changes just in front of the sacrum, and it is where the majority of the up and down motion along the spine occurs. The closer a line drawn from the top point of one hip to the top point of the other hip comes to bisecting this palpable gap, the stronger the horse’s transmission. In other words, the stronger the horse’s coupling. ● See page 30 for images

We can see that the first two horses have an LS gap (just in front of the high point of the croup as indicated) that is essentially in line with a line drawn from the top of one hip to the top of the opposing hip. This gives them the ability to transfer their power both upward (lifting of the forehand) and forward (allowing for full extension of the forehand and the hindquarters). Horse #3 shows an LS gap considerably rearward of the top of his hip, making him less able to transfer his power and setting him up for a sore back.

You may also notice that all three of these sample horses display an ilium side (point of hip to point of buttock), which is the same length as the femur side (point of buttock to stifle protrusion)—meaning that they produce similar types of power from the rear spring as it coils and releases when in stride. We can examine the variances in these measures in more detail in future articles, when we start to delve into various ranges of motion as well as other factors for soundness or injury.

Factors for distance preferences

The hindquarters of Horse #1 and Horse #2 also differ from that of Horse #3 based on the location of the stifle protrusion (not the actual patella, but the visible protrusion that one can watch go through its range of motion as the horse moves). The differences in stifle placement equate with range of motion of the hind leg, stride length and, to some degree, stride rate. When it comes to the stifle placement for a champion at classic distances, we can see just how far below sheath level Tiznow’s stifle protrusion is and we can equate that to Lady Eli’s as well, even though she doesn’t have a sheath. Horse #3 has a stifle placement that is higher than the other two horses, more in keeping with the placement of a miler (at the bottom of or just below the bottom of the sheath). Sprinters tend to have stifle placement that is above that of milers. The most efficient racehorses have a range of motion of the forehand that

ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: The stride pattern of Lady Eli

corresponds to the range of motion of the hindquarters. That may seem like stating the obvious, but not all horses have strides that match fore and aft. We have seen those horses that “climb” in the front as well as those that seem to “bounce” higher in the rump. In both cases, a mismatch of strides is often the cause. For simplicity, let’s say the horse has to generate power from his hindquarters, transfer that power upward and forward through the spine as well as extend his front end at the same stride rate created by the hindquarters for efficiency. He/ she has to maintain the same rate in the forequarters and the hindquarters. One of the things we seldom think about is that horses have to move the front quarters at the same stride rate created by the hindquarters, but they do not necessarily have to be built to have the same stride lengths and turnover rates front and back. If a horse has to significantly adjust the stride length fore or aft, he/she is likely not going to win in top company, especially racing. And for those horses that can adapt to slight discrepancies, a strong LS placement is paramount. A car with different sized tyres in the front than in the back will travel at a constant speed, but the smaller tires will rotate faster than the larger ones. A horse can’t do that, though; he/she has to ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

29


| VETERINARY |

compensate to bring the front and rear into the same stride rate. In a person, the length of the thigh has a major impact on stride length. Now imagine that you have one thigh shorter than the other. How will you run? If you don’t compensate for the difference, you will either fall down or go in circles. Chances are, if you want to travel straight, you will dwell in the air on the short side in order to balance the stride rates. This is what the mismatched horse does, but it is not typically efficient. When considering the stride length/ turnover rate of the horse’s forehand, one must remember that from the top of scapula to knee is all one apparatus. Nothing moves independently. That means that different configurations can have similar results. Conversely, a slight change in humerus length or angle can affect the stride tremendously. For instance, a horse with a short humerus (elbow to point of shoulder) that is considerably angled upward will be much quicker with his turnover rate on the forehand than a horse with the same scapula that has either a longer humerus or one that is not angled as steeply. If a horse has a shorter, quicker range of motion of the forehand, dwelling in the air on the forehand while the hindquarter goes through its range of motion is the most common method of compensation. But, again, a strong coupling is required. Without a strong LS, the horse simply does not attempt to balance its stride in order to maximise range of motion. Such horses just move slower. If the horse has a shorter stride or quicker turnover rate in front, he’ll often climb with his front end in order to equalise the time it takes to go through the range of motion for each rear stride. It’s not necessarily a bad thing in a jumper, but it is not such a good thing in a racehorse. Many of us have witnessed a horse that climbs in the front, but we may not have attributed it to a difference in turnover rates or stride lengths. What if the reverse is true and the horse has a shorter stride and quicker turnover rate behind? If the horse has a slower stride rate or longer stride on the forehand, he may choose to dwell in the air for a fraction of a second with his hindquarters. If that is the case, he is not going to be as smooth to ride. He’ll likely pitch the jockey forward and land heavier on his forehand, which is not pleasant and not complimentary to soundness. Before looking closer at the forequarters for range of motion, it is important to

30

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

Tiznow (Horse #1)

Lady Eli (Horse #2)

(Horse #3)


Thundering Blue, trained in Britain by David Menuisier, won the 2018 Stockholm Cup (Gr. 3)

Are you ready to do something different this year? Sweden is a racing nation on the up. We have plenty of black type opportunities and larger purses than most people realise. We are not even that far away. Give it a go - before everyone else does.

Feature races on 22 September at Bro Park in Stockholm, Sweden

The Stockholm Cup day at Bro Park in Stockholm on the 22nd of September features four black type races. The main race of the day is the Group 3 Stockholm Cup, a 12f turf race which boasts a purse of €170,000. The Tattersalls Nickes Minneslöpning, a Listed race over a mile on the dirt course, is the perfect European trial for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

€170,000 Stockholm Cup International (Gr. 3) 3yo+, 2400 m (Turf)

How to get a horse to Sweden? Don’t worry - it is easy. For the second consecutive year, we take away all the administrative efforts of travelling horses to Sweden. Any horse wishing to compete on the Stockholm Cup day will be able to use a chartered flight out of London Stansted on the Friday and return on the Monday. Are you ready to do something different this year? See you in Sweden!

SVENSK GALOPP The Swedish Horseracing Authority www.svenskgalopp.se @swehorseracing

Closing on Monday, 5 August

€80,000 Bro Park Sprint Championship (L) 3yo+, 1200 m (Turf) €80,000 Tattersalls Nickes Minneslöpning (L) 3yo+,1600 m (Dirt) €80,000 Lanwades Stud Stakes (L) 3yo+, fillies & mares,1600 m (Turf) €50.000 Svealandlöpning 2yo, 1400 m (Turf)

Svensk Galopp Dennis Madsen, Head of Racing dennis.madsen@svenskgalopp.se +46 8 466 86 03

Internatonal Racing Bureau Max Pimlott, Trainers’ Services max@irbracing.com +44 79 50 86 19 39


| VETERINARY |

understand that the forehand works as one apparatus—nothing moves independently from top of scapula to point of shoulder to elbow to knee. If the knee rises and comes forward, the forearm follows plus the humerus (elbow to point of shoulder) and the scapula move through corresponding ranges of motion. Likewise, if the top of the scapula rotates rearward, the point of shoulder rises, the elbow comes forward and the forearm is extended and the knee is lifted and moved forward. Good forelimb movement is characterised by a full range of motion in the swing phase and the stance phase. The latter part of the stance phase is the part of the stride where the horse has rotated his forehand over his front leg and is about to lift that leg from the ground. That is also when the elbow is closest to the ribcage in forward movement. Horses such as #3 have an elbow that could make contact with the ribcage in the latter part of the stance phase ( just before the hoof leaves the ground), but they want to avoid that painful collision (almost bone on bone with little padding). How did our sample horse compensate? He built a muscle over his elbow because he has been using it as a brake. He also built muscle on the underside of his neck. Both of these things were meant to lift the hoof off the ground before the elbow struck the ribcage. Again, this does not lead to efficiency of stride.

32

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

| CONFORMATION |

Length of humerus adds reach, and if that humerus has sufficient rise from elbow to point of shoulder, it does not restrict stride rate. Horses with a short humerus that has a steep rise from elbow to point of shoulder tend to have more knee action than is desired on the track. Stride length and turnover rate are the two components of speed. Imagine the difference on the clock between two horses of equal stride rate, but one has a longer stride. It may well be the difference between winning and placing out of the money. In future articles, we will delve into how the variations in length and angle of humerus affect movement plus how tightness of the elbow can impede the rearmost portion of the front stride, thus limiting extension.

Factors for soundness

Aside from the LS and a few factors in hindquarter construction that we will cover in future articles, one of the best advantages for soundness is lightness of the forehand since speed and weight amplify the forces on a horse’s front legs. As a means of measuring lightness of the forehand, I use several markers. The first is the pillar of support, which is simply a line extended up and down through the naturally occurring groove in the horse’s forearm. In general one can see how much horse is out in front of that

line, but specifically, the further in front of the withers the line emerges, the lighter the horse’s forehand. Additionally, a rise in the humerus adds to lightness, as does a base of neck that is well above the point of shoulder. All three sample horses share the above traits for lightness. However, where the bottom of the line depicting the pillar of support emerges also plays a role in soundness and longevity. In Horse #1 the line emerges into the rear quarter of his hoof, ideal placement. In Horse #2 it just catches the rear quarter of the hoof, and in Horse #3 it emerges just behind the hoof. Of the three, Horse #3 is at more risk for damage to the suspensory apparatus (bowed tendons and torn ligaments) and is more likely to hit his fetlock on the racing surface. Please keep in mind that where the bottom of the pillar emerges has little to do with length and angle of the pastern. Shocking, but true. More on this in future articles.

Failure or success

Sometimes it is all in how you analyse the horses and whether you place them where their conformation functions as an asset rather than a detriment. Tiznow proved his championship form at classic distances on dirt. Lady Eli proved her championship form at classic distances on turf. And Horse #3 proved that he was not built to be a successful racehorse.


®

Electrolytes TopSpec Electrolytes

are designed to be used to compensate for electrolyte loss in cases of heavy sweating. • High salt formula. • Contains wildberry to aid palatability. • Recommended by equine veterinary practices and independent nutritionists. • Available in 1.5kg, 3kg, 9kg and 20kg tubs.

mended by m ts Ve

Rec o

Problem Solving Top-Specification Supplements and Additives

VET

® Contact Will Humphreys on 07909 521085 Multiple Award Winner for ‘Excellence in Nutritional 01845 565 030 Advice and Customer CREATED WITHOUT COMPROMISE (062) 85401 Service’ www.topspec.com by experienced equine nutritionists


| RACING |

Lissa Oliver

Alamy, Shutterstock

GOOD

ARE GROUND DESCRIPTIONS

34

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| GOOD GOING |

GOING ACCURATE ACROSS EUROPE? ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

35


| RACING |

T

he state of the going is one of the touchiest topics in racing. One trainer will be doing a rain dance as another prays for sunshine, while all the time the Clerk of the Course has an eye on his weather app as he tries to balance the protection of his turf with the provision of safe ground for racing. Few would envy him, but many will criticise him. Just what are the issues both sides are facing? Heinrich Sievert, head groundsman at Baden-Baden, speaks for all those in charge of the turf at racecourses when he explains the complexities of his role and the importance of the root system. It’s not what we see above the track that really matters, it’s what is keeping it alive below. “Before the race meeting starts we must improve the root system. We make sure the grass is growing to the ideal depth, and most importantly we try to create a solid root system. Shallow roots are not good for horses to race on. We improve aeration and allow water to infiltrate to encourage the root system. We use a small amount of fertiliser, but really we want to feed the roots and we don’t want too much growth above ground. We try to keep growth as natural as possible. “We must ensure we do good work throughout the whole year to maintain the ground. We work closely under instruction from the Direktorium, who have a checklist to ensure safe ground for horses and riders. If the ground is not safe, the Direktorium stops everything and we cannot race. If they are happy and approve the ground, it’s my job to keep it OK. “We can’t change the ground conditions on the day; we can only water if the ground becomes too hard, but

36

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

we can’t do a lot more other than keeping it in the best possible condition before racing. Watering is not ideal, it can make the ground slippery and unsafe. “On the day of racing, I use a penetrometer and I test the ground all over the course. Unless we have a heavy thunderstorm and rain, the going will not change, and the jockeys will be in agreement with the stated going”. The good news is that it’s clear that Sievert and all clerks of racecourses are singing from the same hymn sheet as the trainer. The discrepancies arise then from the highly personalised needs of individual horses and prioritising between this afternoon’s track condition or the long-term protection of the track. It is all very well to argue against watering a track and changing the going from firm to good, but it isn’t ideal to race on bare patches of ground, and some consideration must be given to the grass as well as the horse. There is a common suspicion among trainers that Clerks of the Course intentionally water a track to prevent a description of firm going, but following any successive dry days in warm weather the turf will require watering, with no ulterior motive regarding the going description. Grass is a plant and needs water to remain healthy. Recently at Sandown Park, 5mm (millimetres) was added three days before the meeting, which was run on good to firm. “For a high-quality card we are aiming for the fast side of good”, says Sandown Park Clerk of the Course Andrew Cooper. “We’ve had almost four full days of dry weather and you’re going to lose 2-3mm of moisture a day. If you did nothing you’d be good to firm, firm. It’s a judgement call what you do and when you do it. It’s easy to be critical of something on Monday morning when what it all boils down to is what it’s like at 6pm on Thursday night”.


| GOOD GOING |

“It’s easy to be critical of something on Monday morning when what it all boils down to is what it’s like at 6pm on Thursday night”.

We are all at the mercy of the weather and while water can be added, if needed, it cannot be removed. State-ofthe-art drainage systems may help, but ultimately the ground is what we, and the clerks, are given. Scientific advances in both groundskeeping and measuring of going may help, but even the GoingStick cannot remove the subjectivity of descriptions. In January 2009, the BHA introduced into the British Rules of Racing a requirement that a GoingStick reading be made available by racecourses for each race meeting at the declaration stage and again on race day itself. The readings are published alongside the Clerk of the Course’s official going description. The GoingStick is also used in France, Sweden, Norway and one Irish racecourse (Gowran Park). The GoingStick accurately measures the penetration and the shear (the energy needed to pull back to an angle of 45 degrees from the ground), combining the two measurements to represent a scientifically-based proxy for the firmness of the ground and level of traction experienced by a horse during a race. The BHA claimed that, “Moving beyond the traditional subjective approach, the GoingStick is a device that clerks of the Course use to give an objective numerical reading that will reflect the state of the going at any given racecourse.” However, the specific GoingStick figure is subject to any number of course-specific variables and different tracks can produce different going descriptions, despite having the same reading. The verbal description by a clerk is still used alongside the numerical reading. Cooper reflects the views of many clerks when he admits, “I certainly wouldn’t ever want to be putting out a GoingStick reading on its own; I think we need the verbal assessment as well”.

LEFT: Andrew Cooper

ANDREW COOPER

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

37


| RACING |

FAR RIGHT: A GoingStick in use.

BELOW: Ziva Prunk

38

The GoingStick, far from providing an objective description, is user-specific and still depends on the pressure used by an individual to push it into the ground. It differs only from the traditional penetrometer in the fact it produces a calculated figure rather than the personal judgement of the user and many Clerks of the Course state they prefer the traditional penetrometer. Whichever version of stick is used, the course must still be measured at a minimum of 30 points across the track, always at the same points for consistency. A greater issue is in the interpretation of the going description. Not only is it subjective, but even if we can all agree it’s soft, is that softer than one particular horse would like or firmer than the preference of another? Only the trainer of the horse can know. This brings us to the question of welfare, of both horse and trainer. Is it right to run a horse on unsuitable ground? And is it right to penalise a trainer if he or she withdraws a horse because of the ground? “In Austria, sadly we have just one racing day and the condition of the ground is mostly very good”, says Ziva Prunk. “But when we race abroad, we often notice that the ground is not how they announce. It’s on me to check the ground and make the right decision for each horse. In Slovakia, you get a fine if you withdraw a horse after declarations, unless you send a vet report that the horse was not able to run because of health issues. “Absolutely I think that withdrawing a horse due to the bad condition of ground is in the best interest of the horse, and to fine a trainer is not appropriate at all. I have already withdrawn a horse due to the bad ground and, if

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

| GOOD GOING |

I had not, I could be responsible for a tragic injury of the horse that I would never forget or forgive myself ”. Rupert Arnold explains that in Britain, the only circumstances when trainers are fined for withdrawing a horse due to the ground condition is if the official going has not changed between the declaration stage and race day. If the horse has travelled to the racecourse and is there, no fine will be applied. “It’s one of the trickiest subjects in racing because it is so subjective. We’re under pressure from the BHA over the rules, and some take the view there are too many nonrunners,” Arnold says, “but if a trainer believes the ground is unsuitable, they just won’t run the horse. We would say it is not correct to fine a trainer when they are acting in the best interest of the horse and owner. The welfare of the horse is very important, and the rules have to reflect that”. He feels that most clerks do their best to give accurate going descriptions, but in some cases there is a suspicion that going descriptions are calculated to encourage trainers to enter and declare horses for particular races. “It’s not widespread, but there is a suspicion among trainers that this is sometimes the case. “The 48-hour declarations create a problem because trainers are being asked to make a decision when conditions can change before race day. Sometimes racecourses have not updated their going report. Ideally we’d like to see the going report updated every day or whenever there’s any change”. Another area of concern to trainers is the watering policy of racecourses. “It’s a difficult area”, Arnold admits. “Sometimes there is a view that racecourses are putting on too much water when there doesn’t need to be. It’s such a subjective area; the weather patterns in Britain are so volatile, it can be very difficult to manage a watering policy. What trainers want is a consistent surface; they don’t want false ground. They would rather it was quicker than too loose”.


> FOR PULMONARY SUPPORT AND ELASTICITY www.cavalor.com | Consumer line 7/7 +44 (0)1352 746100


| RACING |

The issue of fining a trainer for withdrawing a horse due to the going is of far greater concern in Ireland, where fines of €200 are commonplace, reflecting the policy in Slovakia. “It’s for the welfare of the horse they don’t run, and it’s wrong to fine the trainer”, insists Michael Grassick. “The fine in Ireland is €200. We’ve had discussions with the IHRB (Irish Horse Racing Board) on this. A trainer may decide to run one or two but withdraw one. “The Going Stick is an aid and helpful as an aid. In time, we would get to know what the readings are telling us. The problem is, we declare at 10am the day before the race, and a lot can happen in between, especially if the race is at an evening meeting. It costs the owner 1% of the prize fund to enter. His intention is to run. If a trainer feels the ground doesn’t suit, he’s protecting the horse and the punter”. Irish trainer John McConnell is in full agreement and is adamant about that it is not in the interests of the welfare of the horse to issue fines to trainers. “Going descriptions don’t always match a trainer’s expectations. I feel there should be regional professional panels of people checking the ground. When I enter a horse I want to see an accurate assessment of the current ground, and I suspect

40

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

that in some cases the Clerk of the Course may have other agendas, such as estimating the number of runners and their possible effect on the ground ahead of the meeting. “What really bothers me is that some tracks don’t provide updates. We can go to the HRI (Horse Racing Ireland) website, but not all the tracks have up-to-date ground reports; some could be from three days ago. We can phone the track and speak to the clerk, but that’s inconvenient for all concerned”, McConnell points out. “Providing a going description is very subjective and there’s no consistency. If we had a local panel for each region, so that they are familiar with the tracks, it would be less dependent on a single opinion. The GoingStick is a good aid and can at least provide some uniformity in a figure. Using both traditional and new methods can only be a good thing and help. “Fining a trainer for withdrawing on the day due to the going is wrong. I know the reasoning behind it is to combat people declaring a horse for two days in a row, but those cases are few and far between and, at the end of the day, it’s the owner’s decision. There’s a lot of perceived skulduggery that isn’t actually going on. “A bad run by a horse on unsuitable ground could see that horse gone from the stable; it could be a huge loss for a trainer. Expecting a trainer to run a horse on ground he or she is not happy about to avoid paying a fine they may not be able to afford is playing with fire. If an owner decides not to run their horse, that’s their prerogative, and the trainer shouldn’t be fined”. Mark Johnston doesn’t entirely agree with the welfare argument but does see a longer-term problem that we may not have considered. “I don’t think going is a


| GOOD GOING |

significant welfare concern in flat racing. It does, however, lead to inconsistencies in form, and it might be argued that it has a long-term effect on the development of the breed. If we never race them on firm ground, we aren’t conditioning them for firm ground or selecting to breed from those that excel on it. “I think there is something ridiculous about fining a trainer or owner for not wanting to run their horse. If, while paying circa £30K per annum to have a horse trained, connections don’t want it to run, the racecourse and BHA should be asking themselves why not— not trying to force them to do so”. Like McConnell, Johnston doesn’t think it should be down to the Clerk of the Course to provide the official going, feeling the clerk has ‘a vested interest’.

I don’t think going is a significant welfare concern in flat racing. It does, however, lead to inconsistencies in form and it might be argued that it has a long-term effect on the development of the breed. MARK JOHNSTON

Nicolas Clément also agrees that a fine is not right for withdrawing because of ground conditions, arguing, “Trainers usually like to run with a chance and protect bettors. I believe owners pay 1% of the total purse when this is the case”. This is verified by Criquette Head-Maarek who tells us, “In France, we have four kinds of ground: light, good, yielding and heavy, with differences like soft ground or dead ground. When a trainer withdraws a horse from a race, he or she has to inform the stewards and give them the reason for this withdrawal. If it is due to ground conditions, the stewards can decide to penalise the trainer with a fine, according to Article 130 of the French Rule Book”. Article 130 states: “If the explanations provided by the trainer or the owner are not considered satisfactory or are not provided within the time indicated, the stewards may apply a deduction—the amount of which can be fixed up to the value of the nominal prize. The deduction cannot, however, exceed 10% of the endowment total of the prize if there are no bets recorded outside the racetrack on the event concerned”. It would appear that in most countries a penalty for withdrawal is discretionary and reliant upon the explanation provided by a trainer. Given that the officially stated going remains subjective, regardless of the descriptive methods employed, and the trainer must take ultimate responsibility for the horse in his or her care, it is time that all stewards in every jurisdiction adopted a more common sense approach to race day withdrawals.

By Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales Manufacturer of Horse Bedding Bedmax Limited, Northumberland

By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Manufacturer of Horse Bedding Bedmax Limited Northumberland

D U S T F R E E P I N E S H AV I N G S every day every gallop every race and every winner… …starts starts in the stable

To find out more about how BEDMAX and LITTLEMAX can help you get the best out of your horses, please contact us to arrange a visit from our Head of Sales, Brent Adamson +44 (0) 1668 213467

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

41


| VETERINARY |

A D VA N C E S I N IMAGING OF THE EQUINE ATH L ET IC H E A RT FFrancesca W Worsman BVM&S MRCVS

42

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

JJohn h Keen K


| EQUINE HEART |

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

43


| VETERINARY |

H

Image showing calculation of the left atrial volume. The software tracks the chamber’s edge to create the red balloon which represents the reconstructed volume; the graph below shows the actual volume as the atrium fills and empties.

A HUGE BENEFIT OF ULTRASOUND IS THAT IT IS NON-INVASIVE AND CAN BE CARRIED OUT ON A STANDING UNSEDATED HORSE, SO NORMAL HEART FUNCTION IS MAINTAINED DURING THE EXAMINATION.

44

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

orses, through selective breeding for athletic excellence, have welldeveloped hearts that rarely cause problems compared to those encountered by humans. On occasions however, things go wrong. Due to their welldeveloped physiology, horses are at risk of a fibrillating heart (atrial fibrillation), while circumstantial evidence suggests that more severe heart rhythm abnormalities, somewhat akin to those experienced by human athletes, may cause sudden death. Ultrasound examination of the heart, known as echocardiography is a readily available tool for examining the heart and significant advances in ultrasound technology are likely to provide exciting information about the detailed function of the equine heart. A huge benefit of ultrasound is that it is non-invasive and can be carried out on a standing unsedated horse, so normal heart function is maintained during the examination. The equine heart, like all mammalian hearts, has four chambers. The right atrium, which receives oxygendepleted blood from the organs, passes it into the right ventricle which then pumps it to the lungs. Blood picks up oxygen in the lungs and then returns it to the left atrium, which then passes it onto the left ventricle for pumping to the organs of the body, including the muscles. Oxygen is thus delivered to the tissues and then the cycle repeats, more than 50,000 times per day! The left and right atria work in unison during heart filling (diastole), and the left


| EQUINE HEART |

and right ventricles work in unison during evacuation of blood from the heart (systole). Murmurs, often detected by veterinary surgeons when listening to hearts, are either caused by normal forward blood flow through the heart or by backflow leakage across the valves within the heart (regurgitation). Many of these murmurs are not a cause for concern, although some regurgitant murmurs are more severe and can cause problems with heart function. Similarly most heart rhythm abnormalities are innocuous and do not affect performance while others are more serious. In some horses, due to suspicion by a veterinary surgeon of a more significant problem, extensive evaluation of the heart is required; echocardiography is one of the key tools for diagnostic evaluation of the heart to assess the impact of any problems on athletic performance. Real-time three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) is an exciting new tool that has recently become available in equine medicine and may shed light on important heart problems in horses, including those that cause poor performance. Compared to standard two dimensional echocardiography (2DE), which evaluates a single scan plane, 3DE involves the simultaneous collection of multiple scan planes from the heart to create a pyramid of scan data. 3DE is preferable to 2DE because in theory it does not rely on geometric assumptions on chamber shape to calculate chamber volumes. Also assessment of heart architecture and function (including that of valves) is likely to be more accurate as the technique provides unlimited viewing planes. Finally, for assessment of regurgitant flow, this technique should also be better because the image can be manipulated to better assess the leaky flow from those valves. In humans, for certain heart volume and muscle mass measurements, 3DE is more comparable than 2DE to cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is the acknowledged gold standard. Unfortunately, owing to the significantly larger size of horses, there is currently no equipment available for equine cardiac MRI. Therefore, 3DE could provide the next best option for more detailed equine cardiac evaluation. Mitral valve regurgitation for example is commonly encountered in the equine athlete and, while often of no consequence, in more severe cases, it may lead to poor performance. Pathological consequences are due to backflow leakage causing secondary left atrial volume overload, and this will lead to an increased likelihood of atrial fibrillation. Potential advantages of 3DE in this context are more accurate assessment of the degree of volume overload, the regurgitant orifice (i.e., size of the hole!), and the valve structure and motion. Mitral valve regurgitation can be easily confirmed by 2DE, however it can be more difficult to ascertain the cause and severity. With 3DE, the software allows manipulation and therefore anatomic evaluation of the valves from many angles including ‘face-on‘ views. This results in more detailed evaluation of subtle abnormal valve motion and confirmation of suspected findings, which can’t be reliably detected by 2DE - eg. mitral valve thickening, mitral valve prolapse or ruptured chordae tendineae as the cause of the mitral valve disease. Geometric assumptions on volume are avoided as much more structural data is obtained.

A few specialist centres worldwide currently offer 3DE imaging for horses including the Equine Hospital at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh. In equine medicine we are still at an early stage of using 3DE as it is not validated in horses, therefore it is mostly used in research at the moment as opposed to routine diagnosis. As part of my research at Edinburgh, sponsored by the Horserace Betting and Levy Board, I have been assessing the left atrial volume using 3DE from thoroughbreds in training. One of my aims was to determine the variability of equine left atrial volume measurement using a special 3DE software analysis package to see how much variation there was between successive 3DE measurements by the same person. Forty-four National Hunt thoroughbreds in training were scanned to obtain the 3DE views of this chamber. We then graded them to exclude images of reduced image quality so that we were only assessing good quality images of the left atrium. In total 24 horses were included—aged 4-9 yrs, weighing 411534kg. I analysed the images retrospectively, after the horses were scanned. I didn’t include any horses with grade >3/6 heart murmurs. This was because we first need to validate 3DE with normal, healthy hearts. Random generated order measurements were obtained by a single person on four occasions. Real-time threedimensional end-systolic (ESV) and end-diastolic (EDV) left atrial volumes were measured using 3DE software, and the results were then statistically analysed. The preliminary results gave an average EDV of 593ml (range 349ml-1.029L), while ESV was 381ml (range 200695ml). Lower observer variation for ESV measurements was observed (16%) compared to EDV (23%). There was good agreement between measurements. So far the research has shown that 3DE, and the software for analysing it, is a quick, effective and practical tool for obtaining equine left atrial volume. This may provide a really useful means of better assessing the

RV

TV RA

LV MV

LA

Image taken from the right side of the horse. Biplane views are on the left (4 chamber standard long axis view at top, short axis view at the bottom of the picture) and 3DE image on the right of the picture. In real-time the image can be manipulated as the heart is beating to visualise the cardiac structures from different angles. RV = right ventricle, TV = tricuspid valve, RA = right atrium, LV = left ventricle, MV = mitral valve, LA = left atrium.

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

45


| VETERINARY |

| EQUINE HEART |

LA MV

AV

LV

Re-orientated 3DE image of the mitral valve (MV) during systole. LA = left atrium, LV = left ventricle.

consequence of problems with the mitral valve in horses. Results may improve further with refined measurement guidelines. Further research being carried out includes comparing 3DE left atrial volume measurements to 2DE measurements and comparing 3DE left volume measurements in healthy hearts to those with mitral valve regurgitation. In the future there will likely be validated 3DE measurements for all structures of the equine heart. We have an equine cardiology group here at Edinburgh with PhD students who are also pursuing

46

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

research into the use and benefits of 3DE for assessing the heart in racehorses as well as using other exciting ultrasound technologies to assess heart muscle function. They are concentrating on better assessment of the ventricles in the equine athlete and looking at traininginduced changes in these chambers, with racehorses in training as a specific focus. There is no doubt that in the near future, after more validation, 3DE will likely be the preferred option for evaluation of cardiac abnormalities in the racehorse for the diagnosis of disease, for monitoring performance and to provide a more accurate prognosis. Novel imaging techniques such as 3DE will provide important insight into the physiology of the horses heart thereby helping us better understand cardiac causes of poor performance as well as those very rare, but high-impact, cases of sudden death.

Acknowledgements:

The author would like to acknowledge manufacturer GE Healthcare for the equipment and software and thank Lucinda Russell for the use of her horses.

BELOW: Image showing evaluation of the heart muscle pumping ability (strain) in a racehorse. The imaging software is able to track the muscle tissue and derive how well it is functioning. The curves on the right relate to strain development in different parts of the left ventricle muscle as the heart beats and then relaxes. The cardiology team at R(D)SVS are comparing thoroughbreds to nonthoroughbreds, and following racehorses over the racing season to see how the heart muscle adapts to training and detraining.


‘ESTABLISHED 1999 - CELEBRATING TWENTY YEARS OF BUSINESS’

GOOD OLD FASHIONED SERVICE!

MARKET LEADERS IN ARENA AND PADDOCK MAINTENANCE

We offer a bespoke FREE DELIVERY, DEMONSTRATION and SET-UP to all UK customers. International sales available. All of our Levellers come with an extendable and adjustable side blade/arm. Providing a variety of sizes 1.5m / 1.8m / 2.1m / 3.0m

T: 01427 728700 | M: 07775 607339

We are a FAMILY RUN BUSINESS based in the heart of Lincolnshire, although we cover the whole of ENGLAND and EUROPE.

PRECISION ENGINEERING - Our Levellers are for Sand, Fibre, Synthetic Surfaces, Wax, Wood-Chip and Rubber. We are EXPERTS in Arena, Gallop and Paddock Maintenance. E: arenamateuk@gmail.com | Accepts all major CC

www.arenamate.co.uk ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

47


| NUTRITION |

HOW HAS HORSES’ FEED CHANGED?

THOROUGHBRED NUTRITION PAST & PRESENT Catherine Rudenko

48

NABIM, Caroline Norris, Shutterstock

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| HORSE FEED |

F

eeding practises for racehorses have changed as nutritional research advances and food is no longer just fuel but a tool for enhancing performance and providing that winning edge. Whilst feeding is dominantly considered the content of the feed bucket, which by weight forms the largest part of the horse’s diet, changes in forage quality have also played a role in the changing face of thoroughbred nutrition. The content of the feed bucket, which is becoming increasingly elaborate with a multitude of supplements to consider, the forages— both long and short chop and even the bedding chosen—all play a part in what is ‘the feed program’. Comparing feed ingredients of the past against the present provides some interesting insights as to how the industry has changed and will continue to change.

Comparing key profiles of the past and present

The base of any diet is forage, being the most fundamental need of the horse alongside water. Forage quality and form has changed over the years particularly since haylage entered the market and growers began to focus specifically on equine. The traditional diet of hay and oats, perhaps combined with mash as needed, provided a significantly different dietary intake to that now seen for horses fed a high-grade haylage and fortified complete feed. (See graphs page 50) The traditional example diet of straights with bran and hay easily met and exceed the required amount of protein providing 138% of requirement. When looking at the diet as a whole, the total protein content of the diet inclusive of forage equates to 9.7%. In comparison the modern feeding example using a high-grade haylage produces a total diet protein content equivalent to 13.5%. The additional protein whilst beneficial to development, muscle recovery and immune support can become excessive. High intakes of protein against actual need have been noted to

affect acid base balance of the blood, effectively lowering blood pH (1). Modern feeds for racing typically contain 13-14% protein which complement forages of a basic to medium-grade protein content very well; however when using a highgrade forage, a lower protein feed may be of benefit. Many brands now provide feeds fortified with vitamins and minerals designed for racing but with a lower protein content. Whilst the traditional straight-based feeding could easily meet energy and protein requirements, it had many shortfalls relating to calcium and phosphorus balance, overall dietary mineral intake and vitamin intake. Modern feeds correct for imbalances and ensure consistent provision of a higher level of nutrition, helping to counterbalance any variation seen within forage. Whilst forage protein content has changed, the mineral profile and its natural variability has not. Another point of difference against modern feeds is the starch content. In the example diet, the ‘bucket feed’ is 39% starch, a value that exceeds most modern racing feeds. Had cracked corn been added or a higher inclusion of boiled barley been present, this level would have increased further. Racing feeds today provided a wide range of starch levels ranging from 10% up to the mid-thirties, with feeds in the ‘middle range’ of 18-25% becoming increasingly popular. There are many advantages to balancing starch with other energy sources including gut health, temperament and reducing risk of tying-up. The horse with a digestive anatomy designed for forages has limitations as to how much starch can be effectively processed in the small intestine, where it contributes directly to glucose levels. Undigested starch that moves into the hindgut is a key factor in acidosis and whilst still digested, the pathway is more complex and not as beneficial as when digested in the small intestine. Through regulating starch intake in feeds the body can operate more effectively, and energy provided through fibrous sources ensures adequate energy intake for the work required.

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

49


| NUTRITION |

Traditional Diet • 7kg Oats • 1kg Mash – comprised of bran, barley, linseed and epsom salt • 0.5kg Chaff • Hay 6% protein consumed at 1% of bodyweight

Modern Diet – medium-grade haylage • 8kg Generic Racing Mix • 0.5kg Alfalfa Chaff • 60ml Linseed Oil • 60g Salt • Haylage 10% protein consumed at 1% of bodyweight

Feed ingredients for the modern racehorse

Moving from straights to completed bagged feeds has created a wider range of materials that are now easily fed. The inclusion of pellets within a muesli and cubes as a feed facilitate the use of various co-products. Having a wider range of feed materials to work with means a greater range of nutritional profiles are now available, with multiple combinations of protein, oils, starch and fibre. The old rule of thumb that as protein increases so would ‘energy’ namely in the form of starch no longer applies. A 10-11% protein feed is no longer exclusively a pony feed with a low value, but found in racing feeds used both in flat and national hunt. Cereals are still the dominant inclusion in racing feeds with very few diets being cereal free. Oats as before remain the most popular grain as they offer the best protein, fibre and starch ratio of all the grains. Other materials, known as co-products, produced by other feed industries are now widely used along with grass or alfalfa meal. These alternatives to grain allow flexibility in designing both the energy and the protein profile of the feed. (see table page 51)

Commonly used ingredients typical characteristics

Modern Diet – high-grade haylage • 8kg Generic Racing Mix • 0.5kg Alfalfa Chaff • 60ml Linseed Oil • 60g Salt • Haylage 13% protein consumed at 1% of bodyweight

When comparing cereals against co-products, the difference in starch content is easily identified. Grass and alfalfa meal also offer a low-starch level whilst maintaining a good level of protein. Straw is less commonly used as the protein content and digestibility are lower than the other materials. Combining the groups in different ratios allows a wide range of starch levels to exist whilst still maintaining the appropriate level of protein. Whilst co-products are not whole foods, this does not mean their nutritional value is any less worthy of consideration or that they are not as valuable to the horse. Each brings its own benefits depending on what the diet is intended for. It is the combination of these materials that matters; the creation of a feed is somewhat of an art as much as it is a science.

RICE BRAN A co-product of rice milling whereby rough rice is dehulled to produce brown rice (a common human food) is then milled. Rice bran is produced during the milling process and is comprised of the pericarp (outer layer), the aleurone layer (inner layer),

50

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| HORSE FEED |

some endosperm and germ. It is valued for its naturally high-oil content, good protein content and moderate starch content relative to whole cereals.

SUGAR BEET PULP The residue that remains after sugar has been extracted from sugar beet. It is not high in sugar as the name might imply, typically containing only 7% sugar. When molassed, the sugar content increases to around 20%. In the latter form, it is highly palatable and produces a glycemic response similar to that of oats, making it well suited for horses in training. It also influences hindgut fermentation having a natural prebiotic effect, making it ideal for racing where the environment and diet create challenges for the hindgut (2,3).

SOYA HULLS Derived from soya beans during processing. The hulls (outer shells) are

removed and are highly fibrous with a crude fibre content of 35%—significantly higher than any grain but containing an equivalent amount of protein. Ideal for use when looking to increase fibre content and lower starch content of a feed.

A 10-11% PROTEIN FEED IS NO LONGER EXCLUSIVELY A PONY FEED WITH A LOW VALUE, BUT FOUND IN RACING FEEDS USED BOTH IN FLAT AND NATIONAL HUNT.

WHOLE CEREALS

OATFEED A co-product of oat milling made up dominantly of the oak hull (outer layer) with a high-fibre content. Beneficial when looking to provide fibre without elevating protein content.

WHEATFEED Produced from wheat following extraction for flour. The profile of wheatfeed is based on the level of bran, germ and middlings. It provides a good level of protein, somewhat higher than whole grains and has a moderate starch content with only a low level of fibre compared to soya hulls or sugar beet pulp.

CO-PRODUCTS

STRAW

GRASS/ALFALFA

Oats

Barley

Maize

Wheat

Rice Bran

Sugar Beet Pulp (Molassed)

Soya Hulls

Wheatfeed

Oatfeed

Nutritionally Improved Straw

Alfalfa Meal

Grass Meal

%

9

11

8

11

14.5

11

12

15

5.5

4

16.5

16

Fibre

%

11.3

4.8

2

2

6.5

14

35

9.5

24

35

26

19

Oil

%

6.8

2.6

4

2.3

21

1.5

2.5

4.5

2.3

1.2

3

3.4

Starch

%

38

51.5

63

60

26

2

6

22

11.5

0.5

3

1.5

Protein

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

51


| NUTRITION |

| HORSE FEED |

WHEAT GRAIN STRUCTURE http:///w ww ww w w w.nab bim.org.uk k/wh heat-structure

PROBIOTICS & PREBIOTICS Live yeast culture, a form of probiotic is widely used to improve digestibility of the diet, increasing digestion of fibrous fractions, protein and minerals (4). In addition the prebiotic FOS, a short-chain fructooligosaccharide is sometimes included to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as Bifidobacteria. Supporting beneficial bacteria can increase VFA (volatile fatty acid) production (5). These fatty acids are converted and used for energy. By maintaining a healthy hindgut profile, it is possible to maximise digestion and nutrient uptake.

MAERL

NUTRITIONALLY IMPROVED STRAW (NIS) Straw is highly fibrous and poorly digested. To improve digestion straw can be treated with an alkali, sodium hydroxide, at which point it becomes NIS. Less commonly used in thoroughbred feeds and primarily included for fibre content.

GRASS MEAL & ALFALFA MEAL Dried grass (grass meal) is produced from herbage that may contain a blend of grass, clover, alfalfa and sainfoin. The protein value depends upon plant maturity when harvested, but will be a minimum of 13% protein and typically 16% protein. Alfalfa meal, whilst commonly thought of as a forage in the same manner as hay, is by family a legume—the same as peas and beans. Alfalfa is often valued for its protein and mineral content, in particular its calcium level. All ingredients used in a feed are listed in the composition section of the feed label. Their order of inclusion on the label relates to the weight of each material, the largest inclusion by weight being the first and then so on. Checking the feed composition section informs you as to what materials have been blended to create your feed. The composition of mixes and cubes for the same category of horse are often different as the variety of materials that can be made into a cube is much greater than those that can be used in a mix.

Feed additions

In addition to the raw materials, many feeds now contain additional supplements or use alternative sources of vitamins or minerals based on research into their availability to

52

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

the horse. This is the area of nutrition that continually progresses as such additions can impact performance. The majority of feeds on the market now deliver more than just protein, carbohydrate, fats, vitamins and minerals. The most commonly used additions include probiotics, prebiotics, maerl, plant-based antioxidants, vitamin C and natural forms of vitamin E.

Also known as acidbuff or lithothamnium, maerl is a calcareous marine algae with a honeycomb-like structure that is effective in buffering acid in various parts of the digestive tract. It is naturally rich in minerals, most notably calcium and is more available to the horse than calcium carbonate (limestone). Its increased availability is also noted when fed in the presence of omeprazole, a commonly used medication that reduces calcium uptake (6). Its use in racing feeds and supplements is becoming more common, partly for its effect on regulation of acidity and its improved availability as


SUPPORT

SCIENCE

SERVICE

SUCCESS

Part of your support network

Targeted nutrition

Care for our clients

30 years of Equine Research Proven Scientific Knowledge Evidence Based

A Global approach NOPS testing at LGC Dedicated TB Office

Ed Walker’s 6YO Stormy Antarctic 26 runs to date 8 Wins inc: 5 Group races 6 Seconds 5 Thirds

Advanced Technical Expertise Dedication & commitment A hands-on approach Working together, giving consistent technical support to help your horses perform year after year...

FEED THE DIFFERENCE

Our own team of registered nutritionists work with KER’s scientists to provide meaningful nutritional solutions that get results.

We take care of every detail to deliver a very personal level of service, actively focused on the needs of your horses.

Call a member of our dedicated specialist Thoroughbred team. POLLY BONNOR Tel: +44 7973 802210 CLARE ROBERTS Tel: +44 7714 768250 CATHERINE RUDENKO Tel: +44 7419 359252 DANIELA NOWARA Tel: +33 676 178899

working with

When you win, we win...


| NUTRITION |

a calcium source, but also for its role in bone development. Studies from Kentucky Equine Research have evidenced an improved bone density and thickness when using calcareous marine algae in the diet of thoroughbreds (7).

PLANT-BASED ANTIOXIDANTS There is an increasing interest in use of plant-based antioxidants to support the more commonly known antioxidants vitamin E and vitamin C. The blend of plants work synergistically, making them effective at low doses. Studies have evidenced a positive effect of such blends on plasma vitamin E, vitamin C and total antioxidant capacity (8).

VITAMIN C Whilst the horse can produce vitamin C from glucose and therefore it is not strictly required to be provided in the diet, the inclusion of vitamin C may have benefits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and has a role in collagen development. Its use in feeds is part of a cocktail of antioxidants which is reflected by the inclusion rate. Some evidence exists for use of much higher doses of vitamin C for horses with respiratory issues or aged horses with compromised immune systems. A high dose for these specific situations, and for horses following surgery or with wounds to heal, is then advisable. As long-term high levels of intake are not well documented and such inclusions may impact on the horse’s ability to naturally

| HORSE FEED |

synthesise vitamin C, its use should be moderated at high intakes to times of specific need only.

References Graham-Thiers,P.M.,Kronfeld,D.S.(2005) Dietary Protein Influences Acid-Base Balance in Sedentary Horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (2005) pp 434-438

VITAMIN E

2. Gebbink, GAR., Sutton, AL., Richert, BT., Patterson JA., Nielsen, J., Kelly, DT., Verstegen, MWA., Williams, BA., Bosch, M., Cobb, M., Kendall, D.C., DeCamp, S., Bowers K (1999) Effects of Addition of Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and Sugar Beet Pulp to Weanling Pig Diets on Performance, Microflora and Intestinal Health. Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, and Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands

Vitamin E is found in feeds in two forms within feed, as synthetic and natural. Also described as all-racemic (synthetic) and RRR (natural). The natural form is the most abundant type found within plants and is considered the most active form. Studies into horses at rest and when exercised have shown the natural form to be more effective at elevating plasma vitamin E status (9). Supplementing with vitamin E has many noted benefits for performance and is particularly relevant for horses with ERS. As with all nutrients, an excessive intake can be detrimental and should be carefully considered.

Summary

Modern feeds offer a wide range of nutrient profiles allowing more flexibility of feeding through use of a greater range feed materials, including co-products. Understanding the feed profile inclusive of starch content is important when selecting feeds best suited to the yard. Supplementation level within feed of antioxidants and additional benefits such as prebiotics has created feeds that deliver much more than traditional nutrition. When reviewing a feed, all factors including additional nutritional features should be considered. Nutrition is now a powerful tool when looking to enhance performance.

3. Al-Tamimi, M.A.H.M., Palframan, R.J., Cooper, J.M., Gibson, G.R., Rastall, R.A (2006). In vitro fermentation of sugar beet arabinan and arabinooligosaccharides by the human gut microflora. Journal of Applied Microbiology 100 (2006) pp 407–414 4.Glade,M.J. (2011). Dietary yeast culture supplementation of mares during late gestation and early lactation. Effects on dietary nutrient digestibilities and fecal nitrogen partitioning. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 11 (1991) pp 10-16 5.Berg,E.L.,Fu.J.H.,Porter,J.H.,Kerley,M.S.(2005) Fructooligosaccharide supplementation in the yearling horse: Effects on fecal pH, microbial content, and volatile fatty acid concentrations. Journal of Animal Science 83 (2005) pp 1549–1553 6. Pagan,JD. Petroski,LA., Mann,AC., Hauss,AA., Huntingdon,PJ. (2018) Effect of Omeprazole and Calcium Sources on Calcium Digestibility in Thoroughbred Horses. Proceedings of the Australasian Equine Science Symposium. 7. Pagan, JD., Swanhall, A., Ford, E., Mulvey, E., & Huntington, PJ. (2018) Mineral and Vitamin Supplementation Including Marine Derived Calcium Increases Bone Density in Thoroughbreds. Proceedings of the Australasian Equine Science Symposium. 8.Lowe, J.A., Lucas, D., Paganga, G., Observations on the antioxidant status of horses as influenced by supplementary dietary antioxidants. 9. Pagan, JD.(2006) Tocopherol form affects vitamin E. Feedstuffs 78 (2006)

54

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


Hickstead Horse Feeds offers an exclusive range of racing diets and supplements to provide all the nutritional requirements for a winning performance. For more information please call Hickstead Horse Feeds: 0330 678 1120 or visit www.hicksteadhorsefeeds.co.uk HicksteadHorseFeeds

Providing The Winning Formula - Every Time! “Kevin n Baccon’s sup pple eme ents are exccellent in prov viding high quality nutrrients. They are very palatable com mpare ed to others I have used, which is ideal as racehorses can be fussy eaters. I can’t recommend Kevin Bacon’s products highly enough.” Rebecca Curtis, Racehorse Trainer

The Kevin Bacon’s Hoof Formula Kevin Bacon’s Omega Power Hass your horse’s essential needs in one botttle! Our supp plement striives to increa ase s your horse’s con nfidence e, joints and ca ardiovascular health. The fatty acid ds in the Omega 3 provide antiinflammatory properties - perfectt for horses in intensive work!

#baconyourhooves

Has one e of th he hig ghest amountt off biiotin on n the market! Not only a brilliant hoof sup pplemen nt, the Hooff Formula alsso doubles up as a feed ballancer. Th his means that with all the added d vitam mins and minerals you only need th he one supple ement for your horse!

Kevin Bacon’s Hoof Solution Our Hoof Solution is a stron ng liquid that helpss with thru ush, smelly y frogs and white line disease. With all natural ingredients, this solution is perfect for horses who stay in their stables a lot. Apply direct to the problem area 3-5 times in a week and notice the difference!

#winningformula

UK Distribution: Haandmade Shoes UK Ltd | Units 2-4 | Williams Court | Pitstone Green Business Park | Pitstone | LU7 9GJ 01296 662473 | sales@handmadeshoesltd.co.uk | www.handmadeshoesltd.co.uk

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

55


| WELFARE |

P O S T- R A C E COLLAPSE: PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT Dr. David Marlin

F

Alamy

ortunately, incidents of post-race collapse are relatively rare followin ing racing, however if they do occur, it’s important to know what steps can be taken. Common causes of postrace collapse include cardiac arrhyt ythmias, neurologic events, yth internal bleeding due to large blood vessel rupture, airway obstruction and overheating. Al All of these are a serious All cause for concern and likely to require veterinary support. However, overheating is likely to be one of the most common reasons for post-race collapse, but it is often not recognised as such and can lead to horses not receivi ving vin prompt treatment that may ensure a swi wift and uneventful wif recovery wi with no long-lasting injury. wit During races, horses get hot because for every unit of energy they use which makes the muscles contract, four times as much energy is produced as heat. The harder and longer the horse works, the more heat it produces. Although horses lose heat by sweating (around 85%) Alt Al and through breathing (around 15%) during a race, around 90% or more of the heat produced is stored in the muscles. Even so, on a hot day, horses may come in at the end of a race wi with body temperatures 1-2°C higher than wit they would for the same race in cool conditions.

56

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| P O S T- R A C E C O L L A P S E |

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

57


| WELFARE |

58

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| P O S T- R A C E C O L L A P S E |

It would not be unusual for horses to finish races with rectal temperatures of 40-41°C. But taking rectal temperature can also mislead us as the temperature inside the working muscles may be much higher; and it can take five minutes for the rectal temperature to reach a peak after a horse pulls up, increasing by another 1-2°C. It’s as we get to rectal temperatures of 42°C that the risk of collapse due to hyperthermia (high body temperature) becomes significant. Let’s look at why high body temperature can lead to collapse. Firstly, very high body temperature leads to direct and damaging effects on the brain, the nervous system as a whole and the heart, which may lead to collapse. These effects are related to how high the temperature is and how long the horse stays at that elevated body temperature. For example, if a horse was not cooled off following a race, then it may take 5-10 minutes for the onset of collapse. However, post-race collapse on pulling-up and/ or returning to the winners enclosure or stables is not uncommon, and this has a different underlying cause. During the race, the horse actually reduces blood flow to the skin and chooses instead to send as much as possible to the muscles. This is very different to the situation in people where a significant amount of blood is always sent to the skin to help cooling (thermoregulation). The consequence of blood being directed to the muscles is that the muscle temperatures increase rapidly even over a few minutes of a race. When the horse starts to pull-up, this is reversed and blood is suddenly redirected to the skin. This is most pronounced when the horse comes to a stop. The effect is similar to fainting in people; the flow of blood to the surface causes a fall in blood pressure and effectively the horse faints. Clearly, collapse of horses is undesirable and has the potential to cause further injury, so it is important to recognise the risks for post-race collapse with respect to overheating and what to do if the situation arises. One of

the common misconceptions of post-race collapse is that this is due to “lack of oxygen”. Whilst this could be true in some cases, this is likely to occur in a very small number of horses and only in those with airway obstruction. From studies on treadmills, for example, we know that within a few seconds of starting to slow down, the low oxygen levels in the blood are immediately reversed and even become higher than they were before exercise. People will often cite the ‘blowing’ of horses after a race as an attempt by the horse ‘to get more oxygen in’, however, it’s clear from a number of studies that blowing/breathing after exercise is directly related to body temperature and not oxygen levels. Rapidly reducing body temperature by aggressive cooling results in a more rapid cessation of blowing. When should heat stress and overheating be suspected? A horse that is hot to touch, blowing very hard and also ataxic (wobbly) when pulled up should be suspected as suffering from overheating, and cooling should be started immediately. If possible avoid turning in tight circles but keep walking as this helps increase blood pressure. Even in cases where overheating is not the main problem, cooling is extremely unlikely to have any negative effects. As mentioned previously, overheating is frequently not considered as a possible cause for post-race ataxia/ collapse and may therefore not be recorded as such. Some time ago Professor Tim Parkin and I examined data from the British Horseracing Authority over three seasons of diagnosed cases of post-race heat stress. Over a three-year period, 108 cases had been recorded by on-course veterinary surgeons post-race. A number of factors significantly increased the risk of a horse suffering overheating. Perhaps not surprisingly, races run in the spring or summer were eight times more likely to include at least one horse with heat stress as races run in the autumn or winter. National Hunt races were almost three

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

59


| WELFARE |

times more likely to have a horse with heat stress due to the longer duration of the races compared with the flat. Also, for any type of race, there was an increasing risk for every five furlongs (1,000m). Races run in the afternoon were also three times more likely to have a heat stress case than a race run in the evening. Finally, faster races also increased the risk of horses suffering overheating. This should all be expected: long races and/or faster races in the afternoon on warm days in spring and summer carry an increased risk of overheating/heat stress and collapse. As not racing in such conditions is not likely to be an option, it’s essential that racecourses and trainers are aware of the signs and risks of overheating and the risk of post-race collapse and take appropriate and prompt action if necessary. Aggressive cooling is now used extensively in professional endurance racing and eventing, as well as in all equestrian disciplines at major events such as FEI World Championships and Olympic Games. The principle is simple. Applying cold water (0-5°C), either from a hose or from a large container of ice in water, rapidly cools the blood in the skin which in turn more slowly cools the muscles. In horses that are very hot and at risk of heat stroke/collapse, there is no requirement or benefit to scraping water. The key to minimising risk is continuous application of water over as much of the body surface as possible until the breathing starts to recover (i.e., until the blowing reduces). This is the best and most practical indicator of the effectiveness of the cooling. It’s also essential to continue aggressive cooling for 5-10 minutes to bring a horse’s temperature down 1-2°C. As mentioned previously, the cessation of blowing is the best indicator of effective cooling. Applying cold towels, fans, shade, ice packs on large blood vessels, ice in the rectum, spraying with alcohol are

60

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

| P O S T- R A C E C O L L A P S E |

all minimally effective in comparison with continuous application of large volumes of cold water all over the body. In contrast to widely held misconceptions, this approach to cooling does not cause the horse to heat up due to constriction of blood vessels in the skin nor does it cause muscle or kidney damage. The key to preventing collapse and or permanent injury due to heat stroke is rapid instigation of cooling. Literally, seconds count. Delaying cooling by thirty seconds may result in a collapsed horse. Even in cases where the cause of ataxia/collapse is not primarily due to overheating, starting cooling until veterinary help arrives will not make the situation worse. Compared with their jockeys, horses are actually able to tolerate much higher body temperatures. A jockey with a temperature of 41°C would be comatose and at risk of serious injury or even death, whilst a horse at 41°C would still be running. However, it is possible for both jockeys and horses to acclimatise to heat. Acclimatisation is the process whereby the body becomes more tolerant of heat as a result of regular daily exercise in the heat. Of course racehorses are most commonly trained early in the morning in the cooler part of the day, yet the majority of races are held in the warmer times of the day, so it’s conceivable that most racehorses are not heat acclimatised. It may also be of interest that heat acclimatisation also improves performance. In summary, overheating of horses during races is more likely in longer, faster races at warmer times of the year. Horses that are hotter than normal are at an increased risk of heat-related collapse, often when returning to the paddock and standing. Horses that are very hot to touch, blowing hard, wobbly and possibly ‘excited’ are likely to be at risk for collapse. Starting cooling aggressively immediately can lead to rapid recovery and prevent collapse and the risk of more serious injury.


Imperial Stables with Anti-weave Sliding Doors

monarch-equestrian.co.uk sales@monarch-equestrian.co.uk Consort Plus Horse Exerciser Available in 36’0, 45’0, 54’0 or 66’0

Timber Top & Bottom Door Set with Galvanised Sheeting

The leading company in Ireland for Biosecurity and Equine health.

AirlightPLUS AirlightPLUS is the excellent solution for the following;

Tested and approved by The Irish Equine Centre

• Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD) • Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage (EIPH) • Bleeding • Respiratory Problems • Poor or Reduced Performance

For more information please contact Pat @ 00 353 83 3765928 or David @ 00 353 86 4697447 Visit our website at www.sentinelireland.ie

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

61


| EMHF |

NEWS FROM THE EUROPEAN MEDITERRANEAN HORSERACING FEDERATION 2 0 1 9 G E N E R A L A S S E M B LY

62

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| E M H F A S S E M B LY |

Paull Khan PhD.

Eirik Stenhaug, Em milie Finckenhagen

o many, Norway is the land of the midnight sun or that of the Northern Lights. But to the racefan, these meteorological mysteries are incidental—Norway is, fi first and fir foremost, home to that enigma, the Whip-less Race. This year, the EMHF’s General Assembly ‘roadshow’ returned to Scandinavi via, where the Norwegian via Jockey Club hosted our meeting at the country’s sole thoroughbred racetrack, Ovrevoll, after which delegates were privi vileged to experience the joyous and colourful vil processions of Norway’s Constitution Day and also

T

wiitness fi w wit firsthand the running of a full card wi fir without wit crops—of which more later. Our meeting broke fresh ground in a number of ways. For the fi first time, the press was represented, and a fir number of commercial enterprises (Flair - manufacturers of Nasal Strips, RASLA LAB - international distributors LAB of racing data and rights, and Equine Medirecord, who supply veterinary compliance software) joined the social programme and mingled wi with the administrators. The wit number of presentations was also increased, from which it was made apparent to everyone, if we did not know it before, that the range of threats we face as a sport is diverse indeed.

Oslo and its fjord provide the backdrop.

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

63


| EMHF |

ABOVE: A hands-andheels finish at Øvrevoll. BELOW: Liv Kristiansen, Racing Director of the Norwegian Jockey Club, has been elected to the EMHF’s Executive Council.

64

Illegal betting

Amongst these threats is one which to date has had far greater impact in Asia, but whose tentacles are increasingly taking Europe into their grasp. The enemy is illegal betting, on which Brant Dunshea, Chief Regulatory Officer of British Horseracing Authority, gave a presentation. Recently co-opted to bring a European perspective to a task-force set up by the EMHF’s equivalent in Asia—the Asian Racing Federation— Dunshea was shocked at the sheer size of the problem. Defining ‘illegal betting’ as including betting which takes place in an unregulated environment, (e.g., an off-shore operation which was contributing nothing to the sport and was under the regulatory control of neither government nor racing authority), he presented figures which showed

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

that illegal betting in six Asian countries—predominantly using the betting exchange model—was vast in scale; was increasing faster than its legal equivalent; was funding criminal activities including through money laundering; attracted disproportionately higher rates of problem gambling; was poorly understood by governments and racing authorities and was presenting new challenges for regulators in relation to dealing with race corruption. A decrease in the number of suspicious betting investigations on British betting exchanges had been experienced. It now seemed likely that some of this activity had simply shifted to the illegal and unregulated markets. This is an issue that Europe cannot afford to ignore. The British Horseracing Authority has committed to replicate the Asian research which will seek to quantify the scale of betting on British racing across illegal and unregulated platforms; and Dunshea took the opportunity to seek volunteers from other EMHF countries to join in this effort. The task-force aims to produce a plan of best practice to identify and tackle this problem for the use of racing authorities. Dunshea pointed to the salutary conclusion that increasing regulation and taxation of the legal market was not necessarily the answer to the problem and risked the unintended consequence of causing punters to migrate to illegal markets, with their lower margins and (for many countries) a wider and more attractive range of available betting options. Key in the battle will be to engage governments in this discussion, ensure their understanding of the scale of the problem and the interconnectivity between policies in regard to legal betting and the propensity to bet through illegal channels, and try to find a balanced tax burden, alongside sufficient laws and law enforcement effort, to snuff out this noxious menace.


| E M H F A S S E M B LY |

Gene doping

Gene doping is no longer something from the realms of science fiction but is practiced today. Simon Cooper, co-chair of the European and African Stud Book Committee explained: “DNA can be inserted, substituted, deleted any number of ways—a bit like cut-and-paste on your computer. Gene editing kits can be bought on the internet”. He gave a vivid example of its potential effects. “Mice normally will run for about 800 metres before they’ve had enough. After some mice were injected, in an experiment in Australia, with the stamina protein PEPCK, and genetically manipulated, they ran six kilometres”. The potential to inflict great damage on the sport of horseracing is obvious, and we should be grateful that the state of vigilance among the international racing and breeding authorities is high, with excellent work particularly being carried out in Japan as well as Australia. There is no evidence of nefarious gene doping of racehorses to date – and no belief that it had been tried - but part of the problem is that we cannot say unequivocally that it has not happened, because there is as yet no test to determine whether or not a horse has been subjected to this technique. This is the main focus of research, which will, if and once successful, be made available to Stud Books, as gatekeepers of the breed and racing authorities around the world. “Once DNA is changed, those changes are passed on”, added Cooper, so the more time that passes before detection, the greater the problem. Prevention, rather than retrospective identification, must therefore be the aim. It is believed that the most likely point at which genetic engineering would be carried out on a horse would be between conception and birth. A takeaway message from Cooper was that the racing world should shout loudly and clearly that its authorities have anticipated, and are prepared for, gene doping. Making those who would seek to cheat aware of this fact should, in and of itself, dissuade them from so doing and thereby reduce the risks of this nightmare ever becoming a reality.

Jockeys’ mental health

A further problem becoming increasingly evident is the vulnerability of our jockeys to mental health issues. Denis Egan, chief executive of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, chairs a committee and biennial global conference under the umbrella of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, which deals with the health, safety and welfare of jockeys, and aims to raise awareness of these issues, harmonise standards in regard to such things as helmets and safety vests, and share information and research findings. One of the achievements of the conferences has been to take stock of the many independent research projects that take place around the world. “There’s now a greater awareness of what each country’s doing, and we’re working together to ensure that our limited resources are spent wisely”, said Egan. Topics on which much work has been done include how starvation and dehydration (the main ways in which jockeys ensure they make weight) impair jockeys’ musculoskeletal and physiological function and affect bone density, the longterm effects of concussion and analysis of falls and the specific types and locations of injuries sustained, and on devising strategies to address these issues. In his presentation, Egan explained that the growing body of research into retired sportspeople was of

relevance to jockeys past and present and to their racing administrators. He cited cases in the USA in which retired American football players who had suffered dementia in later life had sued the NFL. It was critical, both for the health of jockeys and as a defence against such legal action, for racing authorities to have a protocol for concussion in place. As well as their long-term mental health, jockeys’ current mental well-being has also been identified, in recent studies both in Britain and Ireland, as a major issue. The headline figure from a British Horseracing Authority-commissioned study by John Moores University was that no fewer than 86.67% of jockeys in Britain were currently experiencing stress, anxiety or depression or had done so in the past twelve months. Job security, and its link to injury, and the prevalence of abuse of riders through social media, were identified as two key factors in this. Jockeys tend not to access support because of the need to feel ‘strong’ in front of their peers. The research recommended that consideration be given to such things as mandatory breaks for jockeys, their working hours and examining further the critical role played by jockeys’ valets and physios. “As a sport, we have an obligation to work with riders to assist them in tackling these issues”, Egan concluded.

TOP: Norway’s Constitution Day celebrations – red and white much in evidence. ABOVE: EMHF General Assembly meets at Øvrevoll Racecourse.

ePassports for horses

Not all racing’s developments are defences against external threats. Simon Cooper also presented on the future face of horse identification. Technology has superseded traditional forms of identification documentation and the manner in which Stud Books ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

65


| EMHF |

BELOW: Baltic Eagle (GER), winner of the EMHF Lop. SecretaryGeneral, Paull Khan and Chair, Brian Kavanagh (background) await winning connections.

66

operate. Digital data collection, illustration and interrogation provide many efficiencies, opportunities and improved security for the benefit of users, whether they be breeders, trainers, veterinarians or administrators. In the General Stud Book (i.e., the combined stud book for British and Irish Thoroughbreds, of which Cooper is director), for example, all breeding registrations can now be undertaken online, and development has now advanced towards an ePassport. Such passports would encompass everything that the current passports include, but would also boast GPS to ensure the traceability of the horse, mechanisms for the recording and validation of vaccinations in real time, checks to ensure that horses cannot run if not properly vaccinated, using technology to allow for pre-clearance race entry and sending notification of expiring vaccinations to trainers and owners, ‘zoomable’ horse markings, validating changes of ownership, etc. Utilising a smartcard and mobile phone, owners or trainers would be able to record self-administered medication; vets would have similar capability for all approved medications. Cooper envisages that the paper passport would co-exist with ePassports for some years, as various countries adopted the new technology at different speeds. He added that it would be important to ensure that EU legislation allowed of ePassports, and representations were being made to ensure that suitable wording was included in the forthcoming Animal Health Law. The days of the paper horse passport would appear to be numbered.

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

New Executive Council member

Following the move of Sweden’s Helena Gartner from its Gallop authority to its trotting equivalent, a vacancy existed on the EMHF’s 9-strong Executive Council. The Norwegian Jockey Club’s Director of Racing, Liv Kristiansen, who had been central to the organisation of the event, was elected to fill this spot – the third woman in a row to be so elected. She will serve a three-year term.

Øvrevoll: racing without whips

Øvrevoll racecourse, though only 10km from Oslo city centre, has a rural, relaxed feel. Its turf track of around 2,000 undulating metres’ circumference, has a choice of two tight bends linking the back and home straights. It is undulating, and the bends are tight. Two finishing posts used to be employed, to maximise the length of the straight, but this was abandoned as the jockeys frequently mistook the first post for the second—a hazard which seems hard to avoid, around the world. But straight sprints are run from distances as short as 900 metres. There is also a dirt/sand track and a little-used cross-country jumps track in the in-field. The racecourse has a 77-year history, and like many others, enjoyed a halcyon period in terms of crowd attendance in the post-War years. The eight-race card we witnessed offered prize money averaging a little over €6,000, with the feature race worth double this. The fixture had attracted decent fields averaging a little under 10 runners. In Norway, half of all runners are foreign-trained—on the day we were there this figure was lower, with the great bulk of the raiders coming from


ABOVE: Oslo’s relaxed and rural racecourse.

Sweden, and a couple from Denmark. Most of Norway’s horses-in-training are trained at the track. Norwegianbreds represented some 20% of the runners – in line with overall figures - with half of the total foaled in Scandinavia generally. Of the other half, there was good representation of British-, Irish-, French- and German-breds. And what of the whip-less races? At our General Assembly, a final presentation had been from Hans Petter Eriksen, former managing director of the Norwegian Jockey Club, who explained the history of Norway’s whip rules. In 1986, the Norwegian Government introduced an Animal Welfare Act in which it summarily banned the use, or carrying, of the whip in gallop and trotting races. After some negotiation, the government allowed riders to carry a short whip, for safety purposes only, provided jockeys at all times kept both hands on the reins and did not use the reins as a substitute for the whip. This short whip could only be used in dangerous situations. Norway also stood apart from other countries in that penalties for misuse did not only result in fines and suspensions for the jockey but also the disqualification of the horse. A few years later, this was watered down: the rule was changed to stipulate that the horse ‘may’ be disqualified—wording that remains today. After some two decades of the operation of these rules, in 2009, it was concluded that there was no necessity to carry the whip for safety reasons and it was withdrawn altogether, other than in two-year-old and jumps races. Eriksen explained that no accidents had occurred in the past decade, under these whip-less rules, which could be attributed to their absence. Incidents of interference had declined and the favourites’ strike-rate mirrored international norms. Importantly, the resultant spectacle was more acceptable to the general public and sponsors alike. To my eyes, at Øvrevoll that evening, nothing was lost through the absence of the whip. Runners generally ran straight, and the evening was free of enquiries and objections, save for one rider receiving a three-day ban for over-use of the reins, as it were. The races were competitive and the finishes hard fought. And the expert opinion of Phil Smith, former senior handicapper for the BHA and co-chair of the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee, was telling: “I’ve seen no race today which would have been won by a different horse, had whips been used”, he concluded. ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

67


ADVERTORIAL FEATURE

IT’S ABOUT

THE HORSE FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips: Performance Enhancing Equipment?

3%'5<0 <.".# ")$5(" .$0 -#5<5-.##* ($&,0< )& /0<0;) )60 60.#)6 &: 6&$"0" 2 2'$5<8 5<)0<"5,0 0+0$-5"04 1'$$0<)#*9 !&") 3'$&(0.< $.-5<8 7'$5"25-)5&<" /.< <.".# ")$5( '"0 2'$5<8 $.-5<84 FLAIR Strips are visible to the public and are approved for use during competition by most racing jurisdictions1 and most equestrian regulatory bodies around the world (including the FEI for use during Olympic competition). In addition, unlike many pieces of equipment permitted during racing, there is a human nasal strip equivalent that is permitted for use in all human sporting events globally, without public controversy, or question regarding performance enhancement. The ban on use of strips during racing in Europe should be lifted. One argument raised against nasal strip use during racing is the perception that the strips may enhance performance. However, evidence does not support this position, and the argument is inconsistent as applied to other equipment permitted during European racing. 8I 0'I+$1"+ +' +@4 74HI?+?'I 'E *4$E'$!1I04(4I@1I0?IC 7$)C"; +@4 74HI?+?'I 'E 64I@1I047 *4$E'$!1I045 1" 1**#?47 to equipment is very vague, even arbitrary. While some types of equipment that likely enhance performance are permitted, others are not. For example, the suture +@1+ 1$+?H0?1##, 4I#1$C4" +@4 +@$'1+ ?I -?I7 '*4$1+?'I"; 1 procedure regularly performed on European racehorses, is not only permitted, it’s invisible to the punter and the public. Horseshoes are another example. While believed +' 24 24I4H0?1# E'$ +@4 -4#E1$4 'E +@4 @'$"4; +@4, +'' 01I enhance performance. In fact, there are many examples of performance enhancing equipment permitted during racing despite little '2B40+?.4 4.?74I04 'E 24I4H+ +' +@4 @'$"43" -4#E1$4 '$ impact on performance. A few examples include: hoods, eye shields, eye covers, visors, tongue ties, whips, cheek pieces, and blinkers. Each of these can improve a horse’s focus, comfort, anxiety, abnormality or dysfunction, which in turn can improve performance. Permitting or banning 4&)?*!4I+ 21"47 'I +$17?+?'I -?+@')+ 1 0#41$ 74HI?+?'I 'E 6*4$E'$!1I04 4I@1I04!4I+5 01##" ?I+' &)4"+?'I +@4 credibility of the industry and particularly those who are

charged with ensuring fairness to racing and the welfare of the horse. Performance enhancing aspects of equipment should be based on research and clinical data. One study, performed by the University of California Davis, did look at FLAIR Strip’s impact on racing performance on 23 horses racing at Golden Gate Fields in California:

“In conclusion, therefore, results of the present study suggest that use of an external nasal dilator strip in Thoroughbred racehorses may decrease pulmonary bleeding, particularly in horses with severe EIPH, but likely will not have any appreciable effect on overall race performance.” (Emphasis added). When considering enhanced performance, the above quote brings to light another factor that should be 177$4""47= +@4 -4#E1$4 24I4H+ *$'.?747 2, 4&)?*!4I+ )"47 in racing. The work we ask of racehorses, as with most elite athletes, is far beyond what nature intended. Whether human or animal, when competing at a physiological level beyond nature’s intent, the athlete’s welfare must come H$"+D G'; ?E 4&)?*!4I+ 7'4" $4")#+ ?I ?!*$'.47 *4$E'$!1I04 due to improved health should it be banned or praised? Improving performance through proper care is precisely what veterinarians are committed to do. In fact, much of the care provided for equine athletes is known to enhance performance including such things as providing quality water, feeding quality nutrients, using sound training practices, ensuring proper shoeing and maintaining regular veterinary care. G?CI?H01I+ $4"41$0@ @1" 0'I0#)747 +@1+ >9/8: G+$?*" 24I4H+ +@4 @41#+@ 'E +@4 @'$"4D <)?+4 #?%4#, +@?" ?" +@4 $4")#+ 'E !?+?C1+?IC 17.4$"4 4EE40+" ?IF?0+47 2, +@4 "*'$+ ?+"4#ED A@4 G+$?*" ?!*$'.4 2$41+@?IC 4EH0?4I0, 2, ")**'$+?IC the soft tissues over the nasal passages that collapse as


7AB0;3C* 2%31*<;C? #<'($5 23 1 #;?C;B01C* ;C5(#*%+ 0'C03%C9 4'!!'C #3C#3 1C5 )(2$;0 )3%03)*;'C 2'*< #(??3#* *<1* 1$$ 1*<$3*3# #<'($5 23 1$$'-35 *' 2%31*<3 1# 31#;$+ 1# )'##;2$3@ )1%*;0($1%$+ -<3C *<3 ;C*3C#;.3 3AA'%* -3 1#& 'A *<3! ;# 01(#;C? 2%31*<;C? *' 23 !'%3 5;AB0($*9 a result of the intensity of the work they do. The harder 8/F# O5V: 8/F "?OF 8/F VMKM, UMKKM2FK 0?,,MUKFQ )4T0.FV8 1OFM8/.V2 K/?5,H 1F M K.2V.T0MV8 .VH5K8O# 0?V0FOVQ Common sense and public perception both suggest that all athletes should be allowed to breathe as easily as possible, particularly when the intensive effort we ask of them is 0M5K.V2 1OFM8/.V2 8? 1F "?OF H.4T05,8Q Another welfare issue is around the occurrence of F$FO0.KF@.VH50FH U5,"?VMO# /F"?OO/M2F ?O -)<E=+Q '.2V.T0MV8 OFKFMO0/ K/?&K 8/M8 FKKFV8.M,,# M,, OM0F/?OKFK around the world can experience EIPH during training and racing. It is well known that horses in Europe are treated with the drug furosemide to mitigate EIPH during training. If EIPH wasn’t a concern, furosemide would not be administered during training. In addition to other /FM,8/ 1FVFT8K: 0,.V.0M, K85H.FK /M(F UO?(FV 8/M8 >L*<A Strips reduce EIPH. Not only can EIPH negatively impact performance, but public perception is negatively impacted when the bleed is severe enough to be seen at the nostrils. As far as performance and health, one study of almost 400 horses using nasal strips during racing in the United States was evaluated by Kansas State University: -<8 &MK ?1KFO(FH 8/M8 /?OKFK &.8/ 8/F K8O.U /MH M &.V percentage 3.4% higher than horses that did not wear a strip. Horses wearing a nasal strip had a 15% decrease in 8/F .V8FO(M, 8? 8/F VF$8 OM0F DJI HM#KB 0?"UMOFH &.8/ OM0F@ 8?@OM0F .V8FO(M, 1F4?OF &FMO.V2 M VMKM, K8O.U DJ3 HM#KBQ+ In this study, is a 3.4% higher win percentage enhanced performance or is it a statistic of better health by reducing EIPH? Does the fact that horses were able to race back 7 HM#K K??VFO 45O8/FO K5UU?O8 M /FM,8/ 1FVFT8N >MK8FO OF0?(FO# MVH OF85OV 8? OM0.V2 .VH.0M8FK M 45O8/FO 1FVFT8 8? 8/F /?OKFQ !/F .VH5K8O# M,K? 1FVFT8K &/FV /?OKFK MOF healthy and can run back quicker. * TVM, ?1KFO(M8.?V; &/# H? )5O?UFMV OM0.V2 OF25,M8?OK take the position that if something improves performance .8 0?VK8.858FK MV 5V4M.O MH(MV8M2FN !/F .VH5K8O#%K KF,4@ .VS.08FH K8.2"M K5OO?5VH.V2 -FV/MV0FH UFO4?O"MV0F+ V?8 only works to its own detriment, but it’s also in distinct 0?V8OMK8 8? K? "MV# S?5O.K/.V2 KUF08M8?O KU?O8K 4?O &/?" continuous performance improvement is an attribute for increased spectator engagement. Not only do tennis, skiing,

bobsledding, sailing, formula 1 racing, running, jumping, rugby, football and most other international sports events embrace improved performance, but they also demand and invest in innovation to identify new opportunities for improved health, safety and performance of the athlete and the equipment they utilize. The current and new fans needed to sustain the racing industry are demanding fairness, ethics, welfare and transparency in the rules. They also expect optimal performance of athletes through improved knowledge, health and innovation. Moreover, we live in an increasingly transparent world where spectators, stakeholders and welfare advocates have access to social media feeds that can dramatically impact an industry. Animal welfare activists have shown the power they have to leverage low cost messaging on their part into big changes in an industry through the internet or social media. So, in response to whether nasal strips enhance performance, the question is: by what standard are they being measured? A nasal strip having evidence of 1FVFT8 8? /?OKFK% /FM,8/ H5O.V2 OM0.V2 MVH V? F(.HFV0F of performance beyond genetic potential is banned, while FR5.U"FV8 8/M8 /MK ,.88,F ?O V? F(.HFV0F ?4 M /FM,8/ 1FVFT8 or impact on performance is permitted. Use of nasal strips during racing is good for horses and horse racing. The strips do not enhance performance beyond a horse’s genetic potential, and they protect horses from a racing related injury. Veterinarians, owners and trainers should have the option to use nasal strips on race day. The ban should #* 5/'*1& -*+./$*1 ")* (4 ,0)05 )%+/2) (, +0!* 103 also helps to harmonize rules both within racing jurisdictions and use in human sports competition. =<3 *3,* 'A *<;# 15.3%*'%;1$ -1# )%'.;535 *' 1$$ 1"3C533# 'A *<3 7(%')31C 1C5 >35;*3%%1C31C 6'%#3%10;C? :353%1*;'C 83C3%1$ /##3!2$+9

Nasal strips are permitted during racing in most countries including: Australia, GMVMHM: 9M,M#K.M: 9F$.0?: 6F& PFM,MVH: CM8MO: 'M5H. *OM1.M: '?58/ *4O.0M: '?58/ America, South Korea, Singapore, UAE and the USA. They are not currently permitted during racing in Hong Kong and Japan. 1


| WELFARE |

TRA INER WEL FAR E – WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP TRAINERS COMBAT ‘ T R O L L I N G ’ O N L I N E? Lissa Oliver

70

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

Francesca Altoft, Caroline Norris, Alamy, Shutterstock


| DEALING WITH ONLINE ABUSE |

C

yberbullying is something we’re all aware of but generally only associate with teenagers on Facebook or celebrities being attacked on Twitter. Not surprisingly, recent studies in the United States have linked it to poor sleep and depression, so it’s not to be taken so lightly. With modern trainers needing a more public face and social media presence, online abuse or ‘trolling’, as it’s known, is quietly creeping into the racing industry and threatens to become racing’s dirtiest secret. While it’s not yet prevalent, complaints are beginning to filter through, and it’s therefore worth familiarising yourself with how to deal with the issue. Trolling and cyberbullying are two slightly different problems—cyberbullying being more personal and the targeting of a victim, usually by someone known to the victim. This can be particularly hurtful as it will involve direct personal insults, and the bully may feed off the victim’s fears and weaknesses. Trolling is more general online abuse, like strangers who simply want to get a reaction from the online community. They crave attention, good or bad. The more their victim engages with them, the more hateful comments they will post. The important thing to remember is that if you experience trolling or cyberbullying, it is not your fault. You did not deserve to be targeted. Do not allow what happened to you define you as a person. Jockey Alan Lee pointed out a similar observation during the short JETS (Jockeys Education & Training Scheme) information film “Resilience”, and it’s worth reminding ourselves of it. It is important for us to recognise self-worth. The mistake for jockeys and trainers is often in basing our sense of self-worth on the performance of our horse, when in fact we should distance ourselves from racecourse results and recognise that our self-worth is measured by how we are as a person and how we behave as a partner, as a parent, as an employer or as an employee. As Lee warned, losing a race should hurt and will hurt, but only for about ten minutes. After that, move on and move forward. Abuse need not only be online. Trainer Conny Whitfield has suffered first-hand experience of personal abuse at a German racecourse. As her horse was led out for its race, one of the syndicate members enquired of its chances. She suggested that with a fair run, it could be involved in the finish. As it was, the saddle slipped and although involved in the finish, her horse was beaten two lengths by the winner. Sadly, Conny was then subjected to alarming abuse by the syndicate member in the very public surroundings of the unsaddling area. To make matters worse, she was in the company of her husband and very young daughter, who naturally found it distressing and was close to tears. “He told me I was too stupid to saddle a horse and as a result he had lost €500”, Conny relates. Among other abuse, he threatened that the horse would leave her yard. Thankfully, it was the irate punter who left and, while the horse remains with her, the punter is no longer with the syndicate. “It left me dreadfully depressed for days afterwards”, Conny admits. “I’m OK now, but it wasn’t a nice experience to have on a packed racecourse, where all sane people know that we strive to do our best”.

It seems obvious to us that we arrive at the races wanting to win, but a misconception of malpractice still haunts our sport. And even if most racegoers are aware of integrity and desire to succeed, as Irish trainer John McConnell points out, “punters and even owners have a strange perception that we all know when our horse is going to win”! He has had some experience of online abuse, but admits that jockeys probably get a lot more abuse than trainers. “Most of it comes from guys just talking out of their pocket, and the sensible thing is to ignore it”, he says. “I’ve had a little tiny bit of it, which I found quite amusing, actually! I had a winner at Hamilton and received an email calling me a cheating scumbag. I’d just been reading Mick Channon’s autobiography and he’d shown a few offensive tweets he’d received and there was my man among them! I got quite a kick out of it, that I was up there on a par with Mick Channon”! Michael Grassick of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association reports, “I’ve had one complaint in the last two years and that wasn’t serious abusiveness. My advice is just to keep away from social media. If an owner wants to find you, they’ll find you. You can afford to come offline if you need to. The right people always know how to get in touch”. Criquette Head-Maarek shares Grassick’s view. “There is always a risk with social media”, she agrees. “If a trainer is not on social media, then there is no problem”. Abuse does not always stem from losing punters, and social media can sometimes be used as a tool in defence, as Ger Lyons demonstrated on Twitter recently. When comedian Ricky Gervais attacked the welfare of the racehorse following the Grand National, Lyons had a simple response: “visit my yard”. This is also a policy sometimes adopted by Jamie Osborne, and it’s possible that educating critics, rather than arguing fruitlessly, could be a more positive solution. Clearly with more vicious personal attacks, it is not the answer, however.

“Punters and even owners have a strange perception that we all know when our horse is going to win!” JOHN MCCONNELL

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

71


| WELFARE |

“I wi will i sometimes reply to o social media insults. It very much depends on my mood d at the time and what is said and how it has been said, an nd whether the person makin ng the remark has anyy credibillity tyy”,, Osborne sayys. “These dayys we must accept that everybo ody has an opinion and everyyone can voice their opinion. If itt is constructive then I’ve no problem at all, and if they are just confused I w wiiill politelyy correct them. It’s when the comments become insulting thaat it creates a problem. I shoulld ignore them, but oft ften t I fin ind it hard to do so,, so I wi will i oft ften t rep plyy publiclyy, simp plyy to cllosee the curtain for being insultiing, which is unnecessary. ought on the worldwi wide i web “There is a school of tho that trainers and jockeys almost know the result beforee the race. Those who believve that to be the case don’t kn now the details of the many inffinite i things that may occur in n the dayys leading g up p to a raace that mayy aff fffect the result. We are talking about half a tonne of strong-wi willed i anim mal being asked to race againstt several other half-tonne strong-wi willed i animals and sometimes we are at the merrcyy of circumstances outside our control. Because of this, there is no absolute in raciing, but some less-informed peop ple on the worldwi wiide web believe in that absolute and hose of us involved. I should feel it necessary to insult th ignore them, but I don’t. “Sometimes on Twi wiitter I re-tweet w wiithout i a commen nt, which h makes them look k stu upiid. Iff I feell stronglly enough h I’ll rip them apart! Lu uckilyy, I’m not sensitive, and a parrt of me finds i it mildly amusiing; and I enjoy startiing an argument! It w wiill i never be eradicated because there’s one born every day”. Some who are somewhat lacking in n intellig gence find i the need to publicly display their lack off intellig gen nce, and we should feel rather sorry for them.

“I did see Ger Lyons’ in nvi vi vitation to Ricky Gervais, and I have done that a few tim mes. I always ffiind i it shuts the reallyy gobby ones up! I’’ve had some very nice people come to the yard and they have helped, but the really insulting ones never reply. An invit itattion frightens them away compleetely. I th hink they aree afraid of being found out and proved wrong”. Osbornee sums it up perfectly when he conclludes, “I don’tt have to be on Twi witter, i but I enjoy it”! Viccious trollling is beccoming a growi wing i concern in Brittain, where Rupert Arno old of the NTF tells us, “It’ss pretty prevalent alrready and there are diff fferent f approaches that can be taaken: either put up w wiith i it and ignore itt, or reach out for help where it becomes hard to take. Examples I see tend to follow a pattern, often wi with i th he saame offe fensivve laanguage used. “ The BHA collects examples to o pass on to the police where necessary and track down thosse responsible. Su urprisingly, some don’t cover their tracks and are perfectlyy traceable. One trainer traacked down the home address and challenged the peerson sen nding the em mails. “Anyo n one in the publicc domain is no ow a targget; it’s a pheenomenon of social media and you mu ust take that risk. It’s a diiffi fiiccult dilemma. Train ners take the view i th hat they arre trying i to o engagee wit ith the public and create a good publiic image of raacin ng, whicch is good for the spo ort and for their busineess”. There are some simple ways to maintain an n online preseence wit ith safeguards in placce, partticularly on na peersonal website or Facebook gro oup page. The ffiirst i steep is to establish a policy for user co omments. These polliciees should d clearly detail wh hat kind off commentts are allo owed and be outlined on your weebsite and d social med dia accounts. Most social network ks have com mmunity policies for being respectful. Create one off you ur own n as a remiinder of acceptable behavio iour for posts, com mments and d shares. Should someone breach that resspect, poin nt them bacck to your pollicy. This wiilll,, at leasst, hellp to preven nt bitter recriminattion sho ould d they then n be block ked from th he siite. If you would like to o block or reporrt rt abusive co omments, sign in to your Faceb book account and go to th he perrson’s profi file fil

“It’s pretty prevalent already and there are different approaches that can be taken: either put up with it and ignore it, or reach out for help where it becomes hard to take.” RUPERT ARNOLD

72

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| DEALING WITH ONLINE ABUSE |

“These days we must accept that everybody has an opinion and everyone can voice their opinion.” JAMIE OSBOURNE

who is causing off ffence. f Scrroll to the bott ttom t of the left ft column and click the “Report rtt/Blocck This Person” link. Select one of the appropriate options forr the situation, such as “This person is annoyi ying i me” or “This person is bullyi yiing or harassing me.” These options are availablee on all social media platforms. Nicolas Clément, like Grassick, can report no complaints nd in Austria Ziva Prunk tells from trainers of abuse, an us, “As bett tting t is not mucch developed yet, we are not yet seeing abuse on social meedia. Actually, I never heard or experienced that anyone has had problems w wiith i it, but my advi vice i would be to reportt it to the police immediately”! We may think such advviice perhaps too extreme, but in Britain, trainer Mark John nston did just that, resulting in a succcessful conclusion. “O Online abuse is veryy common for me,” he saays. “I get them at least once a week, usually aft fter t a favourite is beaten. Some can be very nasty ty indeed. The N NT TF T are reecommendin ng that th hese are reported to the BHA. “I reporrted some reecen ntly that seemed to have a similar themee. The BHA advi vised i d me to report it to the police. I believe th he police replied to th he emails warning the person off ff. f That was just this week and I haven’t had one from that perrson since. Hopeffully it has wo orked. “M Most com me from an nonymou us email ad ddresses. Where the em mail addressses weree real, or there was evi vid idence of the identiity of the peerson, I useed to pu ublish them on my web bsite. Amazzingly, som mebody accu used mee of bullyi yiing for doing th hat. I think k these peo ople are reaally desp picable and sh hould be exxposed if att all possib ble. Maybe if more were exposed d, it woulld act as a deterrent””. Similarlyy, Eve Joh hnson Houg ghton feells it is all too o comm mon in Briitain and has been su ubjected to o distressiing emails. “I reported d it to o the BHA, which h I believee we should all do, as I am sure it is a few repeat offe fenders who sh hould d be stopped d”,, she sayss. Theere is a recurring g theme fro om variou us so ources on how to deaal w wiit ith and cop pe wit ith such h abuse, typi pifi fied by fie ReacchOutt.ccom m whiich suggestts fiv ive simp ple steps to deal with i h trollling and cyberb bullyi ying: yin Starvee them m – it’ss tottally understand dable to waant to wage a war on tro olls wit ith your keyboard, but trolls th hrive on others’ an nger, frusttratiion an nd ann noyance. The angrierr you gett, the stron nger theyy beco ome, so staarve them of a reeaction. The best acction is to igno ore th he postts. Reccord d it – take a screeensh hot so o thatt you have a record of the oriiginal postt. This covvers yo ou iff the perso on triees to ed dit or delette their po ost once they realisee it could d get

them in trouble. These recordss can also be handy if things escalate and you need to take the matter further. Stand up for yourself – you can ignore trolls and still make a stand against them. Mo ost social media sites have special functions in place to keeep you feeling safe online. Report harmful posts and block k the user so they can’t annoy you anym ym more. Log off ff – it can be really oveerwhelming when trolls are constantly pestering you. While you can’t control other people’s trolling behavi viou i ur, you can try to limit the amount of time you spend deaaling w wiith i it. You may ffiind i logging off ff social media diff fffiicu i ult, but it’s a good idea if you’re feeling upset. You don’t have to go completely off ff the grid; you could just try turn ning off ff push notifi fications, i logging off ff from the accounts that are most afffected f d by trolling, or deleting social med dia apps from your phone and only logging on when you’’re in the off fffiice. i Talk to someone – it can help to talk to someone if trolls are getting you down. Th his can be really tough, but it can make you to feel a lo ot better. Choose someone who you trust and who wi will i be able to give you the help you need. Work out what you want to say beforehand, ffecting f you and focusing on how the experiencce is aff what help you want from them m. If they don’t give you the support you’re looking for, try speaking to someone else. Remember, you can as easilyy become an online bully as an online vviictim. i Think befo ore you typ ype! p Rationally consider the feelings of others,, be civi vil i and never respond wi with i rudeness if someone is ru ude towards you. If a potentiallyy damag ging g commen nt is posted, respond as quickly as possible w wiith i a well--considered and positive reply that draws a ffiirm i line und derneath the topic. Whether or not a vi victim i of online abuse, the stresses of training can take their toll, and every trainer should look out for the warning signs of depression and seek help immediately. If you suff fffer mood swi wings, i ffiind i that you dislike doing the things yo ou previ viously i enjoyed, are irritable wi with i people you like and are close to, or not sleeping well, then seek supporrt.

“Online abuse is very common for me, I get them at least once a week, usually after a favourite is beaten.” MARK JOHNSTON

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

73


| TRAINING |

Alysen Miller

74

Caroline Norris, Equilume

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| TECH IN TRAINING |

T ECH

ADVANCES= OPPORTUNITIES FOR TRAINERS ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

75


| TRAINING |

| TECH IN TRAINING |

F

rom heart rate monitors to GPS trackers, smart treadmills to light masks and even Artifi ficial i Intelligence, a plethora of new technologies has breezed onto the market in recent years, all claiming to off ffer f trainers an edge in a sport where every pixel in a photo ffiinish i counts. And it’s not just on the gallops where their impact is being felt; everyw ywhere w from the barn to the breeding shed, a raft of new gadgets is quietly powering a technological revolution that has the power to reshape the racing industry. So in this brave new world, how do trainers ensure that they are exploiting every possible technological advantage at their disposal in their quest to leave no margin left ungained? The reality is that, in an increasingly data-driven world, racing has been ironically slow to catch on to technologies that have already become mainstream in sports ranging from running to cycling. Every MAM AMIL M (middle-aged ytte gel has his own GPS man in lycra) worth his electrolyt tracker fit itted to his carbon fiib bre bike. Now, companies such as Arioneo and Gmax are helping the racing industry catch up to the peloton by provviding i real-time exercise data, allowi wing i trainers to track horses’ speed, cadence, sectional times and stride lengt gth, t as well as heart rate and other biometrics using a devi vice i fitted i to the horse’s girth. These data are then fed back to o an app, allowi wing i every aspect of the horse’s work and recovery to be assessed. Lambourn-based husband an nd w wiife i team Claire and Daniel Kübler were easily adaptable to the cause. “We did a lot of research when we started training, going, “OK, what’s out there to actually put a bit more science behind what people do”? There’s so much data, so the more you can have, the better decisions you’re going to make”, explains Claire. “I started graphing out the data that we gathered, looking at frequency of stride to see where horses (and trip) correlate. It has actually helped to pinpoint when a horse does want a distance or it when

Horse wearing a heart rate monitor and GPS tracker.

76

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

THERE’S SO MUCH DATA, SO THE MORE YOU CAN HAVE, THE BETTER DECISIONS YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE E. CLAIRE KÜBLER

it wantss dropping back to a more speed trip. So o it was really usseful to help decide which way to go”. Armed wi Arm Ar with a degree in Natural Sciences from wit Cambridge University ty, Kübler realised that the concept of ty, marginal gains (European Trainer – December 2015 – issue 52) was as relevant to the racing industry as it was to other


THE NEW GENERATION SENSOR

Understand and measure physiological capabilities: Heart rate at work Heart rate recuperation Measure, benchmark and record each h horse’s e’ physical capabilities and progression in training ai g Potential Po to detect early signs of of injury nju and pathological path gical iissues ss

DATA GATHERING

PLATFORM OF ANALYSIS

DATA SCIENCE

Medical analysis of the heart rate, a horse’s performance aligned to GPS data - speed, distance, time split, stride frequency, stride lenght.

With the best precision, Equimetre provides ongoing analysis of the physiological and physical capacity of each horse during training.

Our team of equine experts along with our veterinary partners are available to work alongside you.

Speed

Distance

Heart rate

Stride Frequency

Stride Length

For more details please visit www.arioneo.com or contact sales@arioneo.com


| TRAINING |

| TECH IN TRAINING |

IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE GIVE THEM THE LIGHT STIMULUS THAT ALLOWS THEIR BODY TO WORK AS BEST AS IT CAN BARBARA MURPHY

sports. Popularised by Sir David Brailsford—the erstwhile head of British Cycling and latterly doyen of professional cycling behemoth Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky)—the theory of marginal gains states that if you break down every element you can think of that goes into the performance of an athlete, and then improve each element by 1%, you will achieve a significant aggregated increase in performance. “The optimum is getting 100% out of a horse. But for us, every little bit of marginal gain can hopefully get the most out of each individual”, Artificial Intelligence (AI) may conjure images of a dystopian future, but it is already being used in technologies available to trainers in the United States and Canada. Billed as the world’s first ‘smart halter’, or headcollar, Nightwatch was developed by Texas-based Protequus to monitor horses while they are in their stables overnight. “Unlike a lot of other wearables, this technology is based on an AI platform, which means that it learns every animal’s unique physiology and looks for deviations in that physiology that correlate with pain or distress and will send a text, phone and email to you so you can intervene at the earliest signs of a possible

78

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

problem”, says the company’s Founder and CEO, Jeffrey Schab. The company is aiming to make Nightwatch available to European consumers by 2020. If the worst does happen, a host of companies are harvesting the latest tech to aid in pain management and rehabilitation. Among these is the ArcEquine, a wearable brace that delivers a microcurrent to aid in the repair of soft tissue injuries by increasing levels of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) within affected cells. While the benefits of water therapy and treadmills have long been recognised by trainers, the latest gadget from ECB is a smart water treadmill that essentially functions as a Fitbit for horses. Not only does it incorporate salt- and coldwater functions as well as an incline feature, the treadmill comes with a built-in computer that allows the user to set programmes for particular horses, while feeding this data back to a phone or tablet for analysis. “By playing around with speed, water depth and incline, you can target specific muscles, control the heart rate, dictate the horse’s stride length and work on the horse’s straightness,” says Richard Norden, sales and marketing manager. Elsewhere, scientists are working on ways to help increase athletic performance even when a horse is resting. Dr. Barbara Murphy, Head of Equine Science at University College Dublin, has pioneered the use of light therapy on racehorses. Her smart lighting system mimics the effects of natural daylight by exposing horses to the correct spectral intensity of light to synchronise their internal clock. This has been shown to have performanceenhancing benefits, as well as increasing reproductive efficiency in broodmares. Essentially, natural daylight has a high amount of blue, short wavelength light. This blue light targets special photoreceptors in the eye that stimulate the circadian control centre in the brain, boosting activity, metabolism and alertness.

IT’S BEING ABLE TO RUN YOUR YARD FROM YOUR PHONE, NOT ONLY DOES IT ENSURE COMPLIANCE, IT SAVES TIME. PIERCE DARGAN


The most advanced equine water treadmill on the market today “We have been using our ECB water treadmill for a year now and I am very impressed by the benefits which are varied and far reaching. The aerobic exercise in cold salt water can be used to keep horses pain free and to exercise using all of their muscles evenly. It has helped with minor injuries such as swelling due to bruising or lymphangitis, and chronic joint and arthritis based injuries to reduce inflammation and to increase the range of movement. In addition when the horses are using the machine we have time for our dedicated staff to gauge their hind and forelimb action, and to assess any back or muscle pain. We have had great success with horses known to have kissing spines avoiding the need for surgery. At a time when welfare is more important than ever we find the water treadmill has aided us to produce fit and injury free athletes who move well and are mentally happy in their work.” Lucinda Russell, Scotland.

E C B A Q U A TR E A DM I LL F E A TU R ES • Marine grade stainless steel for saltwater use. • Belt speed to 12kph which can also be used dry. • Built-in variable Incline for cardiorespiratory work. • Self contained refrigeration option. • 100 Horse touch screen computer system. • Smartphone compatible data analytic package. • Built-in diagnostic and self clean systems. • Built-in heart rate and weight monitors. • Unique filtration system giving 6 weeks of clean recycled water. water

+44 (0)1451 822969

| equinespa.com |

info@equinespa.com


| TRAINING |

“When we consider that horses have evolved outdoors under natural photoperiods, they received high intensity blue-enriched light by day, then the sun goes down and they experienced un-interrupted darkness at night. These continuous fluctuating light-dark cycles maintained their strong body rhythms. In contrast, when we stable horses in a box for up to 22 hours a day, it’s really important that we give them the light stimulus that allows their body to work as best as it can,” explains Murphy. Her company, Equilume, offers stable lighting systems and futuristic-looking light masks that shine low-level blue light directly into the horse’s eye. While the importance of correct lighting is only just beginning to be understood, it should not be underestimated, according to Murphy. “We spend so much money on nutrition, training surfaces and veterinary care, (but) the single environmental cue that makes everything work in synchrony in the horse’s body is the light that they receive through their eyes. Temperature and food plays a role, but it doesn’t play as important a role as light. So by improving lighting we can ensure that horses get better value out of their feed, out of their training, out of all other aspects of their management.” It is not only in the area of performance that technology is playing a role. Programmes such as Stable IT and Equine Medirecord help trainers achieve gains at the margins through maximising efficiency. “The last thing you want to be dealing with is paperwork”, says Pierce Dargan, founder of Equine Medirecord. “Especially paperwork that, if you get it wrong, you can get fined and end up in the papers, or even get criminally prosecuted”. His app provides the racing industry with a one-stopshop for ensuring full compliance with all medical regulations, including treatments and vaccinations.

80

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

| TECH IN TRAINING |

Gordon Elliot, Nicky Henderson and Nicolas Clément are fans. “It’s being able to run your yard from your phone”, says Dargan. “Not only does it ensure compliance, it saves time. So there’s one less thing for you to worry about”. Charlie Elsey concurs: “It is a massive efficiency gain. In a bigger yard and even in the smaller yards, just being organised in a sensible fashion is pretty useful”. Elsey launched Stable IT after a training career spanning two decades. “I have a long family history of racing, so I completely understand the business that we’re trying to help”, he says. Initially an invoicing and billing programme, its functionality has expanded to meet demand. “You can keep track of anything and everything on a horse-by-horse basis; for example, their weights, temperatures and training regimes, as well as all their medical records. In this day (and) age people are expecting those records to be digitised”. As Elsey sees it, advances in technology have actually increased the pressures faced by trainers. “In a lot of ways, the requirements on them are a lot higher: the compliance issues, reporting and keeping records that are easily accessible... So, anything we can do to share the load can only be a good thing”. Of course, no amount of gadgetry can transcend a horse’s intrinsic genetic ability. That is why handlers such as Jim Bolger have embraced genetic testing in order to take some of the guesswork out of training. Since Professor Emmeline Hill of University College Dublin first identified the role of a protein known as myostatin, which effects muscle growth, in determining whether a horse would be better suited to sprint, middle or longer distance races, the so-called ‘speed gene’ has become something of an industry obsession, with the Speed Gene Test now one of the most firmly established


AUTOMATIC EQUINE COMPLIANCE

TIRED OF GETTING REGULATORY FINES?

Safe & Secure

Full Regulatory Approval in IE, UK, FR

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

81


| TRAINING |

| TECH IN TRAINING |

AS SOON AS THE FOALS ARE BORN, WE HAVE THEM TESTED SO WE KNOW ALMOST FROM BIRTH WHAT THEY ARE.

year-old) sprint races, over five to six furlongs, 71% of runners were the C:C type, but they earned 89% percent of the prize money. So that’s an overperformance of 25%. In contrast, 28% of the runners were C:Ts, but they only earned 11% of the prize money. That represents a 61% underperformance in terms of runners to prize money”. Bolger agrees. “I don’t care what anybody says about looking at a horse. Some people will tell you that they can look at a horse and know exactly what he is by just looking at him. That’s not true because there have been some very good trainers down the years who have run horses in the Derby who then eventually ended up as champion sprinters. That wouldn’t have happened if they had been following the science”. For all that technology is changing the racing landscape, there remain some within the industry who are not convinced of its benefits. “Would you find out quicker what you would see eventually with your own eye? I don’t know”, says Willie Mullins. “We use experience and eye rather than technology. I found that I preferred doing it the way I’ve always done it. It sort of works”. In this, it would seem he has an unlikely ally in tech-savvy Claire Kübler: “Obviously, you have to always come back to the feeling. I’ve been around horses my entire life, and you do have to have a sense of ‘How is this horse? It is actually not enjoying itself at the moment. Why is it’? A machine isn’t going to tell you if a horse isn’t enjoying itself ”. Perhaps the singularity is not so near, after all.

JIM BOLGER

genetic tests for racehorses all over the world. The test categorises horses into three types: C:Cs, which tend to be earlier-maturing and better suited to short distances; C:Ts, the most versatile type, which can perform over short distances as two-year-olds and then develop into middle distances types as three-year-olds; and T:Ts, which are later-maturing and better suited to longer distances. “As soon as the foals are born, we have them tested so we know almost from birth what they are, so I’m conscious of that from the word go”, says Bolger, who was an early investor in Professor Hill’s research. As well as helping him to place his horses in the correct races for their type, genetic testing can also lead to efficiency gains as crucial training resources are directed to where they are needed most: “We take in the two-year-olds to break them from October onwards. We then decide that we’re not going to need the T:Ts back again until well into the new year, so we leave them off and that’s a considerable saving from the point of view of effort, as well as giving them a chance to mature”. “There is a clear economic gain to be made by trainers in having this information”, agrees Hill. “A lot of trainers will say, ‘Well, we know (what their optimum trip is). We can tell from the pedigree’. But what our data shows is that some trainers may be missing a trick. In (three-

82

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

I HAVE A LONG FAMILY HISTORY OF RACING, SO I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THE BUSINESS THAT WE’RE TRYING TO HELP. CHARLIE ELSEY


Show Your True Colors • Saddle Towels

• Jockey Silks

• Stable Equipment

• Blinkers

• Custom Apparel

• Blankets

Custom Racing Apparel Since 1974

~ Specializing in manufacturing the highest quality jockey silks and horse racing apparel in the world ~

www.customjockeysilks.com • 001-8567686411 • sales@dalyssilks.com

THE NUMBER 1 IN THE INDUSTRY. GARY’S DONE PRETTY WELL TOO. A lot can be learned from studying the best. Arc Equine is the undisputed number 1 microcurrent pain management and tissue repair device on the market. It’s wearable, drug free, non-invasive and entirely legal. Supporting a horse’s natural bio currents, it can boost Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) within the cells, the energy providing molecule that is fundamental to managing inflammatory pain and aiding tissue repair. Helping the body start the repair process sooner than it can do by itself also means recovery times can be quicker, repairs stronger and with less scarring too. Small wonder so many top trainers, Olympians, National teams and gold medal winners use our devices. As trainers, we know how important time off is to recover from injuries thoroughbred racehorses can sustain, but combining this with the Arc had great success returning these horses to the track much sooner. Gary Moore Race Horse Trainer

For a free demonstration call 01580 755 504 www.ArcEquine.com #SmallWonder

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

83


PRODUCT FOCUS KURASYN 360X, THE LATEST SUPPLEMENT FROM TRM Kurasyn 360x is a feed supplement for horses containing highly bioavailable curcumin combined with hyaluronic acid. It contains a fast-acting curcumin extract complexed with a naturally occurring oligosaccharide, and has significantly better absorption compared with standard Turmeric. Curcumin is the active component of turmeric, a well-known spice with antioxidant properties and provides support for the digestive, musculoskeletal and immune systems. A bioavailability study using the curcumin included in Kurasyn 360X showed that curcumin was 85 times more efficiently absorbed into the blood, compared to standard curcumin powder derived from turmeric. The benefits of feeding Kurasyn 360x include the availability of potent & Natural antioxidants via the curcumin in Kurasyn 360X which is 85X more bioavailable than standard Curcumin from turmeric. In addition Kurasyn 360x contains 150mg Hyaluronic acid per 50ml feed which can assist in the maintenance of synovial fluid – the joint lubricant. The product contains no prohibited substances. It is advised to use Kurasyn 360X before and after periods of physical stress and on horses in hard training and intense competition. Kurasyn 360x will assist in the maintenance of normal joint function and is a useful adjunct during periods of rehabilitation from injury. TRM, is a leading manufacturer of nutritional feed supplements for horses, with a long-standing reputation for integrity and excellence in the field. It is TRM’s mission to “maximise horses’ athletic performance by targeting their specific nutritional and hygienic needs”. ● For further information please visit www.trm-ireland.com

84

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| PRODUCT FOCUS |

NEW HOOFPICK FROM ROYAL KERCKHAERT

MAKES CLEANING EASIER AND MORE ENJOYABLE FOR THE HORSE.

The Royal Kerckhaert horseshoe factory is launching a number of innovative new products in the Diamond range this year. The Diamond Hoof Pick is a state-of-the-art stainless steel hoof pick of professional quality. The special design, with serrated edges, makes cleaning easier and more enjoyable for the horse. The beautiful handle is made of hardwood from sustainably managed forests. The wood contains natural oils and does not swell up when wet or dry out in a warm climate. A wooden handle is comfortable all year round. ● For more information please visit www.kerckhaert.com

Order your copy today! Call Anderson & Co on 041 971 2000 (IRE) or +44 (0)1380 816777 (UK) or order online at trainermagazine.com/books Also available Biomechanics and Physical Training of the Horse Hardback | 192 pages | ISBN: 9781840761924 | £39.99 excluding P&P

ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

85


| HINDSIGHT |

Andreas Lรถwe happy about his golden honorary award.

86

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66


| ANDREAS LÖWE |

Mystic Lips with Andreas Helfenbein and trainer Andreas Löwe, after winning the Henkel Prize of Diana 2007.

ANDREAS LÖWE

H

is career as a trainer ended in style: With a win inner in Dortmund just after Christmas in 2016. Thirty-fi five years earlier he had opened fiv his account wit ith his fi first runner Adita fir in Cologne, where he is still based. In between, Andreas Löwe collected 1,163 wins on the fl win wi flat plus 25 over the jumps. fla Five individ idual Gp1 win inners stand out, and he won seven Classic races. For his owners he earned almost €16 million in prize money. Löwe started his racing passion as a jockey at the famous Gestut Ravensberg, but was too heavy vy for a professional career. Löwe then became stud manager before turning to training. Peter Muhlfeit spoke to Andreas Löwe about his career and life today. AL: I haven’t really stopped working AL: AL with horses. I’m an advi wit wi viser and racing vis manager for Gestut Gorlsdorf and Gestut Winterhauch, in any capacity I’m needed. To stop completely would have made me sick, as my wi wife and I wif

Peter Mühlfeit

Frank Sorge

love to be around horses; and we like to travel to the sales and the races. Since the 1960s, I practically have been in the horse yard every day. I couldn’t just swi witch off wit ff the engine. Luckily my wi wife wif who had shared that passion all along, still thinks the same. Otherwis ise it would not have been possible. How are the Gorlsdorf and Winterhauch stables performing this season? Gorlsdorf had a Listed wi winner at Badenwin Baden wit ith the Sea The Moon fi filly, fil Preciosa. That was a very promising run. I’m sure there is more to come from her as she is only three years old and raced very lightly. She was in the ring during the Spring Sales the day before the race, but luckily she didn’t fi find a fin buyer. Gorlsdorf has about 20 horses in training. There are some good two-yearolds, but it’s early days. Winterhauch was a bit unlucky wit ith plenty of injured horses, but we are hoping for a much better second half of the season.

As a trainer you won twice the German Oaks and four times the German 1000 Guineas. Were you particularly good with fillies? I have been asked that a lot. But to be honest it had a lot to do wit ith the fact that I often had more fi fillies in the stable fil than colts. A few decades they were much cheaper to buy, and we always had to look for budget opportunities. But I have to admit, I always had fun training fi fillies fil as they are often more sensitive than the colts and need a diff fferent approach. ffe Mystic Lips was very special as she won the German Oaks like almost no other. I picked her at the BBAG Yearling Sales in 2005 for Stall Lintec. And Lolita, win inner of the German 1000 Guineas, was a very sensitive fi filly. She was bought at the fil BBAG Spring Sales in 2003. You also trained a lot of good colts. Name some of your favourites! Amaron, a Group wi winner from two to win seven years, impressed me the most. ISSUE 66 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

87


| HINDSIGHT |

I bought him at Tattersalls December Sales in 2010 for Winterhauch. He was so consistent in his form. Just like Lucky Lion he won a Gp1 race. But Lucky Lion, runner-up in the German Derby and another one I bought for Winterhauch (this time however at the BBAG Yearling Sales) was a very diff ffic ffi icult horse. So to win in with him made me very proud. wit wi In the early days it was Protector I liked best as he performed successful on Group level for eight years, wi winning two Gp2 win races. He was also the fi first German horse fir to be inviitted to the International Races in Hong Kong. He fi finished fourth in the fin then Gp2 Hong Kong Vase in Sha Tin. What about the jockeys—who in particular did you like to work wi with? wit With Andreas Helfenbein I had a lot of success, also on top level. He won the Diana (German Oaks) for me on Mystic Lips for example. But it has always worked well for me and my owners not to stick to one particular jockey, but to look around who is available and who would be the best to ride the horse. You picked a lot of your winners at the sales for your owners. Where were your best hunting grounds? I’m still acting as a thoroughbred agent if someone wants me to buy a horse for them. In the past I obvio iously had a good range of owners who asked for my advi vice. I guess I was pretty successful in vic Newmarket. I always liked the December sales as the prices were much in the budget range of my owners. You could get some good buys there. For me, the looks of the horse is very important—the first impressions—to see how the horse fir fi presents itself. Usually you see rather if it has character. And that’s very important. BELOW RIGHT: Andreas Löwe with his wife Anne after his 1,000th victory.

88

TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM ISSUE 66

| ANDREAS LÖWE |

Kings Bell with trainer Andreas Löwe.

For example Sehrezad—his story is rather unusual, isn’t it? Holger Renz, a longt gtime racing gti owner, had the idea to buy a horse at Newmarket together wi with some wit friends. They asked me for advic ice, but the sales catalogue contained about 2,000 horses. So we decided to make a preselection by considering only the horses born on the 22th of April, the birthday of one of the partners. There were forty horses wit ith that birth date and I immediately fell for Sehrezad, who became the top miler in Germany in 2010. He won three Group races. You have travelled a lot. Where do you like it best? I’m anglophile. Newmarket is wonderful; the British people in general are very hospitable. I love racing in Epsom or Ascot, and we used to have runners there

wiith some success. Italy had been our ‘El w wit dorado’ through the years. We won a lot of big races, and they off ffered much more ffe money than we got in Germany. But the situation now makes me rather sad. It’s a real shame if you think about the lovely tracks they have in Italy. You have been involved in racing for more than five decades. What do you still find fascinating? Needless to say, I love horses—their expression. They are such special animals. And I like to transfer the enthusiasm I have for these horses to my clients. Despite the fact that there is a lot of pessimism about the future of racing in Germany, in my circles, the people I’m dealing wit ith I fi find plenty of fin enthused voices who are hoping for a better future of racing and are wi willing to wil invest in that future.


FEED YOUR DESIRE TO WIN

Since making the change to Connolly’s RED MILLS my horses are looking and feeling great. Our horses are eating and working well and recovering quickly after running. It’s great having the support of their team, which means a lot. Charlie Hills Trainer, Phoenix of Spain, Tattersalls 2000 Guineas winner .

Advert by kind permission of trainer.

Goresbridge, County Kilkenny, Irreland Tel: +353 599 775 800 Email: info@redmills.com Contact our specialist thoroughbred team: UK Thoroughbred Manager: Adam Johnson +44 7860 771063 Irish Senior Equine Nutritionist: Lorraine Fradl + 353 59 9775800

www.redmills.com

Profile for Trainer Magazine

Trainer Magazine, European Edition, issue 66 - July-September 2019  

Trainer Magazine, European Edition, issue 66 - July-September 2019