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ISSUE 52 – JANUARY TO MARCH 2016 £6.95

LOUISA CARBERRY Living the dream

Serious injuries for horses and jockeys Can they be prevented?

Michael Hourigan

Training with technology

What is a genetic passport?


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GILES STAmINA, ANDERSON Time for innovative thinking


RITING my introduction for the previous issue got me thinking about the ways that technology has changed the trainer’s lot over the last few decades, so in this issue of European Trainer, we introduce you to a trainer who, it would be fair to say, wouldn’t necessarily be your stereotypical user of technology in his yard, but as you’ll find out, Michael Hourigan has really become the “gadget man” amongst trainers. Anything that might take him to the next level of excellence is fair game for Hourigan. For many, technology is all about innovation, but innovation is also about changing practices and coming up with different ways of problem solving. At the same time as we were putting together the feature on Michael Hourigan, Catherine Dunnett approached me about running an article on the concept of marginal gains. This concept has been applied in the world of cycling, where small but multiple “tweaks” to training regimes have led to improved performance. Obviously, it’s easy for a cyclist to take their duvet and pillows from home when travelling to help them get a better night’s rest but how can the same ideas be applied to racing? What Dunnett gives us are some pretty commonsensical ideas, with the potential benefits requiring trainers to look at the big picture of what they could be doing. Being our January to March issue, we felt it about time to profile a jumping trainer, specifically, in keeping with our technology theme, a younger trainer with new ideas. Step forward Louisa Carberry, who has come to training via a different equine discipline. Married into a famous Irish family, Kim Brassey’s niece has entered into the world of racing following a distinguished career in eventing. So why does an Englishwoman married to an Irishman set up base in France? The answer is easy: it simply makes business sense. At the moment, France is lucky, as it’s comparatively free of the noose of bookmakers. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the United Kingdom. As someone who called for “Fairtrade Betting” on this page long before the idea of Approved Betting Partner status was dreamt up, I was naturally encouraged to see it being adopted by three forward thinking partners. However, I couldn’t help but notice that the same betting organisation who didn’t like the concept of Turf TV also has issues with the ABP process, which has led them to shed high-profile race sponsorships. Let’s hope that sense will return after a period of reflection – just as it did with the Turf TV deal! Surely the Authorised Betting Partner deal presents a bold, forward thinking, innovative high street betting operator the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Wherever racing takes you over the next three months - good luck! ■




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Message from the Chair



HIS past year has been different with the retirement of the excellent Trêve. She gave so much in her racing and whilst winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for the third time wasn’t to be, she simply gave us and her adoring fans an incredible journey over her career and I’m going to miss her. Hopefully, in a couple of years I might be looking forward to the arrival of her first foal in my yard for training – but time will tell! I’ve been lucky to train some great horses like Trêve over the years and I know that not everyone gets this opportunity, so it has always been important to me to help all trainers, some who are much less fortunate than others. Whilst at the top of the sport, prize money and rewards are great, we must never forget that not every horse can win big races, yet they and their trainers play a vital part in the day-to-day racing world. During my time as the chairwoman of the European Trainers Federation, I have been involved with numerous discussions with authorities and politicians aimed simply to help make the life of all trainers better. There is plenty of work still to be done, and in many areas, it would be fair to say we’re only just getting started. As I enter my final year as your chairwoman, I take particular pride in some of the strides we have made over

At the end of the flat turf racing season I always take time to reflect on the successes of the season past and start to look forward to the development of my young horses for the season ahead. the past couple of years. The European Trainers Federation (ETF) now has a stronger voice as part of the European Horse Network, we’re building stronger ties with the different authorities across Europe, and we’re also putting forward our ideas to make some much needed rule changes across Europe. But more often than not, my role is to keep on explaining some of the many practicalities of training horses that often get overlooked by some who have no concept of what it takes to get the horses to the races. We fight many battles and every year we, as the ETF, group together for our AGM to discuss different experiences for trainers across Europe. This past December, our meeting was in Ireland, and thanks to the generous sponsorship of Connolly’s Red Mills, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, Foran Equine Products, and Bedmax Shavings, we had one of the most varied and constructive meetings of all time. It was also great to share parts of the meeting with Dr Paull Khan from the European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation, and I hope that over the years ahead we will be able to work with his group on areas where trainers’ input is vital in the writing or changing of rules. Finally, I would like to wish all trainers a happy and prosperous 2016. ■

The European Trainers Federation (ETF) now has a stronger voice as part of the European Horse Network, we’re building stronger ties with the different authorities across Europe 2



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Issue 52


Follwing a dream


Shedding new light

Louisa Carberry, the British-born jumps trainer based in France, in profile, by Isabel Mathew.

Barbara Murphy shines a torch on one aspect of broodmare management that could impact foal development.



Rules of shoeing

Tony Lindsell has a leg up on the shoe restrictions across Europe.

Genetic testing

Genetic passports may soon be changing the horses we breed and how they are trained, by Stacey Oke.


Gastric disease

• •


Diagnosis and treatment options for equine gastric disease, by Gayle D. Hallowell.


• •


ETF members



T s c


T a o c

The Gadget man

Lissa Oliver on Michael Hourigan, a trainer on the cutting edge of technology.

TRM Trainer of the Quarter



Dr Catherine Dunnett wonders how the concept of marginal gains could improve a horse’s chances on race day.

Course to Course


Product Focus

Marginal gains

Musculoskeletal catastrophes

The latest research on musculoskeletal catastrophes and their dangers to jockeys, by Dr Celia M Marr. 4


66 70 75

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Out of the Mist, winning first time over hurdles at Uttoxeter, ridden by Richie McLernon, trained by Emma Lavelle and owned by Swanbridge Bloodstock Limited.

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official magazine of ainers. It is distributed Thoroughbred all members of the reeders Association

Alan F. Balch was hired as Executive Editorial Director/Publisher Director of California Thoroughbred Giles Anderson Trainers in April 2010. His professional career in racing began at Santa Anita Editor Frances Karon in 1971, where he advanced to the position of Sr. Vice PresidentDesigner Marketing and Assistant General Neil Randon Manager, and was in charge there of the Olympic Games Equestrian Events forManagement Los Angeles in 1984. He retired in the Editorial/Photo early 90s Yateman to become volunteer president of the national Eleanor equestrian federation of the USA, as well as of the National Advertising Horse Show at Sales Madison Square Garden. He remains Giles Anderson, volunteer presidentOscar of USAYeadon Equestrian Trust, Inc. Photo Credits Joe Clancy is editor, publisher and Giles Anderson, Borut Bernik Bogataj, owner of the Fair Hill-based ST Fiona Boyd, Louisa Carberry, Equine Veterinary Publishing, which Journal, Getty Images, Gayle D. produces Hallowell,awardnewspapers The Dr. Paull Khan, Ilkawinning Gansera Leveque, Steeplechase Times and The Saratoga Isabel Mathew, Barbara Murphy, Lissa Oliver, Special. He hasShutterstock, written about racing Neil Randon, Caroline Norris, for numerous publications for more Winstar than 20 years and spent his early years as an assistant in the Cover Photograph barn ofMathew his father Joe, a former trainer on the Mid-Atlantic Isabel circuit.

K. T. Donovan travels domestically and internationally to cover racing Trainerthrough Magazine is television, publishedand byvideo, writing, Anderson & Co Publishing Ltd.and and markets farms, stallions, events, while regularly working sales This magazine is distributed to make surefor shefree can to stillall putETF her members. Editorialhands views arecenter not of it onexpressed the horse, the necessarily those of the ETF. Additional copies all. As a freelancer, she has written for most of the major can purchased for £6.95 (ex P+P). racingbepublications around the world, and contributed in No partcapacities of this publication be various to live showsmay and documentaries on reproduced in any format withoutasthe several American television networks, wellprior as for Sky, written of She the ispublisher. and RTE permission (Irish television). based in Lexington, Kentucky. Printed in the European Union Dr Catherine Dunnett BSc, PhD, For all editorial and advertising enquiries nutritionist R.Nutr. is an independent please contact: registered with the British Nutrition Anderson & Co Publishing Society. SheLtd has a background in Tel: +44 (0)1380 816777 equine research, in the field of Fax: +44 (0)1380 nutrition 816778and exercise physiology with email: many years spent at The Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. Prior to setting up her own consultancy business, she worked in the equine feed Issue industry52on product development and technical marketing.

ISSN1758 Sid0293 Fernando is president of

eMatings LLC and Werk Thoroughbred Consultants, Inc. He is the former bloodstock editor of Daily Racing Form and also blogs about racing and breeding.


Arnold Kirkpatrick in more than 45

Dryears Catherine Dunnett of involvement in the BSc, PhD, R.Nutr. an thoroughbred industry,isArnold independent Kirkpatrick has nutritionist accumulated a vast experiencewith in most registered theaspects Britishof the business Society. executive Nutrition She has a vice – from being president of ainmajor breeding farm to background equine research, president of of a race track. He hasexercise won majorphysiology, industry in the field nutrition and awards bothyears as a writer andat as The a breeder. with many spent Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. Prior to setting up her Lamb wasworked the seniorin the own consultancyMitchell business, she producer and reporter with equine feed industry on product development Australia's Sky Racing Network for and technical marketing. more than a decade and is currently senior producer for the industry-Drowned Gayle Hallowell is passion for network TVN. His Associate Professor in 25 Large racing extends more than years Animal Medicine and and hails from a strong familyInternal involvement in the industry Care thefrom University of but also a genuineCritical passion for the at sport all aspects.

Nottingham. She is also Subdean Continuing Education Colinfor Mackenzie worked as a and holds Principal Fellowship the Higher news and foreignofcorrespondent for the Daily Express andstatus Daily Mail Education Academy, RCVS specialist in before joining the nascent Racing Equine Internal Medicine, Associate Diplomate Post at theofend of 1985. He of the European College Veterinary returned to the Daily of Mailthe as Racing Diagnostic Imaging and Diplomate at the of 1988, American CollegeCorrespondent of Emergency andend Critical retiringGayle in 2008. Care. has research interests in equine medical and cardiac diseases, particularly in David Marlin is a specialist in the performance Dr horse. exercise physiology, thermoregulation, transport, and

Tony Lindsell is a graduate of respiratory physiology. He has the University Andrews. authored over of 170Stscientific papers His early in journalism and bookcareer chapters, and Equine and publishing culminated Exercise Physiology. Marlin is the position of managing International BoardinChairman of the International editor with Samsom/Croner Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology, editor of Publications. He later studied a degree Comparative Exercise Physiology, andfor holds visiting in marketing and,at with a lifelongoflove Professor positions the Universities Bristol,of Nottingham, and Oklahoma He Ltd, worksaassupplier a racing, formed Atlantic State. Equine consultant the racingand industry, the British Equestrian of equinetohoofcare farriery products, Teams, the FEI, in and theracing International League forwrites the as specialising the industry. He of Horses. aProtection freelance whenever time permits. IsabelMathew Mathew is is a freelance Isabel a freelance journalist based based ininParis. SheShe works journalist Paris. for several differentdifferent publications works for several covering subjects related to the publications covering French Horseracing Industry and subjects related to the French elsewhere. After graduating from Horseracing Industry andworking the Darley Flying Start and elsewhere. After graduating from theshe Darley in racing across many different countries, has been Flying Start and working racing in France for nearly two and in a half years.across many different countries, she has been in France for nearly two and a Dr. halfStacey years. Oke is a licensed

Frances J. Karon, is a native of Puerto Rico and graduate of Maine’s Colby College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She operates Rough Shod LLC based in Lexington, Kentucky and specializes in sales, pedigree research and Bill Heller, Bill Heller, Eclipse-Award

veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. In addition to writing for various horse publications, she also contributes to scientific journals, is an editor of an internationally-recognized, peerreviewed journal, creates continuing education materials for both human and veterinary medicine, and conducts biomedical research studies.

Bill Heller'sand 22nd book, "Aboveriding Equivia is winner the tried tested It All; The Turbulent Life of Jose surface forSantos," gallops, riding arenas, was published in March, 2011. Heller, a member of the indoor schools and lunge Harness Racing Hall of Fame rings.

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Gary West is a sports columnist with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and a former president of the National Turf Writers Association. Gary has written about horse racing for more than 25 years.

Professor Celia Marr is Editor-in-chief of Equine Veterinary Journal and also works as a Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine based at Rossdales Equine Hospital and Diagnostic Centre in Newmarket. Celia has published on a wide range of equine medical problems and is particularly interested in equine heart disease and intensive care. Barbara Murphy has held the position of Lecturer and Head of Equine Science at University College Dublin in her native Ireland, since completing a PhD in Veterinary Science at the Gluck Equine Research Centre at the University of Kentucky in 2007. Her research interests are in equine reproduction and performance and have lead to her becoming Chairman and Founder of Equilume Ltd, which developed the innovative Equilume Light Mask as a result of her research on light manipulation in breeding stock. Stacey Oke is a licensed veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. In addition to writing for various horse publications, she also contributes to scientific journals, is an editor of an internationally-recognized, peer-reviewed journal, creates continuing education materials for both human and veterinary medicine, and conducts biomedical research studies. 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.

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EFT REPS issue 52_Jerkins feature.qxd 18/12/2015 09:52 Page 1

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: Criquette Head-Maarek Tel: +33 (0)3 44 57 25 39 Fax: +33 (0)3 44 57 58 85 Email:

Vice Chairmanship:

Vice Chairmanship:


Max Hennau (Belgium) Tel: +32 (0) 474 259 417 Fax: +32 (0) 81 566 846 Email:

Christian von der Recke (Germany) Tel: +49 (022 54) 84 53 14 Fax: +49 (022 54) 84 53 15 Email:

Jim Kavanagh (Ireland) Tel: +353 (0) 45 522981 Mob: +353 (0) 87 2898213 Fax: + 353 (0) 45 522982 Email:




Roman Vitek Tel: +42 (0) 567 587 61 Fax: +42 (0) 567584 733 Email:

Geert van Kempen Email:

Jaroslav Brecka Email:

NORWAY Annike Bye Hansen Email:

Mauricio Delcher Sanchez Tel: +34 (0) 666 53 51 52 Email:

GERMANY Erika Mäder Tel: +49 (0) 2151 594911 Fax: +49 (0) 2151 590542 Email:



Borut Bernik Bogataj Tel: +386 4 515 67 00 Email:

Alex McLaren Tel: +46 (0) 709 306 761 Email:



HUNGARY Livia Prem Email:

Rupert Arnold Tel: +44 (0) 1488 71719 Fax: +44 (0) 1488 73005 Email: 8 ISSUE 52


Jessica och Padraig Long Email:

EFT REPS issue 52_Jerkins feature.qxd 18/12/2015 01:02 Page 2

Above: Gailo Chop (white cap) wins the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes. Opposite page: jockey Ben Melham celebrates with trainer Antoine de Watrigant and Francesca Cumani

Trainer of the Quarter

ANTOINE DE WATRIGANT The TRM Trainer of the Quarter award has been won by Antoine de Watrigant. Antoine and his team will receive a selection of products from the internationally-acclaimed range of TRM supplements, as well as a bottle of fine Irish whiskey. WORDS: GILES ANDERSON PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES




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ntoine de Watrigant has been training horses from his base in the southwest of France for over 10 years. Based close to the beautiful walled city of Mont-deMarsan in the Aquitaine region, de Watrigant has been a mainstay of the French circuit for some time, but has had to travel halfway around the world to record his first victory at Group 1 level. the horse that has propelled him into the international limelight, Gailo Chop, made his first winning start nearly two years to the day before his victory in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes run on the 31st october at Flemington Racecourse. the route to Australia has also taken in races in north America (the Grade 1 Belmont Derby) and the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot this year. originally running under the colours of owner/breeder Alain Chopard, Gailo Chop attracted the attention of oti racing supremo terry Henderson, who always has his eye on suitable european horses for the Spring Carnival. over the two years since Gailo Chop broke his maiden, he was running in company with a bunch of proven stakes

performers and gradually Henderson was able to purchase greater interests in the son of Deportivo, eventually owning him outright after his run at Royal Ascot. But it was after his win in the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d’ornano at Deauville last August, against stakes performers Western Hymn and Prince Gibraltar, that connections started to hatch a plan that eventually led to the victory in Australia. Following victory on a heavy track at


Maisons-Laffitte in September, Gailo Chop was shipped to Australia where he finished eighth in the Group 1 Cox Plate just seven days prior to his half-length triumph over Rising Romance in the Mackinnon. Plans for 2016 include further forays overseas, and perhaps it won’t be too long until Antoine de Watrigant makes a trip to the winners enclosure in europe after Group 1 success. n





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As a youngster, Louisa Carberry may have dreamt of winning a gold medal at the Olympics, but she now has her sights firmly set on the National Hunt scene. If her early results are anything to go by, she is very much a name to follow. WORDS: ISABEL MATHEW PHOTOS: ISABEL MATHEW, A. HARRINGTON


asEd in senonnes in the west of France, the 31-yearold is one of the more recent additions to the training ranks, where the new generation are increasingly making their mark in the most competitive arenas. Together with her husband Philip, who rode sublimity to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2007 amongst many other high-profile successes, Carberry started training in March 2014 with five horses. “I never dared hope until a few years ago that I would be able to take out a licence, as I certainly didn’t think it would be possible


in England,” says the Gloucestershireborn handler, who grew up in a huntingmad family who were regular visitors to Cheltenham. It may not have been on the cards back home for Carberry, who has early memories of her paternal uncle Kim Brassey’s successes with flat horses, but a trip to France to gain more experience changed it into a reality. “I made the decision to give up event riding professionally in 2010, as sadly I had to retire my best horse and it wasn’t financially viable any more,” says Carberry, who was placed at three-star level and had been stable jockey to World Equestrian Games team gold medal winner Bettina Hoy.

“When I was eventing, people began to send me more and more thoroughbreds to break in. I really enjoyed this, so I came up with a plan to set up a pre-training facility at home. Before I did this however, I thought that I should travel and gain further knowledge of the industry in France, australia, or the United states. It was through family friend Brough scott’s introduction to one of France’s bestknown trainers, alain de Royer-dupre, that Carberry subsequently moved to Chantilly for an initial period of six months. “It was a fantastic opportunity, and close enough to home that I could go back if I needed to,” Carberry explains. Halfway through this stint, a chance meeting at auteuil in May with Philip Carberry on the occasion of the Grand steeple-Chase de Paris turned her stay into a permanent one, as two years later the pair were married on Bastille day in 2012. Philip had moved to live in Chantilly fulltime the year before the couple met, having won the French equivalent of the Gold Cup



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LOUIsa CaRBERRY on Princesse d’anjou in 2006 and 2008. during his fruitful partnership with trainer François Cottin and Cottin’s main owner Jean-Paul senechal, the trio recorded several other top-class successes in France. It was the beginning of 2013 when the couple started thinking about the possibility of Louisa following her dream and taking out a training licence, which despite speaking fluent French, was going to be no mean feat. “The previous season had been very successful for Philip, during which he won the Group 1 Prix Maurice Gillois with Utopie des Bordes. For private reasons, however, Mr senechal had decided to disperse all of his racehorses at the end of the year with a few exceptions that went to his nephew Clement Machado. “We hadn’t really discussed it openly with anyone else, but together we both knew that we wanted to train. This seemed like the ideal time, so I finished working for alain de Royer-dupre after three fantastic seasons, and while I waited for my licence, I started

Philip Carberry schools a youngster

up my own bloodstock agency,” Carberry explains. That winter, she took her trainer’s examinations and the couple looked at moving to a new base. “We discussed several different locations across France, but senonnes seemed ideal for us as it wasn’t far from Paris and has excellent facilities, including turnout paddocks. It was also important for us that good auteuil horses were already being trained from there.” developed 40 years ago by a committee that included Claude Rouget, the father of successful trainer Jean-Claude, the training centre has been the starting ground of top-class horses such as Kauto star, sire de Grugy, and arctic Fire, while silviniaco Conti and French champion Bel La Vie also made their debut at auteuil’s racetrack. “They have seven meetings a year here, and in addition to that, there are around a further 50 racecourses within an 100km radius, which makes it full of opportunities and not far to travel,” says Carberry. “We also have the advantage that we can charge about half the training costs compared to Chantilly or Maisons-Laffitte, which is especially important for a young trainer.” a Posteriori became the Carberrys’ first runner, in March 2014 at senonnes, before he gave the couple success exactly a year later with a win at prestigious auteuil, their first at the so-called “temple” of National Hunt racing where, with the exception of a select few Group 3s and one Group 2, the most important races on the French jumps calendar are run. “He was one of five horses that we started

with that had come with us from François Cottin,” Carberry explains. “Philip is longterm friends with their Irish owners, and it had been him that had advised them to buy [these horses] when they were youngsters, so they naturally wanted to continue their support.” Others in this group to give the couple some of their best moments to date are oldtimers Pearse, Peak Raider, and Rameur. Just a month after Carberry took out her licence, Pearse finished third in the French version of the Grand National, the Group 3 Prix du President de la Republique, for the second year running. also in 2014, Pearse took third place in the Group 3 Prix Montgomery Chase, a couple of weeks before Carberry recorded her first career winner, at Pontchateau with Peak Raider in November. “Pearse was a fantastic servant to us, as he was a standing dish at all the top events, even if it was without winning. as a 10-year-old last year he was third four times from five races for us, all in stakes races. He definitely put us on the map and made people take notice.” Peak Raider’s victory was not only a special day for the couple, but it was made even more memorable as it was Philip’s 34th birthday. “That was a wonderful feeling, and for him to win by a distance was unbelievable. We were just sad that the horse was subsequently claimed, so we went home with an empty box,” says Carberry. a month later Baracoa, owned by a partnership of friends, made it two winners on the board to end a successful first season for the Carberrys, with 14 places from only ISSUE 52 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM



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Morning feeding time...

27 runs and over €130,000 in prize money. “This is why we started training here in France, as from a very moderate horse upwards, there is so much opportunity for an owner to have a chance of covering their costs. It makes it a lot more fun for them and takes the pressure off. as a result, you can train more patiently rather than having to get every last ounce out of a horse as soon as possible to make ends meet.” Like any new trainer, Carberry’s first


two years of training have been extremely hard graft, and this is only set to continue. This doesn’t faze the couple however, and no one is more quietly determined than them. They consistently drive back and forth across the length and breadth of France to give their horses the best possible chances, and the results have started to speak for themselves. It has also created a unique bond between the congenial couple, working and living

together 24 hours a day, seven days a week, something that many in the same position would struggle with. “We are a great team, and we both know that training on one’s own would be extremely hard. It is great that we can enjoy the good days together, but also discuss the bad days if they happen,” smiles Carberry. “so far we have never had any horses run below par,” adds Phillip, “It is just that either we have been unlucky in running or things haven’t worked out due to outside factors such as the ground.” Today the Co. Meath-born Irishman rides almost exclusively for Louisa, which she believes is a huge advantage. “It is great keeping everything in house, as when we go to the races, he knows exactly how the horse has been prepared, what it’s likely to do or not, and how we see its career unfolding. “Often over the next week after the race we discuss the runs of the horses and things that we could change for next time if necessary. This is a huge bonus, and I think a lot of our owners have been keen to come to us because of this. Philip also knows a lot about French racing and how to ride well at auteuil through his experience.” as everyone knows, training and riding is synonymous with the Carberry name, but that heritage is on both sides of Philip’s family – his maternal grandfather dan Moore trained L’Escargot to win the Grand National in 1975 ridden by his father Tommy, and trainer arthur Moore is his uncle. all this has given Philip enormous knowledge and experience. “My father taught me how to prepare a horse and get it right. He rode a lot of top horses in the best races, so he knows what it takes in a race and how to prepare them to be at the peak of their game. The foundation



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on how we train is based on what I have learnt from him, as well as having picked up little things from the other successful trainers I have ridden for,” explains Philip. “I think we train quite differently from the French trainers,” says Carberry. “We build them up and do a lot of slow canters at an even pace instead of the short fast work that some of them do in between works. “In the provinces you can perhaps get away with a horse being keen and keeping his position as the ground might be better. This is not the case at auteuil, where we are ultimately aiming for. You need to have a nice rhythm and for the horses to breathe, because although from a spectator’s view the track might look flat, it actually takes a lot of finishing,” Carberry says. Philip adds, “Our methods are evolving all the time with each

Senonnes seemed ideal for us as it wasn’t far from Paris and has excellent facilities including turnout paddocks

individual, and the aim is to try and find the easiest race to win for each horse, and then go up the ranks if they are capable of it. The programme book is well laid out here, and there are a lot of nice tracks in the west to start a horse off with decent, safe ground. If they’re good enough, they can then progress to auteuil or Enghien.” “It is important that they feel well and are not tired or over done,” says Carberry. “We take great pride in how our horses look. They are all fed spillers and are given steamed meadow hay morning and evening. This has less bacteria and dust than dry hay and also smells very good, so they eat it very well. Every horse is turned out after exercise giving them not only time to relax but also much needed nutritious grass, which I think helps prevent against ulcers. “Our schooling is centered around gymnastic jumping to teach them to be clever and careful and think independently, very similar to a young event horse, as we want a classic jumping technique that

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is not fast and flat or taking liberties. “all our horses are jumped over crosscountry fences such as banks, telegraph poles, and ditches regularly to teach them to look at their feet and to be quick and careful and to expect the unexpected. “I like all the horses to have good top lines, they all have necks and hindquarters that are correctly muscled with a nice covering of flesh. I like to think they could all go eventing tomorrow and not look out of place.” Gentle nurturing of the nine-year-old injury-prone Rameur ultimately paid off for the Carberrys when he won France’s biggest handicap hurdle and gave them their largest success, in the Group 3 Grande Course de Haies de Printemps at auteuil in april at a price of 40-1. still a maiden when he joined them after nine starts but with some decent performances, the Carberrys decided to give the son of shaanmer a confidence boosting run at angers in a claimer on his second start for them. This turned out to be the first half of a double on the day after Joe de Clermont followed up a race later. “We wanted to try and get a win into [Rameur], and it all went to plan so we were delighted. We knew he was already a very good horse but he had been off for 11 months before that race. His owners then defended him for €17,000, which turned out to be a very good decision!” remembers Carberry. a below-par performance due to the ground followed for Rameur, before he 18



lined up in the Grande Course at auteuil, a race that he had already finished third in four years previously. “We knew everything was in his favour, especially as he had already run so well in it before, but people didn’t have confidence in him because of his previous run. He was amazing, and it was a hugely memorable occasion.” Rameur’s victory was all the more important for the young trainer, as Graded races in France are hugely competitive, this in part being due to the smaller amount held each year in comparison to England and Ireland. “Pearse did huge things for our reputation and put us there right at the start,” says Carberry. “Rameur then really took up the baton this year. People saw that not only could we train winners, but also at the top level at auteuil. “We have been extremely lucky that we have never actively gone to find owners, and they have come to us due to our results. From the day we started, we have just wanted to concentrate on getting the

From a very moderate horse upwards, there is so much opportunity for an owner to have a chance of covering their costs

horse on the podium, which is the best advertisement. “The devin family have been very supportive from the beginning and have six horses with us now. The majority of our owners are French, and they have come to us through various ways. For example, the breeder of Utopie des Bordes sent us her sister, as he loved the way Philip rode her.” Carberry has also received encouragement from her fellow professionals, not least from successful fellow lady trainer Isabelle Pacault, the partner of leading handler Guy Cherel. “she has always been incredibly kind, and was the first to congratulate me on my first auteuil winner. Her daughter anne-sophie is also starting out as well.” Carberry’s policy of openness and excellent communication as well as an obvious love of her chosen career and the equine species seems to have also hit a note with several lady owners, who interestingly make up a significant proportion of the stable. “Louisa is great with people, and I think she perhaps makes owning horses more accessible to women as maybe they feel more at ease communicating with her,” Philip says. “Even if the horse is owned in partnership with their husband, the wife often plays an active role.” “I think they really appreciate how much we care about the horses because we want them enjoy themselves as well as doing their job. There is perhaps a homely and familial aspect of the yard that also attracts them.” The future looks bright for the couple, who would also like to target top-class races in England, Ireland, or elsewhere, should they have the right horse. This year they finished second in switzerland’s biggest steeplechase, the Grosser Preis der schweiz, with the devins’ Chiffre d’affaires. They had also planned a trip to the United states with the same horse. “When we started, we said that we would need 15 horses to break even. By the end of last year we had 18 horses, and now we have 25 with a further 10 to come in. We like them all. Obviously we can’t ride each horse ourselves all the time, but every one of our staff has a jockey’s licence and they give valuable feedback.” The Carberrys end this season with eight wins from 58 runs and 17 places, and €225,000 in prize money. Louisa and Philip’s expertise and groundwork has paid off, as to date from a total of 79 career runners, they have only ever had two fallers. “Of course we are constantly pushing ourselves to be better, but not at the detriment to the horses if they need extra time. We like to cater to the owner’s needs and wishes for each one, so we know what we are working towards,” Carberry finishes. No doubt bigger things are yet to come for the Carberrys, who, following in true family tradition, have already made their mark from the word go. n

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18/12/2015 01:29


Rules for shoeing in Europe




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Unlike bananas, the tentacles of EU standardisation have yet to reach the rules for the shoeing of thoroughbreds for racing. Yet it is perhaps one area where standardisation would be uncontroversial and beneficial to all.



T the moment, the intricacies of the rules vary considerably from country to country, born, no doubt, of historical circumstance and arbitrary decision-making by the various authorities. Luca Cumani – whose filly Volume was found to be wearing shoes that did not meet the Irish Rules before the 2014 Irish Oaks and had to be re-shod, ultimately finishing third, beaten two necks – is one trainer who certainly thinks that standardisation of the rules would be of benefit. Another is Sir Mark Prescott, who took Albamara to race in Germany unshod behind, only to be told that this was not permitted. Though his representative offered to have her shod, the authorities on the racecourse said that there was no time, and as a result she could not run. The IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities), of which most European racing countries are members, does have a section in the International Agreement, which is as follows: Article 7 (Racing) – Shoeing of Racehorses 1.) Racing Authorities should ensure that, within their Rules, it is made explicit that they have the power to prevent the use in races of shoes which may be considered dangerous and liable to cause injury. 2.) Racing Authorities are encouraged to publish clear illustrations in support of such Rules, in order that practitioners, both domestic and foreign, fully understand the terms used and the features of the shoes which are either allowed or disallowed. 3.) Racing Authorities may wish to establish Rules to prevent the elective running of horses unshod or partially shod. Where horses are allowed to race other than fully shod, it is recommended that a requirement be introduced for this to be subject to declaration and inclusion within prerace information. 4.) Racing Authorities should establish procedures whereby shoes are regularly checked prior to racing.

Within Europe, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain (interestingly with the exception of Number 3 above), Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland have all signed up to this agreement, as has Turkey. Essentially, then, each country’s rules must address two questions – A) does a horse have to be shod in a race and, if so, is this on all four feet or can it be shod just in front; and B) what type and features of shoes or racing plates are permissible.

Shoeing for racing

In the U.K., a horse can run barefoot, or can be shod only in front. “There is currently no requirement for a horse to be shod to race. A horse is permitted to race barefoot or partially shod,” said Jenny Hall, Chief Veterinary Officer of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). There is also a further rule relating to re-shoeing at the start which permits a horse to be re-shod if it loses a plate on the way to or at the start, provided that a farrier is present, the starter considers that there is sufficient time, and the trainer has indicated this as his preference at declaration. In Ireland, there is no rule prohibiting a horse from running without shoes, but Vincent Hughes, Integrity Support Officer at the Turf Club, explained that Rule 225 could come into play. This rule states: “When a horse has slipped or fallen on the flat in a race the Stewards shall enquire into the reason and order the examination of the horse. If, in their opinion, inadequate or inappropriate shoeing of the horse was a contributory factor to the slip or fall the trainer may be liable to a fine of not less than Euros 130.” In France, the relevant rule (Art. 138 of the Code des Courses au Galop) has recently been changed. It states that trainers are not allowed to declare a horse that is not shod on all four feet to run in a race. However, in exceptional cases, the France Galop stewards can give




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Mud Calk Hind

permission for a horse to run unshod behind if the trainer has provided a written explanation and proof at least 48 hours before final declarations close. A horse is considered to be shod, for these purposes, when at least half of the hoof is covered by a rigid and visible form of protection. In Germany, the position is straightforward. Rudiger Schmanns, director of racing at the Direktorium fur Vollblutzucht und Rennen e.V., explained that horses must be shod on all four feet before the jockeys mount in the parade ring. Should a horse lose a plate after the horses have left the parade ring, then the horse can be re-plated if there is sufficient time. If not, it is not allowed to run. In Italy, thoroughbreds are permitted to race unshod.


Schedule (B) 4 – Equipment – Shoes states: 7.1. No horse may enter the Parade Ring in shoes which have protrusions on the ground surface other than calkins or studs on the hind limited to 3/8 in in height. 7.2. The use of American type toe-grab plates or those with a sharp flange is forbidden. Plates with a mud calk on the outside heel

Safety Trackx – raised outer rim 22

Plastic Heart Bar

of the hind are routinely used in UK racing, and other designs that have been accepted as permissible include the Victory V-Grip with a V-shaped pattern on the ground surface and the Kerckhaert Safety Track, which has a raised outer rim.


The Irish Rule (Regulation R16) Shoes and Calkins is quite unique and runs as follows: A horse shall not enter the Parade Ring or run in shoes which have protrusions on the ground surface unless they comply with the following: Front Shoes On Front shoes, it is permitted to use four No. 2 nails, two inserted on the inside and two on the outside of each shoe, protrusions of which must be limited to ¼”. The use of nails on the front of the shoes and the use of American toe grab plates or those with a sharp flange is forbidden. Hind Shoes On Hind shoes, it is permitted to use Calkins provided they are limited to ¼” in height. No other protrusions are allowed. The mention of E2 nails for the front shoes is somewhat unusual. An E2 nail is a short nail used mainly in smaller horseshoes. To leave ¼-inch out of the shoe, the nail head would not be close to engaging with the fuller (the crease into which the nail

head sits), and thus would either break off or fall out almost immediately.


Art. 138 is more general and states: Prohibited Shoes – The use of shoes susceptible to increasing the danger of falls and injuries to which jockeys and horses may be exposed during the race is forbidden. This means shoes with any protrusion on the ground side or shoes the outer edge of which is not rounded. The stewards can eliminate a horse from starting a race if they find that it is shod with a prohibited shoe or does not otherwise meet the shoeing requirements. The sanctioned trainer will then be liable to a fine of 75 to 800 Euros, or may even have his or her licence revoked.


It is a requirement that shoes are made of aluminium or steel. The use of shoes with sharp edges or with front, back, or side studs, calks or grabs is not permitted. Therefore the only qualifying shoes or plates are the standard Queens plate (or equivalent such as the Kerckhaert Kings plate or St Croix Concorde). Nail heads are not allowed to protrude more than 2mm above the ground surface of the shoe or plate.

Safety Trackx – raised outer rim from a different angle



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Queens Front Plate


For Italy, Dottoressa Stefania Mastromarino of the Italian Racing Authority explained that, under Capo IV – Ferratura Art. 167 of the Italian Rules of Racing, the shoes that are not permitted are required to be on permanent display in a glass cabinet in the weighing room of each racecourse. From a photograph of such a cabinet, it is clear that any form of toe grab, mud calk, or stud – effectively any protrusion on the ground surface – is not permitted. A requirement to use steel or aluminium is not specifically stated.

new materials and technologies

Into the mix in recent years have come the new materials, technologies, and developments now available to shoe and plate manufacturers. Several different types of plastic shoes are available worldwide, including the Burns Polyflex shoe (in which Mucho Macho Man won the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic), the SoundHorse Flexx, the Easyshoe Compete, the Ezyfit heartbar shoe, and the Imprint shoe. In the UK, races have certainly been run, and won, in at least the Ezyfit and Imprint shoes. While most of these plastic shoes meet the shoe rule for countries where steel or aluminium is not specifically set out as a

V-grip Front Plate 24

Steel Training Plate

requirement, their traction and grip is a question mark for Jenny Hall. The current BHA position, she explained, is that “shoes made of materials other than steel or aluminium are permitted, provided that they meet Schedule (B) 4 – 7.1 and 7.2 (see above), but if there are any concerns that any shoes fail to meet acceptable standards of grip and traction they may not be permitted for racing under Rule (B) 7 7.1.1.”

In the UK, races have certainly been run, and won, in at least the Ezyfit and Imprint shoes

This latter Rule states: The Stewards may prohibit any equipment for use on a horse in a race which they consider to be unsuitable, unsafe or ineffective. This rule also covers the fact that very worn, and therefore smooth, aluminium or steel shoes are also not considered acceptable under BHA rules. “BHA’s ambition,” said Hall, “is to develop criteria for benchtop testing of

horseshoe designs and materials that will allow objective decisions to be made about what horses may wear in BHA-regulated races. This work is ongoing and as yet there is no delivery date.” In Germany, Rudiger Schmans advised that, while plastic shoes are not permitted at the moment, it is a subject that was on the agenda at a technical committee meeting in October 2015, though no decisions or changes were made. In respect of Ireland, Vincent Hughes commented, ‘Our regulation dealing with shoes is very much out of date and the plan is to review it in consultation with our officials and also to get some views from farriers.” A new rule regarding modern materials is also being considered in France.

the future

Potential change and with it, hopefully, standardisation, is therefore in the air. Until that comes to pass, it is clear that, if a horse is shod on all four feet in standard and unmodified Queens or equivalent plate design in steel or aluminium, they will meet the rule whatever country they are racing in. Any slight variation on that option, however, be it in the number of feet that are shod or in the design of the plate, could result in a problem. n

Small Toe Grab – not permitted to use in Europe



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VETERINARY A complete examination of the entire equine stomach requires a 3m endoscope, and feed must be withheld for at least 12 hours

GASTRIC DISEASE How should we treat it?

The horse’s stomach is divided into two main regions with different lining tissue and function. For many years the term “gastric ulcers” has been applied to all lesions observed or assumed to be present in the stomach, which is a balloonshaped structure that sits in the front of the abdomen, tucked up between the diaphragm and the remainder of the intestine. Recently, it has been recognised that disease in the squamous region at the top of the stomach is not the same as disease in the glandular region, at the bottom of the stomach. WORDS AND PHOTOS: GAYLE D. HALLOWELL, SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE AND SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM


HE stomach produces gastric acid, which not only helps digestion but also prevents microorganisms from reaching and colonising the rest of the intestines. The lower, glandular region is always bathed in acid, and mucus and bicarbonate produced by the stomach lining protect it from acid-induced damage.


The squamous region does not have these protective factors, so the stomach lining in this region is prone to damage if it comes into contact with acid, particularly at the junction between the glandular and squamous portions, aka the lesser curvature, which sits closest to the acidic stomach contents and is at particular risk from the effects of ‘acid splash’ when acidic liquid sitting at the lower end of the stomach is pushed upwards as the horse moves.

Different lesions in different stomach regions

Overall, disease of the squamous region is

much more common than disease of the glandular region, but glandular lesions are on the increase. Latest studies have suggested that 80% of racehorses have clinically important squamous disease and 60% have significant glandular disease. Risk factors for disease in these two separate regions of the stomach also appear to be different, and established factors for development of squamous ulcers cannot be linked to disease of the glandular region. The risk factors associated with squamous ulcers include increased grain feeding, periods of fasting, and reduced access to water, and squamous ulcers have also been linked to a metropolitan location, lack of direct contact with other horses, talk instead of radio in the barn, and feeding straw while some training yards have a higher prevalence of others. Examination of stomach lesions under the microscope show that they are not the same pathology: Lesions in the squamous region are ulcers, whereas lesions in the glandular region are not. Glandular lesions contain a mixture of inflammatory cells and although they are generally seen at the pylorus – the exit point where the stomach connects to the small intestine – the disease can be found throughout this stomach region.



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This endoscopic image shows the greater curvature of a normal stomach. The paler area at the top is the squamous region and the redder section at the bottom is the glandular region. The line between the two is the margo plicatus, and it is along this line that most squamous ulcers are found

Glandular Disease

At the moment veterinarians are in a little bit of a quandary about what exactly causes disease in the glandular region in horses. Humans and dogs suffer from gastric disease that affects the same glandular region and thus we may be able to glean information about some of the causes in horses from these other species. Reduced blood flow to the stomach plays a role in the development and continuation of this disease, and potential causes for reduced blood flow include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as phenylbutazone or flunixin meglumine, systemic corticosteroids, exercise, or any form of systemic illness. However, so far studies in horses have failed to show a link between administration of the anti-inflammatory drugs and glandular disease. Another other main cause of disease in people and dogs in the glandular region is a type of bacteria called Helicobacter. Again, despite extensive examination in the horse, this organism has not been identified. Stress is the other major cause in human patients and may well be playing a role in the horse but specific evidence for this has not been found, and it is difficult to tease out because what causes ‘stress’ in one horse will be different to the next.

Diagnosis of gastric disease

The clinical signs, such as reduced appetite, particularly for concentrates, that are

This endoscopic image shows the lesser curvature of a normal stomach. The paler region is squamous mucosa and the darker region the glandular mucosa. Beyond this ‘shelf’ lies the pylorus. In the lower part of the stomach, liquid contents can be seen and this shows how close the margo plicatus sits in relation to the damaging acid

consistent with gastric disease do not help to distinguish between problems in the squamous or glandular. Gastroscopy is necessary to achieve this. Food has to be withheld for at least 12 hours to examine the deepest regions of the stomach; with any less time, there is a good chance that pylorus will not be able to be visualised as it will be immersed in food and fluid. Most veterinary surgeons now performing gastroscopy have endoscopes that are long enough (greater than three metres) to visualise this region. Squamous ulcers can range from small

erosions to deeper cavities, with variable degrees of bleeding. Gastric disease generally causes reddened patches and variable degrees of thickening of the tissues. In some cases, bleeding or pus and exudate can be found on the surface of the lesions

Is treatment of squamous and glandular disease the same?

Recent research published in the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) questions how we treat both squamous and glandular disease.

This endoscopic image shows of a normal pylorus. The gastric contents leave the stomach through this hole to enter the small intestine. This is where glandular lesions are more commonly found




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Examples of the common types of glandular lesions: The lesions are raised with either bleeding or pus on the surface

For many years, the mainstay of treatment for gastric disease has been omeprazole at 4mg/kg for 28 days for treatment and 1mg/ kg for prevention, and previous studies have shown that the efficacy of omeprazole is influenced by drug administration time. This drug works most effectively when given prior to feeding and exercise. With squamous disease, where ‘acid splash’ during exercise likely contributes to the disease, the drug should be given one-tofour hours ahead of exercise to neutralise the acid stomach contents. The study in EVJ showed that doses as low as 1mg/kg for 28 days can be as effective for squamous ulcer healing as the licenced 4mg/kg dose. Three doses were compared (one, two, and four mg/kg), and for squamous ulcers, complete healing at any dose from 1mg/kg to 4mg/kg was between 80-90% and while improvement was seen in 85-95% of the cases.

The findings were very different for glandular lesions. These had much lower improvement (34%) and healing rates (14%), and in fact in 34% of horses the glandular lesions got worse whilst on treatment. Although there was no difference in these very poor results between doses, the study results question the value of omeprazole used on its own for the treatment of glandular lesions.

Why are results poor for treating glandular disease?

There are a few options. Perhaps it is that even at 4mg/kg, omeprazole administered once daily does not reduce the gastric acid concentration low enough to allow healing of the stomach lining in this area that is bathed all the time in acid. Perhaps these lesions take longer to heal than 28 days and longer courses of omeprazole are required. Alternatively,

perhaps it is because acid does not play a large role in this disease and we need to consider alternative drugs that will help improve blood flow to or reduce inflammation in the stomach. What we do know is that bacteria and parasites do not appear to be playing an important role. Another study has shown that omeprazole in conjunction with an antibiotic (trimethoprim sulphadiazine) did not improve healing or improvement above omeprazole being used alone. Currently the jury is out on how best to treat these lesions. Perhaps omeprazole being used more frequently would improve its efficacy in the treatment of glandular disease, and certainly some veterinary surgeons are using lower doses of omeprazole twice. Alternatively, drugs such as sucralfate or misoprostol, neither of which are licenced for equines, are being used as they are thought to increase blood flow to the stomach, but we currently have no published data on their effectiveness. If this is a primarily inflammatory disease then perhaps oral corticosteroids would be helpful but again, effectiveness in unknown. Perhaps some of the new drugs in the same class as omeprazole, such as pantoprazole, being used in people may be more effective and play a role in the treatment of this equine disease.

What the trainer needs to know

Actively bleeding ulcers in the squamous region in a horse with weight loss, reduced appetite, and signs of colic following eating 28

● Confirming gastric disease with gastroscopy will allow identification of the part of the stomach that is affected (squamous, glandular region or both); ● Horses with confirmed squamous ulcers can be treated with a much lower dose (1mg/kg) of omeprazole whilst being maintained in training if given on an empty stomach prior to exercise. This will have obvious financial benefits; ● Horses with glandular disease are likely to have poor healing rates and will need longer courses of omeprazole. Future research aiming to find better alternative drugs is required. ■



18/12/2015 01:32

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For the treatment and prevention of equine gastric ulcers 18/12/2015 01:32





18/12/2015 01:36

MICHAEL HOURIGAN Michael Hourigan demonstrates the Tendon Manager




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Michael Hourigan trains at the Lisaleen Stables in Patrickswell, Co. Limerick – a typical rural location in the heart of Irish farmland and close by the picture-postcard village of Adare. Scratch beneath the surface, however, and you discover Hourigan embraces state-of-the-art technology that will improve the well-being of his horses or benefit his business.



’M afraid to have money, ’t’would burn in my pocket!” declares Michael Hourigan as he gives a tour of Lisaleen Stables in Patrickswell, County Limerick, a mere stone’s throw from the picturesque village of Adare. We couldn’t be any more rural, typical of Ireland’s farmland, but we’re also five minutes from the motorway that can deliver Hourigan to Belfast “in three hours and not one set of traffic lights.” In this instance, by chance rather than design, it is nevertheless typical of the on-tap convenience of Lisaleen Stables, where if it can be thought of, then it’s installed. Hourigan shows me every modern convenience, labour-saving device, and equine health and training aid that’s available to the modern trainer, as well as a few that aren’t. While many a racing yard can boast the same, the difference here is that these are current innovations or were

innovations ‘back in the day,’ the first of their kind to be installed some 30 years ago. Hourigan has been one for the gadgets since he started training here in 1985. His wife, Ann, runs the office and “pays the bills!” as she points out wryly, which must be quite a task given Hourigan’s penchant for improvement. “If I see something I think will be of benefit to the horses or the business, I go for it,” he says. “My problem is I don’t know how to use it!” That last is clearly a self-deprecating quip, because he deftly demonstrates everything, even showing any results relayed back to his iPhone. His familiarity with it all should come as no surprise – he designed and built most of what we see. “I saw one and I thought, ‘My God, I’ll have to get one!’” It’s a phrase we hear a lot as we wander round a traditional yard with an air of working farm about it. Seen it, want it – there’s more than a touch of the teenager

about the sprightly and enthusiastic trainer who turned 68 a few days after giving me the grand tour, the technical information relayed back to his phone competing with photos of horses and family, which he cheerfully shares. Michael Hourigan pretty much embraces all life has to offer. “It’s what gets me up in the morning, I never lie in bed; it’s more a hobby than work,” he says appreciatively as he darts about the yard. Hourigan grew up with cattle and when the horses aren’t keeping him busy, he has “150 head of cattle” just to keep him occupied. There are plenty of rows of traditional boxes, with companion grills; in Lisaleen’s heyday it was home to 150 racehorses such as the mighty Doran’s Pride and Beef Or Salmon, and these days cut back to a more manageable 30. It clearly worries Hourigan that one day he will have to step away from it. “And then who will run it?” A traditional yard? When I remark upon the absence of the American barn, Hourigan’s eyes twinkle once more. “Oh God, I wish I’d had a couple of barns – 40 boxes all under the one roof in each, not having to wander about the place. Here in Ireland you need that. It would have kept us out of the weather.” It’s probably the only oversight you’ll find. “My big problem is I’ll spend anything if it betters my career,” he admits, with much more glee than regret.

Hourigan with Undressed and the Simplefeeder unit




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I don’t have any chewing of the door or kicking at the doors and noise. They all get fed together, at the same time. We come in here in the morning and they’ve already had their 6am feed

The Simplefeeder in use

First stop, though, is the basics. The feed room is tucked well away from the yard and is fully tiled, ensuring it’s hygienic and rodentfree. “We had a virus a few years back and I got the idea to move the feed room out of the way of everything,” Hourigan explains. He’s always thinking about things, his mind constantly ticking over as he searches for a better way of doing things. The feed room now is all but empty, as two bulk feed tanks do an even better job at keeping the feed clean and pest-free and the area dust-free. Hourigan is a firm believer in “a little and often” when it comes to feeding his horses and takes the feeds round twice a week – Tuesdays and Fridays! Did I mention another of the innovations in practical daily use? Simplefeeder is a unit that can be programmed to fill feed bowls automatically, up to eight times a day. At a cost of around €400 per unit, depending on capacity, each horse has its own unit that delivers the required amount of feed into its bowl at the required time. Each unit has sixteen programme functions for time and amount. “I went for the largest units, as we only have to fill them up twice a week,” Hourigan points out. “I tried one or two first and then I bought 40. They paid for themselves in a year. They replace one staff member.” Those looking to boost employment might shudder, but we are in times of staff shortages and the reality is there isn’t the time to be taking round the feeds as efficiently as the Simplefeeder. “At the really busy times we’re just not here,” Hourigan’s daughter and assistant, Kay Ryan, explains, in company with head girl Catriona Woulfe. “Take Easter, for example. We had ten runners at various meetings – I was away at a point-to-point. We like to take a feed round at 6pm, but I wasn’t even back until 7pm.” The ladies wonder how they ever managed in pre-Simplefeeder days. Hourigan, ever the horseman, reveals another obvious benefit. “I don’t have any chewing of the door or kicking at the doors and noise,” he says. “They all get fed together, at the same time. We come in here in the morning and they’ve already had their 6am feed. I wish I’d had them when I had 150 horses!” We move along next to a large double stable knocked through and home to the Tendon Manager. Kay Ryan had already

explained how a mare, with never a day’s lameness in her life, had inexplicably broken down badly in both forelegs, on soft ground. The Hourigans now use Tendon Manager devoutly, to prevent such a recurrence. The trainer reveals what an important role that misfortune played in the development of injury detection and prevention. “One of our owners, Steve Hood, came up with the idea and has been working on the development of Tendon Manager for five years. His filly broke down, with tendon issues in both legs, in the one day. He wanted to know why, and if it could have been predicted or prevented, and he got it into his head to go down the road with it. He has put a lot of money into it and asked if he could do trials here.” Where better! The original prototype of Tendon Manager, though crude compared to the finished product, looks perfectly functional outside in the yard, but within the comfort of the large airy box we can see the full benefits of the finished

project, as Tendon Manager Olympic Plus is put through its paces. “Steve was coming and going about the yard and asking all sorts of questions,” Hourigan explains. “He was doing it all ways, mainly questioning about how to take heat out of a leg, before work and after work.” Hourigan was already wise to that practise and his horses benefit from a river running alongside the yard. “We stand the horses in the river an

The Tendon Manager phone




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Hourigan with his natural spa – a section of the riverbed has a concrete floor

There’s no excuse for running a horse with a strained tendon. We can find it before it happens. There’s great technology available, but you have to work your own brain with it

The Ardial Dummy – now an essential accessory in the tack room


hour before work and an hour after work,” he reveals. But this is Michael Hourigan’s land and even nature can be improved upon! The Lisaleen inmates don’t have to scramble down a bank to enjoy a therapeutic paddle. A section of the beautiful shallow river, with its landscaped shrubbery banks, has been transformed into a safe and practical natural equine spa. A concrete walkway leads into the water at a gentle gradient and the riverbed is a concrete floor, with safety rails enclosing the space. “Noel Meade told me, ‘If I had what you had I wouldn’t be buying a spa,’” says Hourigan, who immediately began work

on his natural spa, some 27 years ago. “The Board of Works had me take it out, as I’d no planning permission,” he confesses, “but all that was needed was to sink the base two feet below the riverbed, so that’s what we did.” Steve Hood couldn’t have wished for a better environment in which to develop and trial the Tendon Manager, and the company now sponsors Michael Hourigan Racing. The Tendon Manager simply identifies the individual horse by its microchip, scans the horse for body weight, and scans the legs. The data is stored and a history of each horse compiled, which can be instantly accessed through any secure network or mobile device. “You can see a lot with your eye,” Hourigan points out. “If you can see a problem, then there is a problem. Your eye will tell you the problem, your hand will feel the heat. But the Tendon Manager will tell you before there’s a problem. “I remember Paddy Mullins telling me, ‘Michael, that leg you got in November, you really got in May.’ He wasn’t giving me a telling off, he was telling himself off. We’d turned a horse out in May for the summer without knowing there was a problem and he’d been out on it all summer, you see. As soon as he came back in and ran – bang. “There’s no excuse for running a horse with a strained tendon. We can find it before it happens. There’s great technology available, but you have to work your own brain with it. It won’t train a horse for you and it won’t cure a leg problem – but it will prevent it before it happens.” Hourigan has another example of the effectiveness of the Tendon Manager. A veterinary scan on Church Island showed



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If you have a lame horse, jog him up on concrete and just listen, don’t look at him. Use your ears, not your eyes. You’ll hear exactly where the problem is

Hourigan with his solarium, made himself 30 years ago

40% tendon damage. “You could clearly see a black hole, but it could have come from a small infection. That level of damage should mean a year off, but the Tendon Manager showed nothing. We kept monitoring him and it kept telling me he was alright. We ran him in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park and, of course, he won.” Without the Tendon Manager monitoring Church Island, he wouldn’t have run. “I had full confidence in running him and he won well on the day.” As Hourigan says, it’s a combination of horsemanship and interpreting the data that reveals the hidden signs – not only identifying a problem before it manifests, but providing the reassurance that an injury has fully healed. 36

“Horses are no different to humans,” he reminds us. “We all work the same. The only difference is, we can tell you when we’re hurt and where. A horse can’t. If you have a lame horse, jog him up on concrete and just listen, don’t look at him. Use your ears, not your eyes. You’ll hear exactly where the problem is.” For all his love of the latest advances and how best they can benefit him and his horses, Michael Hourigan remains a horseman, with the innate skill that no doubt pinpoints exactly which new musthave device will do its job, and which is just an unnecessary gimmick. As he says, they don’t train for you. Something widely recognised as a musthave is an equine swimming pool, and

Hourigan, naturally, had one of the first. “I used to swim horses at the sea. Then I got a few quid for a horse and decided to put in a pool, 27 years ago. I went up to Cuddy’s at the Curragh and I measured it up and got the same one.” The solarium has been a long-term fixture at Lisaleen, too. “Thirty years ago I saw one and I thought, ‘I’m going to have one of these.’ So I made it up from a set of stocks and put in the lamps,” he says of the DIY solarium, a perfect example of his vision and adaptability. “Dorans Pride wouldn’t have survived as long as he did without this.” But it’s time it was upgraded. He shows me two unused boxes for which he has great plans. They’ll be converted to make a heat room, so the horses can come in from the pool and dry off. He’s always thinking, always looking ahead. Even something as simple and commonplace as the gallops come from inspiration, seeing them in use, seeing what it could do for his own horses. The original circular sand, fibre, and rubber gallop was soon joined by two five-furlong uphill gallops, side by side, one woodchip, one sand. It’s only when we enter the tack room that the latest piece of hi-tech kit gives cause for regret. The Ardail Dummy is a reminder of the problems faced by many modern trainers and it’s clearly a sore point. “I never thought I’d see the day when I’d have to resort to it,” Hourigan complains. “But he never falls off!” He clearly laments the lack of good riders currently available and feels it can be attributed to the mechanical horse on which many of the students at racing schools first learn to ride. “It doesn’t move left or right,” he points out, as a wellused elderly mechanical horse demonstrates how the Lisaleen conditionals are taught to ride finishes, after first learning on the real thing. “I learnt everything I know, everything, from Johnny Fennel, who ran a livery yard and taught me to ride. He had forgotten more about horses than I’ll ever know. The day you stop learning is the day you give up.” Michael Hourigan clearly isn’t ready to give up yet and has a lot to teach us still. We may not know what the next innovation will be, but we can be sure it’s already ticking away in that sharp brain somewhere, keeping those eyes twinkling. n



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Can the philosophy apply to horseracing? 38



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The marginal gains philosophy seeks to make a series of very small improvements in performance by focussing on positive change to various aspects of training and racing. The view held is that these small improvements amount to a much larger and more significant improvement in race performance, targeted to get the athlete across the line in first place. One sport where it has become the norm is cycling, where the implementation of marginal gains has ranged from using manufacturing technology to improve bikes, to ensuring that the cyclists always sleep well prior to competitions by shipping their mattresses and pillows to each hotel. WORDS: DR CatheRine Dunnett BSC, PhD, R.nutR


PhOtOS: ShutteRStOCK, neiL RanDOn, GiLeS anDeRSOn

IR David Brailsford of the major force in cycling, Team Sky, suggests that it is actually very difficult to control whether you win a race or not, but that you have a far greater chance of winning if your athlete is competing at their absolute best. One could perhaps suggest that marginal gains are simply an extension of ‘leaving no stone unturned’; however, it goes far beyond that technically and also requires a self-critical mindset. This is not just about changing the way you do one or two things or introducing a new piece of equipment; it involves critically evaluating the whole process of training a racehorse from start to finish. Marginal gains are a fascinating concept and I was excited at the prospect of

discussing it in the context of horseracing. Whilst my expertise is largely within the field of equine science and nutrition, I can hopefully provoke some thought and discussion about applying marginal gains to

Brailsford suggests that one of the differences between those who succeed and those who don’t is the ability to be self-questioning or critical

the hugely complex subject of horseracing. Interestingly, Brailsford suggests that one of the differences between those who succeed and those who don’t is the ability to be self-questioning or critical; in other words, where there are failures, asking, “What could I have done differently to improve the outcome?” rather than looking for others to shoulder those deficiencies. In identifying where marginal gains could be effective, all the potential areas of weakness in the whole process of bringing a horse to the racecourse would need to be evaluated to find elements that could be improved by just a small amount. A 1% difference in race performance may not be noticeable in isolation and can be lost in all the other variables that affect performance on race day, but when a series of 1% improvements

The Great Britain team lead the way during the men’s Road Race at the London Olympics




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RACING A horse receiving a back massage

are added together, there is more chance of winning. Certainly, genetic potential accounts for a large part of race performance and with better horses there is perhaps less pressure to find those small improvements, but equally, with a yard of mediocre horses a marginal gains approach may allow horses to race beyond their genetic class. Trainers could perhaps be regarded as performance directors for each equine athlete, and one of their key tasks must surely be to build a capable, reliable, and informed team, who are able to ‘think outside of the box’ and critically evaluate everyone’s contributing processes. Breeders, bloodstock agents, assistant trainers, yard staff, feed staff, race secretaries, jockeys, vets, physiotherapists, nutritionists, travelling staff as well as others will all have a part to play. Fostering teamwork, nurturing talent, and creating a sense of ‘ownership’ is important. Nutritionists, whether independent or from a valued feed or supplement supplier, can highlight some of the areas of weakness within a feeding program and suggest aspects of feed management, where small improvements or gains could be made for the yard as a whole or for individual horses. Forage, for example, we know has an impact on the incidence of gastric ulcers and respiratory health, both of which can have a negative effect on performance. 40

Additionally, psychological wellbeing may be affected by the quantity of forage fed. Two key questions are, do you have clean forage, and are you feeding an optimum amount daily? Ensuring clean forage all of the time is difficult to achieve and there are many choices to be made, for example between hay, haylage, or other alternatives; whether to use English hay or imported hay; whether to test new batches; how to store; and whether or not to steam or soak. Do

Marginal gains are really what a true horseman is constantly looking for

Ilka Gansera Leveque

we even know what the optimum intake of forage is per day is to maintain health and not limit performance? In terms of concentrate feed, it is not just about Brand ‘X’ versus Brand ‘Y’ but also about the relationship you have with your supplier, how easily they meet your needs, and how well they are able to respond to your questions. Can we see a marginal gain by feeding horses less per meal, but with small meals more often? Is this logistically

possible, or should we turn to technology using automatic feeders? Do our horses perform better with high-starch feeds, perhaps because of that intangible will to win, or are they healthier and more able to perform to their genetic potential with a feed with a low or moderate starch content? What supplements are worth feeding and which offer no realistic gain no matter how small? Racing often seems to be looking for the next nutritional panacea for performance, whether it is a particular brand of feed used by a revered trainer, or a new overhyped supplement. We need to put this one to bed, as in general such panaceas don’t exist and even a well-researched supplement with data in horses to back its effect will at most offer a small marginal gain to add to the other improvements achieved. Use of technology such as GPS and heart rate monitors have the potential to offer small but significant gains through improved evaluation of talent, fitness, readiness to race, or simply bringing consistency to days of intense work. Genetic profiling in terms of racing distance, talent, and precocity are also used more frequently these days and will no doubt bring new opportunities for characterising equine athletes in the future. However, if viewed in isolation all of these technologies may disappoint. It is only when they are used as part of a marginal



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MARGINAL GAIN OPTIONS Introducing the concept of marginal gains into a training regime doesn’t need to be expensive! Some cost-effective examples are indicated below. When setting out to introduce the concept, remember that it’s the combination of small gains that will add up to bigger gains Ideas for Marginal Gains Use of automatic feeders Use of hydroponic grass Saddle design Different types of exercise (left / right handed) Forage intake The working day Clever sourcing of forage Steaming forage Nasal tape during training Heart rate monitors / GPS Supplements – good horse data Water intake monitoring Out at grass / paddock time Chaff or no chaff? Optimum racing weight Travelling to races Stable light Ventilation Same staff riding work on each horse

gains approach that they potentially become a more significant factor. Good racing staff are imperative and as part of a team they bring an important marginal gain, as they are always in close contact with the horses and can represent a trainer’s eyes and ears. In the current climate of difficulties in recruiting and retaining good staff, perhaps this is an area for critical evaluation for maintaining job satisfaction and fostering teamwork and ‘ownership,’ as well as a working environment that helps retain staff as valued members of a racing team. A relative newcomer to the ranks of Newmarket’s trainers is Ilka Gansera Leveque, a vet by training who was an assistant trainer in the USA and an apprentice jockey in Germany, and who has spent time with horse behavioural expert Monty Roberts. “Marginal gains are really what a true horseman is constantly looking for,” she said. “I’ve been applying this philosophy to every horse that comes to Saint Wendred’s, especially if they are second- or third-hand horses. It’s so important to listen to the horse (trying to understand and figure out their particular problems). Just doing what everyone else has done previously will not help the individual to improve. You need to be specific and individual in your approach. Being up to date on technology etc. is a must. A passion for horses and racing from the trainer and all staff is so important for this philosophy to work.” As jockeys are athletes too, a similar marginal gains philosophy could be applied to their training, nutrition, psychology, and even clothing or equipment for additional benefits. The challenge of making the 42

The Gain To better reflect feeding in nature To better reflect feeding in nature Minimise back issues and Jockey weight distribution More balanced athlete Optimise for health and gut fill Is an early start essential? Better quality clean forage Better respiratory health Improved respiratory function Smarter training, monitoring recovery rate Physiological support Better handle on hydration / health Psychology / physiological benefits May be different for different horse requirements Monitoring best racing / training weight Optimise protocols for travelling Correct lighting (lumens) for optimal coat maintenance The cleaner the air the better for respiratory health Better way to monitor feedback post training

desired racing weight versus maintaining optimum nutrition for performance is a key area that could be evaluated with potential for positive change. It will be interesting to see whether the outstandingly successful cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who no doubt has firsthand knowledge of marginal gains, will introduce any new ideas for her own nutrition and


performance as an amateur jockey. Racing saddles have not changed very much in design over the years, yet horses experience back soreness during their career. Should we be looking at applying some of the technological advances used in other areas of the industry to saddlery, such as changes in tree design or even a move towards treeless saddles?

Te Em

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Allowing horses to spend time in the paddock is a cost effective marginal gain

Trainer Ilka Gansera Leveque trained as a vet and spent time with horse behavourial expert Monty Roberts


The financial implications of a marginal gains approach are largely unknown in horseracing, but suffice to say that a careful balance between extra cost and tangible gain must be achieved. There is certainly scope for improvement to horse management and other aspects of racing for which there is no increase in cost, and this seems like a sensible first step to achieve some early gains and encourage further development of this concept. Factors such as timing of exercise during the day may be worth examining. Is it best for horses to be ridden at the crack of dawn, or are we just simply carrying on with tradition? Can horses be allowed access to pasture on a regular basis, which may lessen the stress on a stabled horse in training? A marginal gains approach may take you beyond accepted knowledge and into the realms of innovation, where a certain amount of trial and error may be required over a period of time. Achieving a balance between a science-led approach and practical experience, all the while challenging tradition, is a difficult but potentially fruitful path to follow. n



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MusculoskElETAl cATAsTRophEs Impact and prediction

Horseracing can be dangerous for both horse and jockey. Racing authorities across the globe take this seriously, and although casualties continue to occur, we can take comfort in some statistics. For example, over the last two decades, data collected by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) show a progressive decrease in equine racecourse fatalities, due in no small part to What is synovial infection? improvements made in racecourse design. Nevertheless, we need to do more Both studies were coordinated by a team to minimise risk for all involved. Two research studies published recently in based at the university of california’s JD Wheat Veterinary orthopedic Research Equine Veterinary Journal have looked at the role equine injury or sudden laboratory at the school of Veterinary Medicine. This group has pioneered death has in jockey falls and whether some catastrophic injuries can be outstanding research with the aim of predicted and therefore prevented. predicting, preventing, and minimising the WORDS: PROFESSOR CELIA MARR PHOTOS: SHuTTERSTOCk, EQuINE VETERINARY JOuRNAL


risks associated with horseracing. Their work is based on a unique archive of



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MusculoskElETAl cATAsTRophEs

data generated from a postmortem program that requires that all horses that die or are subjected to euthanasia on california racetracks be submitted for necropsy. And, because in california thoroughbred race training occurs at the track, training as well as racing deaths are included.

How common are musculoskeletal catastrophes?

catastrophic injury is defined as causing death or euthanasia of the horse. It important to recognise that the prevalence of specific injuries varies from country to country and between race disciplines, but overall injury to the musculoskeletal system

is by far the most common form related to equine fatality, accounting for about 80% of racehorse deaths in california and encompassing a wide range of specific injury site and types, including fractures and softtissue breakdown. The suspensory apparatus comprises the suspensory ligament, the proximal sesamoid bone, and the distal ligaments of the proximal sesamoid bones. This functional unit serves to support the fetlock joint and is a common site for catastrophic injury in us thoroughbred racing. lateral condylar fracture is the most common form of bone injury associated with fatality in British National hunt racing while in British

all-weather flat racing, biaxial sesamoid fractures predominate.

Are non-catastrophic suspensory apparatus lesions associated with catastrophic injury?

Dr Ashley hill, based at the university of california, examined specimens from 322 deceased thoroughbred racehorses. Fatality was attributed to fore suspensory apparatus failure in 108 horses, fore condylar fracture in 33, other forelimb musculoskeletal injury in 68, hind limb musculoskeletal injury in 51, and non-musculoskeletal injury in 62 horses. hill’s aim was to look for any association ISSUE 52 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM



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VETERINARY can be even more difficult to detect because these structures lie underneath the flexor tendons in the pastern. ultrasonography of this area is fairly straightforward but existing research suggests there can be considerable variation in ultrasonographic patterns seen in these ligaments. Nevertheless, now that we know that there is an association between pre-existing ligament injury and musculoskeletal catastrophe, future research needs to be directed at how we can better characterise ligament injury before further serious injury occurs.

What about the jockey?

a) The suspensory apparatus comprises the suspensory ligament, sesamoid bones, and distal sesamoidean ligaments. Together these structures support the fetlock joint. The lines indicate specific sites where samples were taken; b) a normal suspensory branch in cut section; c) a discolouration and enlargement in an injured suspensory branch; and d), e), and f) show injuries in the sesamoidean ligament. Images reproduced with permission from Equine Veterinary Journal

between non-catastrophic injury in the ligaments of the suspensory apparatus and subsequent suspensory apparatus failure and lateral condylar fracture. Injuries to the suspensory ligament and distal sesamoidean ligaments were extremely common. overall, 16% had moderate injuries and 77% had milder lesions. The researchers’ next step was to compare the prevalence of these injuries between horses with specific forms of musculoskeletal injury. hill found strong associations between moderate ligament injury and subsequent catastrophic injury. With moderate injury to the ligaments, the odds of horses sustaining fore suspensory apparatus failure were approximately 4.6 times higher and over five times higher for fatal fore metacarpal condylar fractures. These findings indicate that suspensory apparatus breakdown is not an isolated event occurring on one day but that there is a sequence of repetitive activity 48

leading to mechanical fatigue, injury to the ligaments, and ultimately predisposing the horse to fatal catastrophic injury. hill’s team recommended that monitoring the health of the ligamentous structures of the suspensory apparatus may be a simple means of assessing fatigue in, and preventing more extensive injuries to, the suspensory apparatus and metacarpal condyles of the equine forelimb.

Can we predict catastrophic injury before it happens?

hill was careful to point out that in this study, the ligament injuries that were associated with catastrophic injury were found on detailed postmortem examination, with no examinations prior to death. Injury to the suspensory ligament branches can sometimes be detected on palpation of these structures, just above the fetlock, and many horses with injuries of this type will not be lame. Injury to the distal sesamoidean ligaments

The researchers working with california’s postmortem Examination program have also looked at the impact of horse injury on jockeys. Equine racecourse fatalities can be broadly subdivided into those associated with catastrophic injury as described above and those in which the horse dies suddenly. This may relate to cardiopulmonary failure and severe haemorrhage but often when sudden death occurs, there is no clear explanation found. From 2007 to 2011, jockeys fell in association with 29% of thoroughbred and 44% of quarter horse flat race-related deaths in california. catastrophic injury or sudden death of the horse was estimated to cause 0.58 jockey falls per 1000 race rides in thoroughbred races and 1.39 jockey falls per 1000 race rides in quarter horse races. such falls were more likely to result in jockey injury than falls caused by other factors. The study recently published in Equine Veterinary Journal was undertaken with the aim of identifying specific racehorse injuries or conditions with greatest risk for jockey falls and injuries.

California’s Jockey Injury Study

For this work, a research team led by Dr peta hitchens collated data from jockey injury reports and records of equine necropsy, both over the same five-year period (2007 – 2012). Incidents which were not related to exercise or training were not examined further, and instances where there was a race day incident – such as being hampered by another fallen horse, flipping over in starting gate, or interference by another horse, another shifting ground abruptly – the horse injury was not considered the cause of any jockey injury. In this way, hitchens was able to examine direct relationships between spontaneous horse events and jockey injury. over the study period, 199 jockeys had 601 falls and 325 associated injuries from 211,511 thoroughbred and 52,544 quarter horse race rides. Jockeys were 162 times more likely to fall and 171 times more likely to be injured when they rode a horse that died from a musculoskeletal injury or sudden death in a race. A total of 707 racehorses experienced race-related catastrophic injury or sudden death. linking these to the jockey falls, 32%



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MusculoskElETAl cATAsTRophEs

This x-ray shows a fracture of the lateral condyle, one of the commonest fracture types linked to fatality. Recent research from California shows this fracture is associated with pre-existing injury to the ligaments of the suspensory apparatus. Photograph courtesy of Professor Peter Clegg, Equine Veterinary Journal

of falls were caused by catastrophic injury or sudden death of the horse, with jockeys injured in 64% of falls. Jockey falls occurred in association with 24% of thoroughbred and 36% of quarter horse race-related horse fatalities, and the riders were injured in 16% of thoroughbred and 23% of quarter horse incidents. Jockey injuries resulted from 64% of falls from associated thoroughbred and quarter horse fatalities, but this accounted for only 38% of race-related injuries and 20% of race-related falls. There were two jockey fatalities: one was caused by catastrophic injury to the carpus of a two-year-old quarter horse, and a horse clipping heels caused the other.

Which is more dangerous for the jockey: Catastrophic injury or equine sudden death?

Although in numeric terms, there were more jockey falls and injuries caused by horse 50

Number of jockey injuries associated with horse injury site in a) thoroughbreds and b) quarter horses. Images reproduced with permission from Equine Veterinary Journal

catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries than there were falls linked to the less common event of equine sudden death, jockeys were more likely to be injured by falling when the horse experienced sudden death rather than catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries in thoroughbred races. This link was not replicated in the quarter horse population but the researchers pointed out that this was likely because there were only two equine sudden deaths in quarter horses during the period of time they studied, so there simply were not enough data available to explore that potential association.

Does the site of equine injury influence risk to the jockey? Although




caused the most jockey falls and injuries, risk of jockey injury was higher in the less common event of injury to the pelvis or spine rather than to the fore or hind limbs. Jockey injury as a result of hind limb issue to the horse was rare. When the researchers looked to see if equine bone versus soft tissue injury influenced jockey injury, this factor did not appear to be important. overall, the bulk of jockey falls and injuries are largely related to skeletal sites with the largest prevalence of catastrophic injuries: the fetlock, carpus, and metacarpus. This work is important because it will help direct priorities for future research efforts to make racing safer for both equine and human participants. n



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Shedding new light on breeding and broodmare management When trying to identify the next great racehorse, horse buyers have a wide array of factors to consider – pedigree, conformation, wind, radiographs, race performance of close relatives, and date of birth. The objective of selecting for animals with optimal skeletal and muscular development is a driving force in many branches of the equine industry. WORDS: BARBARA MURPHY PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, BARBARA MURPHY


EARLINGS at annual sales are often evaluated by their size and degree of development. When purchasing weanlings as future racing prospects the task becomes even more complex, as the buyer must speculate about the shape, size, and performance capacity of the mature animal following multiple future stages of growth and development. However, what buyers and bloodstock agents need to become more aware of is that the fastest rate of maturation during a horse’s life and the majority of a foal’s skeletal development occurs during the final three months of pregnancy. This in utero maturation of the foal is under the control of the environmental signals perceived by the mare. The most important of these is the duration of daylight. By understanding how light perceived by the late term pregnant mare influences the physiology of the resulting offspring, breeders have a new opportunity to influence the health and strength of their annual foal crop. Knowledge of the lighting regime under which a mare was maintained during her final trimester will provide subsequent buyers of her offspring with important additional information. However, this must be prefaced by highlighting that early foals, born outside their natural season when day length is shorter, are very rarely at a disadvantage thanks to the development of cutting edge veterinary treatment, therapeutic farriery, 52



and excellent science-based nutrition plans. Thoroughbred broodmares receive the best of everything and evidence of this can be seen by the success of early born foals on the track. As we operate in a game of inches, new knowledge of the importance of light and of how our bloodstock can gain an additional edge is always welcome. To understand the importance of light for our horses we need to go back to the very beginning. Further back even than the 60 million years it has taken the horse’s doglike earliest ancestor, Eohippus, to become the elite athlete we know today and represented by the many breeds of Equus caballus. When life first emerged on our planet there was a lot of chaos and confusion. Biological processes in the first single-celled organisms happened at random throughout the day, night, and season with little, if any, spatial organisation. However, as the millennia passed, an interesting phenomenon unfolded – organisms that were more in tune with the

One of the most important biological timing phenomena of animals is the annual rhythm of reproduction for seasonal breeding mammals

changing cycles of light and dark of their environment were more likely to survive and reproduce. This natural selection of the fittest is a result of the continuously changing photoperiod created by the rotation of our planet around its own axis and, in turn, our planet’s rotation around the sun. The gradually changing day lengths associated with the waxing and waning of the annual seasons gave rise to predictable changes in food availability, climatic conditions, and predation pressures. Thus, as animals evolved, so too did an internal timing system that provides organisation to biological phenomena. One of the most important biological timing phenomena of animals is the annual rhythm of reproduction for seasonal breeding mammals. Everyone naturally associates the springtime with frolicking lambs, nesting birds, and the appearance of foals in the fields. Throughout evolution, the young of prey animals, such as sheep and horses, had a better start in life and a greater likelihood of surviving to adulthood if born during the late spring and early summer. Why is this? Well, let’s consider the needs of a new mother caring for her young in a feral environment. The lengthening and increasingly warm days of spring provide new grass growth, increased plant photosynthesis, and therefore greater nutrition for the high-energy demands of a lactating herbivore. What’s more, the longer hours of daylight provide added protection by increasing the visibility of predators and providing a less harsh environment for

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RACING young animals to get to grips with their limbs, so as to keep up with their dams when a rapid flight from danger is required. What is interesting is that the circaannual seasonality of breeding behaviour for many mammalian species is actually a timer for birthing, rather than breeding. The reproductively active period of seasonally breeding animals occurs one gestation length before the optimal time for offspring to be born. Thus, in the case of the sheep, with a six-month gestation length, the breeding season occurs in the autumn so that lambs are born in the spring. For birds, a gestation length of one month means that breeding occurs quite close to the emergence of chicks. And finally, in the case of the mare, an approximate 11-month gestation (335 days) means that mares are long-day breeders with peak fertility during the summer months so that their offspring are again born under favourable spring conditions. This is important, as it indicates that there is a strong environmental driver for foals to be born at the time of year that would have corresponded to their greatest chances of survival, during the longest days of the year. So we now know that reproduction in seasonal breeding animals is regulated by light. But how is the changing day length communicated to the mare’s reproductive system? The answer is via a very important hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is a protein hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland at night and it has been given the ominous title of the ‘Hormone of Darkness.’ In the horse, melatonin is produced primarily during the dark hours and is turned off when light of the correct intensity and wavelength enters the eye. Melatonin has a very important role in the regulation of reproduction in the mare. When there is a long duration of melatonin, such as occurs during the long winter nights, it prevents the release of gonadotropinreleasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH is the hormone at the top of the hormonal cascade controlling equine reproduction. As its name suggests, it is responsible for the release of the gonadotropins, another


Melatonin is a protein hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland at night and it has been given the ominous title of the ‘Hormone of Darkness’

subset of hormones. ‘Gonadotropin’ literally means to stimulate the growth of reproductive organs. Hence, in winter there is little GnRH around as it is turned off by melatonin, and the ovaries of the mare are usually small, hard, and inactive. As the seasons change from winter to spring, the days get longer and light prevents the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. GnRH levels now start to increase and this ultimately stimulates the activation of the mare’s ovaries. This occurs gradually over an 8-10 week period so that the ovaries slowly start to wake up and start developing follicles that will eventually ovulate as the season progresses. As is man’s nature, we have interfered with nature’s approach to seasonality in the mare. At some time in history, probably when the sport of horseracing began to increase in popularity, it was decided that all horses should have the same birthday to make competitions fairer by restricting races to certain age groups. The date that was arbitrarily chosen at the time was January 1st. This decision, leading to a market demand for foals born early in the year, has had a massive impact on the horse breeding industry. The natural breeding season of the mare extends from April to November, with a transitional period of sub-optimum fertility at either end. Normally, the majority of mares experience a winter anovulatory period during December, January, and February in the northern hemisphere. This clearly conflicts with an industry desire to

produce foals as early as January such that mares need to be reproductively active in February. The use of artificial lighting programs has allowed us to overcome this inconvenience of equine reproductive activity that is not naturally synchronised to industry timelines. For decades the practice of exposing barren and maiden mares to an artificially lengthened day, beginning around the first of December, has resulted in successful advancement of reproductive activity to facilitate early breeding. By providing sufficient lighting to one or both of the mare’s eyes for approximately 16 hours per day, melatonin is inhibited and we can manipulate the early release of GnRH and activation of the ovaries. These light therapy regimes, using indoor stable light or mobile light masks, are very successful, and the production of foals outside the mare’s natural foaling season has now become the norm. Predictably, however, when we mess with nature, there are consequences, and many are experienced by early foaling mares and their foals. Mares foaling prior to 1st April on average produce smaller foals, experience longer gestations, and often have post-foaling fertility issues. Cases of foal dysmaturity, often characterised by incomplete bone ossification and tendon laxity, are most often observed early in the breeding season, at a time when the foaling mares are exposed to shorter day lengths than they would normally receive if foaling when nature intended, in the late spring and summer months. As well as activating reproductive hormones, lengthening days trigger the release of many important growth-related hormones in the mare. As day length increases, the hormone prolactin is turned on to help develop the mammary glands and aid in milk production in preparation for lactation. Prolactin is also responsible for the seasonal moulting of the heavier winter coat. Day length is also an important regulator of the hormone insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a key component of an animal’s somatotropic axis that fundamentally controls bone and cartilage development. In



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LIGHT NH AND INJURY BREEDING RISK an early study by Burt Staniar, now Professor of Equine Science at Penn State University, it was shown that changes in a thoroughbred’s average daily weight gain during the first 16 months of life closely mimics the changes in day length and circulating levels of IGF-1, with increased daily weight gains occurring during the longest days. Similarly, we theorised that extended day length perceived by the prepartum mare would influence IGF-1 and in turn regulate the rate of bone and cartilage development in the developing foetus. To test this theory, a collaborative research study was conducted between University College Dublin and the University of Kentucky to evaluate the influence of light to the prepartum mare on foal birth weights. Thirty pregnant mares were divided evenly into two groups, so that each group had similar average weights, age, body condition, and number of previous foals, and maintained outside as a large group at pasture. To control for the genetic effect of the sire on the size of the foal, all mares had been inseminated the previous season using semen from the same source and were all due to foal in the month of March. On 1st December, roughly 90 days before foaling due dates, individual head-worn light masks were fitted to one group. These light masks had previously been shown by our group to inhibit melatonin in the horse and to advance the breeding season as effectively as indoor light in barren mares. The masks provided a low intensity blue light to one eye from dusk until 11pm each day, extending day length to approximately 16 hours of light per day. The second group of mares remained exposed to the natural photoperiod for the time of year. When foals were weighed after birth, it was found that foals from mares that had received extended day length for 90 days prior to foaling were on average 8.5 pounds heavier than foals from mares maintained under natural day length. This result was shown to be statistically significant (P<0.05). The mechanism by which this occurred is likely via stimulation of increased IGF-1 production in the mares by long day length, that subsequently crosses the placenta to influence bone and cartilage development in the foetus resulting in greater bone density and thus weight at birth. These research findings were recently presented at the 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Asia international conference on Biological Rhythms and were well received by experts in the field of chronobiology. Further evidence of the influence of daily light duration on the length of gestation and foal birth weights can be seen from a retrospective study we conducted on a large thoroughbred breeding farm in Kentucky in 2010. Out of a cohort of approximately 120 mares, with maiden foaling mares excluded from the research, average foal birth weights gradually increase month by month as the breeding season progresses, varying from

115 pounds in January to 125 pounds in June. Similarly, the normal gestation length for the mare is 335 days, when foaling during the natural breeding season. From the graph we can see that this is only achieved at the end of the industry-imposed breeding season when mares are naturally exposed to increased day length. Prior to that, earlier foaling mares on this farm had an average pregnancy length of 345 days. It is not unusual within the thoroughbred breeding industry for mares to exceed 355 days gestation. What is in fact thought to be happening is that insufficient day length is preventing the seasonal rise in IGF-1 and other light-regulated growth hormones, which in turn slows down the rate of fetal maturation until the environmental signals are received for growth to occur. Only then do the foals finally develop to maturity, run out of space, and initiate the foaling process. Providing the pregnant mare with 90 days of extended light prior to foaling corrects the many issues we experience by asking mares to breed and foal out of synchrony with nature. By giving them back the light

signals they would receive normally in late spring and early summer, we correct for long gestations, dysmature foals, and also ensure that mares’ ovaries are active and will cycle after foal heat. Simply put, if we advance the mare’s circa-annual cycle of reproduction to ensure she conceives as soon after the breeding shed doors open on 15th February, then we should continue with the same advance in the lighting schedule in the following years so that she foals on time and produces optimally developed foals. There are now many options for providing artificial lighting regimes for all breeding stock that can help achieve improved breeding efficiency. A new question that pinhookers and buyers of racing prospects must now ask is “Did that foal benefit from the influence of light on the pregnant mare in utero?” There is no compensation for the growth and development achieved as nature intended during the final months of gestation on the ultimate physiology and potential athletic ability of the offspring. We do however now have the knowledge and tools to mimic the benefits of nature by using light correctly. n ISSUE 52 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM



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The benefits of creating a thoroughbred passport




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There are benefits to creating a “genetic passport” for thoroughbreds. The passport could accompany the horse throughout its life to identify important traits impacting athleticism and breeding. This could have major implications, such as potentially reducing heritable disorders. WORDS: Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc PHOtOS: SHUtteRStOck


LTHOUGH genetic testing beyond parentage testing is not mandatory for thoroughbreds at this time, breeders, owners, and trainers alike could all profit from this type of service,” notes Samantha Brooks, PhD, an assistant professor in equine physiology and principal investigator at the Brooks Equine Genetics Lab at the University of Florida.

Why create a genetic passport?

If you knew that a specific thoroughbred had a certain “set” of genes that impacted performance or predisposed them to a specific health condition, would such knowledge alter how that horse was managed? “Theoretically, knowing a horse’s genes would change the way I train,” says Karl Broberg, a leading trainer in North America based on earnings, with a win rate of an astounding 31% reported near the end of 2015. Carefully contemplating the example of gene that could identify horses at risk for tendon injuries, Broberg adds, “If a horse has a gene for tendon injury then I probably wouldn’t worry about surface so much but rather making sure they had enough recovery time. Every horse always has to be treated 58

differently, whether we know their genes or not.” According to Emmeline Hill, PhD, from the University College Dublin (UCD) School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine in Ireland, athletic performance is influenced by a complex interplay among the environment and suite of genes. “The availability of the horse genome sequence and associated genomics tools is now enabling research scientists to understand genetic contributions to complex trains in the horse. This information is already being used to improve selection, breeding, and racing decisions in the thoroughbred industry…and may provide opportunities to individually design conditioning programmes to reduce injury risk,” said Hill during the 49th British Equine Veterinary Association Congress in 2010. Based on the most up-to-date genetic research in horses, here is a brief summary of some conditions or traits that appear to be inherited:


A common, painful condition, tying-up (exertional rhabdomyolysis) is believed by veterinary researchers like Stephanie Valberg and Molly McCue from the University of

Minnesota to have a genetic component. Valberg, DVM, PhD, explained that a common cause of tying-up in thoroughbreds is an inherited abnormality in the way calcium is regulated in skeletal muscle. “The narrow genetic origin of thoroughbreds and the common lineage of the pedigrees of horses with tying-up would support the possibility of an inherited trait. The disease might lie dormant unless specific factors trigger the calcium regulatory system to malfunction. Triggering events include stress, excitement, lameness, high grain diets, and exercise at submaximal speeds,” Valberg shared. Another form of tying-up is polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM), which is the abnormal accumulation of glycogen, the storage form of sugar, in muscle. Type 1 PSSM is caused by a known genetic mutation and can be tested for. To date, type 1 PSSM has not been identified in thoroughbreds. Instead, the breed is affected by type 2 PSSM, for which there is no genetic test. Having a genetic test to identify thoroughbreds at risk of tying-up for either of these above-mentioned causes would be extremely valuable. This would allow trainers to optimise the management of such horses, including tweaking the diet, to minimise the severity and frequency of episodes.


The “speed gene” was originally described in the published literature and soon after marketed by Hill and colleagues. In addition to her position at UCD, Hill is a co-founder of Equinome, well known for identifying and popularising this genetic test. In actuality, the gene is truly more of a



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GENETIC TESTING “distance” gene, identifying horses best suited to short races and others with optimal performance in middle- or longer-distance races. The test looks for a specific mutation in the myostatin gene (MSTN), which produces the protein myostatin that impacts muscling in horses.

Osteochondrosis/osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)

This developmental orthopaedic disease affects the layer of bone lying underneath the articular cartilage that lines the ends of long bones inside joints. The diseased bone can disrupt the cartilage layer, causing inflammation, fluid accumulation in the affected joint, lameness, decreased performance, and premature osteoarthritis (OA). The stifle and hock joints are mostly commonly affected, and thoroughbreds appear to be more frequently diagnosed with OCD than other breeds. Because of the strong suspicion that OCD is heritable, a handful of studies have been conducted to identify “candidate genes” that could be involved in its development. According to a recent review article, there are several promising candidate genes. Many of those “genes of interest” are involved in secreting proteins found in the extracellular matrix of cartilage and bone, as well as proteins involved in maturation of the bone’s growth plate in young horses. Interestingly, genes that produce

proteins involved in parathyroid hormone signalling were identified in multiple studies. Parathyroid hormone and its receptors play important roles in maintaining bone health, bone formation during growth, and the proper function/maturation of growth plates of long bones. More research is clearly necessary and warranted, considering the welfare and economic concerns surrounding OCD in the equine industry.

Inflammatory airway disease (IAD)

The delivery of oxygen to a horse’s arterial blood stream can be impeded by either upper respiratory issues (such as epiglottic entrapment and dorsal displacement of the soft palate) or issues lower down in the lungs,

Having a genetic test to identify thoroughbreds at risk of tying-up would allow trainers to optimise the management of such horses, including tweaking the diet

like IAD. Any decrease in oxygen flow will negatively impact athletic performance, and up to 50% of racehorses are thought to suffer from IAD. In a 2015 study published by European researchers, nine genes were upregulated (expressed at higher levels) in low-performing athletic horses compared to healthy control horses. All of those nine genes were involved in inflammation, oxidant/antioxidant balance, and stress. Although these genes cannot be used as “markers” for IAD at this point in time, the study authors concluded that the findings reported in this preliminary study are “consistent with the current dogma regarding exercise-induced stress and asthmas” and that measuring the identified abnormally expressed genes could help “in the diagnosis and management of equine athletes suffering from IAD….”

Superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injury

SDFT injuries are common, take months to recover from, and recur all too frequently (because the tendon tissue is replaced by weaker scar tissue). According to a group of veterinary researchers from the United Kingdom, there are two main genes that appear to be associated with an increased risk of SDFT injury in thoroughbred horses that encode the proteins TNC and COL5A1. TNC is a protein involved in controlling communication between the tendon cells and

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VETERINARY performance. Offspring of stallions who were roarers are more likely to roar, suggesting a genetic component. A team of researchers, including Brooks, recently identified a genetic region on equine chromosome 3 that they believe contributes to roaring. Interestingly, that location was also associated with body size. Together, those findings are suggestive of a link between roaring and body size, and that selectively breeding horses to reduce roaring could also potentially result in smaller horses. According to the study, more research in this field would greatly improve the “understanding of the relationship between genetics, equine growth rate, and RLN prevalence [and] may significantly advance our understanding and management of this disease.”


the surrounding matrix, while COL5A1 is a type of collagen, the predominant connective tissue in tendons. The study authors found that horses with “abnormal” genes for these proteins were more likely to suffer injury to the SDFT than horses with “normal” genes. Specifically, horses with two copies of the abnormal COL5A1 gene (recall there are two copies of every gene) were in fact three times more likely to have SDF tendinopathy regardless of age and racing history. Future studies are needed to identify the exact genetic mutation responsible for the tendinopathy, and identification of additional genes serving as markers for SDF injury risk and progression is warranted.

regulate their internal body temperature, or simply staying in cooler climates. “Having a genetic test to identify anhidrotic horses would be beneficial because we will identify horses at risk and take early steps to keep them cool, and/or avoid tropical climates for these horses. Second, we currently have little to no understanding of what causes the sweat glands to fail in equine anhidrosis. Learning the genes responsible for the disease could point us toward the biological pathways causing the problem, and suggest potential treatments for those who are already struggling with this frustrating condition,” explains Brooks.


Paralysis of the arytenoid cartilage in the equine larynx due to degeneration of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) is an important and common contributor to poor

Laura Patterson-Rosa, DVM, is a PhD student in Brooks’ lab currently conducting research to find genes responsible for anhidrosis in the horse. According to Brooks, “A 2010 study of horses in Florida discovered that those with a family history of anhidrosis are substantially more likely to be anhidrotic themselves, strongly pointing to a genetic basis for the disease. The focus of Patterson-Rosa’s research is to collect DNA samples from horses diagnosed with anhidrosis and to search for the gene or genes responsible for the condition.” Without a cure for anhidrosis, treatment involves cold hosing immediately after exercise, using stall fans to help horses 60




The goal is to discover genes identifying mares at risk for endometritis, or mares with a propensity for double ovulating and producing twins

Many people involved in the thoroughbred industry face challenges associated with getting and keeping mares in foal. Early embryonic death (EED), post-breeding endometritis resulting in open mares, and late-term abortions contribute to significant economic losses. Not surprisingly, there is marked interest in this area and research is in progress. The goal of those studies is to discover genes identifying mares at risk for endometritis, or mares with a propensity for double ovulating and producing twins, and even stallions with genes that make them superior semen producers capable of covering more mares. Such tests could also help owners and trainers decide whether to geld a certain horse or not. One such “breeding test,” the acrosome reaction test, is offered by Etalon Diagnostics. The acrosome is the vesicle located at the head of sperm to facilitate fertilisation of the egg. McCue, who played a pivotal role in developing the genetic test for type 1 PSSM (mentioned above), recently helped discover a gene, FKBP6, that plays a role in male subfertility via impaired acrosome reaction. According to McCue and her colleagues, “FKBP6 genotyping is recommended for the detection of IAR- [impaired acrosome reaction] susceptible individuals among potential breeding stallions.”


Even the best thoroughbreds have a finite career on the track. If not used for breeding, these horses are repurposed. Many organisations like Retired Racehorse Project are devoted to increasing demand for thoroughbred ex-racehorses to facilitate the re-homing process by “building bridges to second careers.” The importance of placing horses in appropriate careers is not simply left to organizations like Retired Racehorse Project. Trainer Broberg adds, “We’re always working to place horses when they retire from the track.”

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GENETIC TESTING In theory, if a retired thoroughbred has their genetic passport in hand, the process of finding second careers could be greatly facilitated. “Additional research is anticipated to ultimately pinpoint genes for jumping, endurance, eventing, dressage, and more that could help repurpose thoroughbred racehorses. Genes involved in disposition are also important. Predicting which horses will be suitable as backyard pets and which ones are going to stay energetic in retirement and might be happier switching to another, more athletic job would be helpful,” advises Brooks. Research surrounding the genetics of behaviour is already in progress. In fact, one recent study confirms that behaviour and learning (i.e., tractability) have a hereditary component. That study looked at the gene that produces the protein called serotonin receptor 1A. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that binds to serotonin receptor 1A and plays a role in mood and depression. “We found that a single nucleotide polymorphism [mutation] located in the HTR1A gene was significantly associated with tractability scores. This is the first evidence showing that a serotonin-related gene polymorphism may affect individual differences in a behavioural trait in horses,” explains lead researcher Teruaki Tozaki, PhD, from the Genetic Analysis Department, Laboratory of Racing Chemistry in Japan. Tozaki adds, “I think that both the HTR1A and MSTN genes may have implications for horse management or training practices. In the near future, genetic information may become standard information for horse training and breeding.”

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When and how to pursue genetic testing

Thoroughbreds are required to have parentage testing for registration with the Jockey Clubs. Parentage verification usually occurs at the time of foal registration. It would make sense, for maximal benefit, to conduct genetic testing at a young age, but in reality, a “genetics passport” can be created at any point during a horse’s life. “The information encoded by a thoroughbred’s DNA can be useful at various life stages,” notes Brooks. Mane or tail hairs pulled (not cut) provide an excellent source of DNA. These hairs (and more importantly, their bulbs) are sealed in an envelope and shipped off to the laboratory. Most laboratories have small “panels” (like the five- and three-panel used in quarter horses and arabians, respectively, for registration purposes), leaving the remaining tests ordered individually. Brooks, a scientific advisor for Etalon Diagnostics, warns, “Running individual tests on a single horse either for curiosity’s sake or while planning for breeding can be costly using older technology. Carefully selecting a laboratory that uses newer ‘platforms,’ methods that can run multiple tests at once at a fraction of the cost of individual testing, is more informative and economical. In addition, newer technology can also help ‘discover’ new genes responsible for specific health conditions.” Such platforms and discovery research is anticipated to continue to drive interest in equine genetics, streamlining the process, and ultimately benefitting equine health and longevity.

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Future directions

It has been 30-plus years since the equine genome project was launched, and just six years since the sequence was published. Since then, the growth of our understanding of equine genetics has been explosive, and new technologies continue to make genetic testing easier, faster, and more economical. These technologies allow the industry to better understand genetic disorders, devise more effective treatment strategies once the conditions are recognised, and make smarter breeding choices. The importance and scope of genetic testing and the benefits of thoroughbreds having genetic passports is not lost on trainers like Broberg, who says, “It is probably still a long way off, but we need to continue to learn, evolve, and adapt to new science and technology to be successful.” ■

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2015 ETF agM

Representative trainers from most major European racing countries descended on the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, Ireland from December 11th to 13th for the annual European Trainers Federation AGM. WORDS: GILES ANDERSON



wo days were spent mixing with fellow trainers and visiting some key irish racing institutions. First up was a trip to racE (racing academy and centre for Education), which is the base of the irish Farriery School and the famed racing academy. Delegates learnt about the detailed and unique training programme for apprentice farriers and we got to see some of the young stable staff and perhaps soonto-be apprentice jockeys being put through their paces. Friday evening was spent in the company of the committee of the irish racehorse Trainers association, who hosted a fantastic dinner thanks to the generosity of the agM sponsors: connolly’s red Mills, Foran Products, irish Thoroughbred Marketing (iTM), and Bedmax Shavings. an impromptu trip to willie Mullins’ yard on the Saturday morning was met


with what must have been the wettest weather ever seen in closesutton. But the delegates’ spirits were far from dampened after the tour of willie’s yard and facilities. it would be fair to say that if we had stayed for much longer we would have ended up in his specially built drying room but instead we made the short trip down the road to connolly’s red Mills, where we learnt from gareth connolly and Margaret wilson all about what it takes to manufacture different horse feeds and supplements. For virtually all of the delegates, this was the first time that they had been “behind the scenes” at a feed mill, and all agreed that with nutrition playing such an important part of every trainer’s regime this was a worthwhile and fascinating experience. Then it was back to the Keadeen for the annual meeting, which, as always proved to be an excellent forum for trainers to address different issues and scenarios they face across Europe. Everything from VaT

to interference rules was discussed, and this year three excellent presentations were given. First up, Katie rudd of iTM gave us the key facts about the irish racing and breeding industry. next we heard from Dr Paull Khan, the secretary general of the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation, who explained the workings of his federation, while delegates discussed areas of common ground between both organisations. Finally, we learnt from Brent adamson about the research that Bedmax Shavings have put into creating their bedding and why it popular with so many trainers across Europe. rounding off a busy day was a relaxed christmas dinner at the Killashee Manor Hotel in nearby naas. Special thanks go not only to our sponsors for making such a weekend possible but also to Jim Kavanagh, aoife Hanratty, and Michael grassick, who ensured that everything ran smoothly. n



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Patrick Prendergast (IRTA Council Member), Rupert Arnold (NTF CEO) and Harry Dunlop

Richard Crepon (French ETF representative)

Dr Paull Khan, Jim Kavanagh, Michael Treacy – Special Advisor to Mr Phil Hogan, The European Commissioner on Agriculture and Rural Development

Aoife and Gerry Hanratty

Greta Hennau (Belgium)

Willie Mullins and Jim Bolger Sylvain Prouvoyer (Connolly’s Red Mills), Noel Brennan (Connolly’s Red Mills) and Margaret Wilson (Foran Equine Products) Claudia Luddecke, Geert Van Kempen (The Netherlands) and Christian Von Der Recke (Germany)

Brent Adamson (Bedmax), Nadine and Guy Heymans (Belgium) ISSUE 52 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM



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Jozef Chodur (Slovakia), Zuzana Hricova (Slovakia) and Katie Rudd (ITM)

Giles Anderson, Christian von der Recke, Richard Crepon, Criquette Head-Maarek and Jim Kavanagh

Roman, Zuzana and Jakub Vitek (Czech Republic)

Willie Mullins and Criquette Head-Maarek Fiona Arnold and Michael Grassick Borut Bernik Bogataj (Austria), Willie Mullins, Alex McLaren (Sweden)

Sean Lynch (Foran Equine Products), Padge Gill (Foran Equine Products), Margaret Wilson (Foran Equine Products) and David Maher (Connollyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Red Mills 64



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ETF agM Photo 6

Bernadette and Tony Redmond (IRTA)

Willie Mullins

Champion Hurdler Faugheen

Alex McLaren (Sweden)

Rupert Arnold, Michael Grassick, Gareth Connolly (Connolly’s Red Mills) and Christian von der Recke

Jackie Bolger and Jackie Mullins

Brent Adamson (Bedmax) and Gareth Connolly (Connolly’s Red Mills) ISSUE 52 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM



18/12/2015 01:17


COURSE TO COURSE A look at stories in the news from racecourses across Europe.

Representing European Racing’s interests – the EMHF ThE European and Mediterranean horseracing Federation (www. represents the Racing Authorities of its 27 member countries. Its footprint extends from Portugal, Ireland and Morocco in the West to Azerbaijan in the East – from Norway and Sweden in the North to Libya and Lebanon in the South. It includes the region’s racing superpowers – France, Great Britain and Ireland – but also some countries whose racing industries are far more modest in scale, such as the Channel Islands, Austria and holland. We caught up with its Secretary-General, Dr Paull Khan, to learn more about its workings.


European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation

How does the EMHF fit in with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities? The IFhA, www.horseracingintfed. com, which is the world peak body for Thoroughbred racing, is our global parent. Our sister organisations within the IFhA are the Asian Racing Federation (covering 66

Asia, Southern Africa and Australasia),which many of your readers will have heard of, and the more recently formed Pan-American Conference, which staged its first event in New York last June. What are the EMHF’s aims? I would say our primary objectives are to foster the development of relations between our member Authorities, (and, thereby, the racing industries that they serve), to give support to the developing racing nations in our region and to promote compliance with international best practice in administration. Two-thirds of our members are also European Union member states and another important task for us is to represent the interests of European racing before the European Union bodies. How and when did EMHF start? Before EMhF, there existed an informal group of smaller European racing nations, known as the European Racing Development Conference (ERDC). Brainchild of the then-Chief Executive of the Swedish Jockey Club, Bjorn Eklund, ERDC had been formed in order to represent the interests of these smaller countries and encourage communication between them. In 2008, Bjorn Eklund made a presentation to the annual Conference of the IFhA in Paris, suggesting the closer integration of ERDC into the International Federation’s fold. The idea was well received by IFhA President, Louis Romanet and it was decided to create a new Federation, subsuming the ERDC, but also including the major European Racing nations, to bring greater unity to the region. Thus was EMhF born. Its founding meeting was held in Stockholm in June 2010. Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of horse Racing Ireland, who is also one of the three Vice-Chairmen of the IFhA, has been in the Chair from the start, supported by three Vice-Chairmen, Thierry Lohest of Belgium, representing European Union countries, Behcet homurlu of Turkey, representing other European countries and Omar Skalli, of Morocco, representing Mediterranean countries. Bjorn Eklund is still involved, as our Life President.

How did you get involved and what was the appeal to you of the EMHF? I had always taken a keen interest in international racing, representing Britain on committees like the IFhA’s Technical Advisory Committee. I used to go to the old ERDC meetings just as an observer, because the nature of racing in the less obvious countries fascinated me. In 2012, the IFhA decided to devolve greater responsibilities to its Regional Federations and I was approached to work on a part-time basis as its Secretary-General. At the time I was Racing Director at Weatherbys, a firm I had been with for over thirty years, with various responsibilities, including for Banking, Insurance, Publishing and Bloodstock Sales Cataloguing. I am also now Technical Advisor for Europe to the IFhA. I feel truly fortunate to have been able, through EMhF, to experience some of the jewels of European racing which remain very little known outside the local area. We use our two annual meetings (one General Assembly and of Executive Council Meeting), to showcase the racing in the country concerned, and we try to avoid the usual suspects when looking for volunteers to host. My very first meeting was in Waregem, a small, pristine Belgian town. Once a year, when they hold their annual race meeting that features the Grand SteepleChase des Flandres, the whole town closes down, because everyone is at the races. It’s packed, the course layout is eccentric and it’s a great day’s entertainment. Another time, we were hosted by the hungarian authorities and saw the hungarian Derby at the country’s sole racecourse, Kincsem Park,



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NEWS which was only saved from the clutches of property developers through the swell of public support generated by the success of their crack sprinter Overdose. Or, take the sprawling metropolis of Casablanca: how wonderful is the oasis of the racecourse? Last year’s gathering was in St Moritz for the racing on the frozen lake. European racing has so many wonderful stories to tell, so much untapped racing tourism. When you say that EMHF ‘supports the developing racing nations’, what do you mean? This is actually a key part of what we do. Providing help to the smaller countries often takes the form of staging seminars, hosted by the major countries, for the primary benefit of the others. Topics have included doping control, racetrack management, handicapping and the workings of the EU institutions. The next seminar is to be a Trainer Masterclass. We are breaking with tradition and holding this in a smaller country – in Bratislava, Slovakia. On January 12th, Mark Johnston will be giving an international audience of trainers and others the benefit of his considerable experience in all aspects of the trainer’s art. And later in the year, Ireland will conduct a seminar on Farriery, perhaps in Ireland itself, or maybe in another country, such as Turkey. How did the tie-up with Mark Johnston happen? It was particularly the Central European countries of Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, hungary and Slovakia which had been calling for the opportunity for a trainer of international renown to talk to them. I thought that Mark would be perfect. Not only would he be knowledgeable on so many levels, he would also not hold back on expressing his opinions. Through Weatherbys, I’d known Mark for a long time. I wasn’t at all sure he’d do it – it’s a big ask to give up three days of your time to travel across Europe to give a talk – and I was delighted when he said yes. How does EMHF approach the job of representing European racing within the EU? Well, the first thing I’d say is that we don’t – and couldn’t – do it alone. EMhF has just the one Standing Committee, and that deals with EU affairs. We see our job as being to monitor the political landscape in Europe for forthcoming potential legislation which may affect the racing sector, to convey our findings to our membership, and then, when our members have a view on a particular issue, to lobby Brussels accordingly. Through the kind co-operation of the British horseracing Authority, we benefit from the expertise of Cathy McGlynn, whom they engage with a monitoring and advisory brief. Together with the European Trainers Federation and the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders’ Associations, we find it useful being members of the

The European horse Network, www., which is a non-profit network of stakeholders whose purpose is to promote the development of the horse sector in Europe. Give us an example of a current issue at EU level. Recently, there was the first ever conference in the European Parliament on the subject of horse welfare. Its focus was a report, produced by the horse charity World horse Welfare and the Brussels-based animal welfare organisation Eurogroup for Animals, entitled ‘Removing the Blinkers: The health and Welfare of European Equidae in 2015’. It was an interesting document which covered a lot of ground and was clearly and persuasively written. The report underlined how incomplete people’s knowledge is of equines in Europe – there are wide variations in estimates of the numbers of horses that exist - and called for more research. We would support that call, but it’s important to impress on people that this poor level of knowledge cannot be said to apply to the Thoroughbred sector. In each country, through our respective Stud Book records, we do know, with a high degree of precision, how many foals are born each year. Similarly, in the area of identification/ traceability, the Thoroughbred passport is generally accepted as an exemplar, supporting the high levels of movement of Thoroughbreds around the world. Many saddening examples of mistreatment of horses and donkeys were cited. Naturally, we would all support efforts to eradicate these. What is always important, however, is to guard against adverse unintended consequences of any future legislation – however well-intentioned. How has EMHF been involved in discussions to date? The very visibility of racing – the fact that there are so many facts and figures available on our sport and it ranks high in public consciousness, could make us an ‘easy target’. It’s important to try to ensure that any measures the EU takes are proportionate. To this end, the EMhF has sought to show just how well self-regulated racing is.

Mark Johnston

In 2014, at an equine expert meeting called by the European Commission as part of the preparatory work for a possible animal welfare framework law, Prof. Tim Morris made a presentation explaining the scale and nature of European racing. Cathy McGlynn presented on the position of horses within EU legislation and policy. So racing was in there, early in discussions, getting our message across. We also fielded a delegation to Brussels and were invited to submit views on the subject of horse welfare to the European Commission. This led to two actions. First, in November 2014, the EMhF invited the Commission to pay an official visit to Chantilly to visit the races and several trainers yards, to be shown at first hand the high standards which are demanded in the thoroughbred sector. I think this was very impactful. And the following month we produced a report which explained just how seriously we treat the issue. For example, in every racing jurisdiction there are copious rules, practices and procedures which are there in the interests of the welfare of the racehorse, whether in the areas of doping control and tackling inappropriate veterinary interventions, inspections of stables, veterinary presence at every race meeting, etc, etc. And, by way of longerterm initiatives, several countries have programmes of research into such things as the factors linking to racehorse injury, veterinary research and education, and so on. (The report can be read on the EMhF website at under Information/Submissions). We also fed views into the report’s authors and I’m pleased to say that they were taken on board. For example, in the proposed requirement on those transporting horses to provide proof of the purpose of each journey, it is clearly important to exempt the frequent journeys which racehorses make – not least to and from the races. The report now recommends that only journeys of longer than eight hours are subject to this. What are the next steps? I think racing’s message is being heard. I was heartened by several positive comments at the recent World horse Welfare Conference in London. We are not, of course, saying that we are perfect in the racing world - more can certainly always be done in support of horse welfare. But we feel we are well placed - and stand ready – to give any assistance we can in the identification and promotion of best practice, and this is how we would like to see the process of discussion in Brussels develop. We may be a long way away from any possible legislation, but it’s important for racing that we and our sister organisations within the European horse Network – the ETF and EFTBA – all keep a keen watch on the relevant aspects of the discussion, and contribute to the debate, as the process unfolds. n ISSUE 52 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM



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Plus 10 deadline looming EUROPEAN trainers with Plus 10 horses in their yard are encouraged to pay the third and final Plus10 registration fee to increase their potential earnings during the 2016 Flat season. Plus 10 is a £5.5 million bonus scheme which will see qualified two and threeyear-olds race for cash bonuses of £10,000 (€2,500) on top of prize money, across more than 550 races in Britain and Ireland. To be qualified to win a bonus, horses must have had the three Plus 10 registration stages paid, with the final Owner Registration of £350 due by February 28th. Each time a £10,000 bonus is won by a qualified horse, the trainer, jockey and

stable staff will be paid £500 (€625) on top of prize money, with the balance shared between the owner and breeder. From 2016 bonuses will feature on the following races: Britain: l2YOs: All Class 2, 3 and 4 Maiden,

Novice and Conditions and Class 5 Fillies’ Only Maiden and Novice races l3YOs: All 3YO Only Class 2, 3 and 4 Maiden and Conditions and Class 5 Fillies’ Only Maiden races Ireland: l2YOs: 100 bonuses available on all 2YO non-black-type races, rolling over until all are won l3YOs: Unclaimed 2YO bonuses (circa 25) to be applied to 3YO winners of Maiden races from the beginning of the 2016 Flat season, until all remaining bonuses are won. For more information, visit www. or contact +44(0)20 7152 0026 or

Two exceptional assistant trainers win the Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship AS a result of the exceptional quality of entrants for the 2015 Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship, the judging panel has unanimously agreed two full awards should be made. The Alec Scott award aims to support those who are committed to a career training racehorses in Britain by promoting their education and improvement of their skills outside the United Kingdom. The two winners in 2015 are: l Rob McDowall, currently pupil assistant to Sir Mark Prescott; and l Rachel Rodman, currently assistant to Olly Stevens. The Alex Scott Scholarship is funded by the British horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BhEST). Executive Director Judith Allen, a member of the judging panel, commented, “All of the applicants we interviewed were of a very high standard again this year. however,


it was virtually impossible to separate the top two; having been shortlisted previously, Rachel came back with increased confidence and determination, clearly demonstrating that she was ready for a new challenge, and Rob impressed us all with his maturity and positive attitude. The panel therefore recommended awarding two scholarships this year, a decision fully supported by all of trustees of BhEST.’’ Rob will be taking up a one-month work placement with John O’Shea at Godolphin Australia in February 2016. Rachel will join Wesley Ward in Florida in the New Year and expects to continue through to April when the trainer’s two-year-olds ship to Keeneland. Reacting to the news of her award, Rachel Rodman said, “I am absolutely thrilled to have received the Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Scholarship. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Olly Stevens and with

the announcement of his retirement, the scholarship has come at the perfect time for me. It will allow me the chance to gain further experience. I will be going to Wesley Ward, an opportunity I am eagerly anticipating. I am extremely grateful to BhEST for the opportunity.” Rob McDowall is equally thrilled at the prospect of experiencing training regimes in the Southern hemisphere. he said, “I am very pleased to have been awarded this fantastic scholarship that gives me the opportunity to broaden my racing knowledge abroad. As well as BhEST and the National Trainers Federation I would like to thank everyone who has helped me on my racing journey so far starting with the Northern Racing College through to my current employer Sir Mark Prescott. I am really looking forward to meeting the team at Godolphin who have already helped so much in organising my trip.”



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All-encompassing anti-inflammatory pellets A product from VPL (Veterinary Products Laboratories, USA), Duralactin reduces inflammation throughout the body, including joints and the respiratory and gastro-intestinal systems. Normally, the body retains a delicate balance between the destructive effects necessary to resolve the infections and the resultant collateral damage to healthy tissues. However, in some cases, the balance is upset and an inappropriate amount of tissue damage occurs. This is particularly true in cases of chronic inflammation when the inciting cause of inflammation has resolved, but the damaging effects of inflammation remain. Injury and/or muscle strain occurs

at the cell level, causing heat, redness, swelling and loss of function. After injury, neutrophils migrate to the injured area to get rid of foreign organisms and damaged tissue. Duralactin works via a key milk-based protein called Microlactin. Duralactin utilizes the milk of hyper-immunised cows, which is formulated to balance the inflammation response in damaged cells and tissues and is fully patented to inhibit neutrophil participation in the inflammatory response at the cell level and to reduce injury and trauma resulting from swelling and inflammation. Scientific studies show that Microlactin, the active factor found in Duralactin, can protect tight junctions between epithelial

cells. This explains the decrease in the number of inflammatory cells seen at inflammatory sites in treated animals. In order for inflammatory cells to enter inflamed tissues, they need to pass through gaps between endothelial cells. Normally, these cells are held close together via junctional complexes, which contain tight junctions. With injury, these cell walls are broken. Duralactin thus keeps the inflammation to a low level on the way to repair. Duralactin has very strong scientific research held on file, and there are no known side effects. It can be fed with the daily food and is highly palatable, with no loading dose. For further information, please visit

Cost-effective bale feeder The Durapoly round bale feeder is the ultimate in safety, durability and is designed to save money. Made out of UV-stabilised, virgin polymers, this excellent rotationallymoulded feeder has no sharp edges and will not rust, which makes it particularly suitable for horses. Angled 70

feed bars make it very difficult for horses to grab a mouthful of hay and drag it out, meaning thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s less wastage. The low weight (21kg) of each panel means it can easily be assembled and moved by one person and Durapoly is available in 3 part (1.48mtr

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Advice from Connollyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Red Mills about gastric ulcers in thoroughbreds Gastric ulcers are a common problem associated with performance horses, especially racehorses where the prevalence is highest, with ulcers in 100% of horses actively racing and in 91% of horses in training. Ulcers are inevitable for horses in training as exercise will cause the gastric volume change, forcing acid onto the unprotected squamous tissue found in the upper section of the stomach. Although exercise is the key factor to ulcer development, the diet and environment also contribute to the risk and degree of ulceration. When considering ulcers the aim to is manage this complaint so that the grading of ulcer remains low and performance is not compromised. Exposure of the squamous mucosa to gastric acid is thought to be the primary cause of ulcers. Other acids, such as VFAs (Volatile Fatty Acids) or SCFAs (Short Chain Fatty Acids) from fermentation within the stomach, will also contribute, along with possible bile reflux from the small intestine and the influence of pepsin. With a high bacterial population within the stomach, the use of diets high in starch leads to the production of various SCFAs, including lactic and acetic acid. Where horses are fed more than 2g of starch per kg of body weight (BW) the risk of developing ulcers doubles. Ideally, the maximum starch intake in a meal is 2g of starch/kg BW, which translates to 1000g for the typical 500kg horse. With a traditional racing diet of 30% starch (300g starch per kg of feed) the

intake for such a diet should be a maximum of 3.3kg (approx. 7lbs) per meal. However, this is the maximum, and for efficiency of digestion and for lowering risk of ulceration an intake of 1g starch/kg of BW is recommended. For a 500kg horse, this is 500g of starch per meal. In the case of a 30% starch traditional diet, this is 1.6kg (3½ lbs approx.) which is roughly one level round bowl. Use of special diets with a lower starch content, typically 20% or less starch, are recommended for horses struggling with ulcers. These allow more flexible feed volumes and reduce SCFA production, helping reduce risk of ulceration. The other key dietary influence is forage, which encourages saliva production, provides bulk within the stomach and influences level of acidity. The fermentation of grains and production of SCFA is only harmful when the stomach pH is lower than 4.5, which is often the case in horses in training when the majority of time is spent in a stable. The pH will drop below 4.0 whenever hay consumption is less than 0.3kg per hour, which frequently occurs at night time when evening forage may be consumed within a few hours. The pattern in which forage is given is equally as important as the volume given. Ideally, forage should be available any time bucket feed is given. Chewing forage generates higher levels of saliva, which naturally buffers gastric acid and helps regulate the effect of bucket feeding. For more information please visit


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New system alerts to potential leg injuries Tendon Manager is a revolutionary system which can detect and monitor potential front and hind leg injuries in equine athletes, where pre-clinical problems can be identified and an automatic warning sent to a trainer or vet-designated mobile device. Tendon and ligament injuries are the most common type of injury in NH racing, accounting for 50% of all limb injuries diagnosed in the UK between 1996 and 1998 (Williams et al., 2001). A National survey of National Hunt racehorses in the UK showed the incidence of super digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injury was 0.95/100 horse

months (1 month equalling 30 days) during training and 42.5/100 horse months for those in racing (Ely et al., 2009). Tendon Manager can assist the trainer to keep their horses in training for longer, it allows for horses with

known conditions, maintain fitness through monitored exercise and for trainers to tailor exercise regimes to each individual horse. Its unique “Rate of Recovery”mode will monitor exercise effects on a horse’s legs and many trainers have found that they can maintain their horse’s fitness while treating leg injuries. All lifetime recorded readings and images are dated, stored and linked to each horse’s unique Microchip ID, which can then be viewed live and retrospectively from a remote PC, iPad or mobile device. For more information please contact Tom Wallace on 00 353 (0) 879 788 044

Dust-free pine shavings Bedmax is believed to be the first brand of large flake shavings made specifically for performance horses, and even more specifically for racehorses. First launched in 2000 following two years of research and consultation with leading equine veterinary authorities and equine care professionals, Bedmax pioneered the development of tailor-made wood shavings as the preferred form of bedding for horses whose health and wellbeing are essential to their performance and their competitive success. Today produced from managed UK forestry timber in three dedicated Bedmax plants in the UK, the shavings are designed to help safeguard racehorses from all the major risks that can threaten health and fitness in the stable; where the majority of racehorses spend the majority of their time. Although Bedmax has continued to develop and improve their shavings over the past 15 years, the essential benefits remain the same.

Bedmax was among the first bedding producers to understand the critical importance of eliminating dust and spores in the stable, which are the principal health threats to a horse’s respiratory system. The company cuts their shavings to a larger size than most, but ensures a combination of larger and smaller shavings in every bag to enhance the density of support under the hoof, to increase absorbency and promote hygiene. Bedmax also believes it is one of only a very few manufacturers to use Scots Pine timber as the primary material for its shavings, capitalising on the unique antibacterial properties that science has now proved make pine one of nature’s most powerful, completely natural antiseptic agents. For more information please visit


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Easier digestion for fussy feeders New TopSpec 14% Mix is a very palatable mix which is perfect for fussy feeders that reject low starch cubes but need additional feed alongside a feed balancer. 14% Mix is formulated utilising highly digestible fibre sources and cooked cereals to improve digestibility. 14% Mix is designed to be added to a TopSpec feed balancer or supplement and therefore contains no added vitamins or trace-elements and is a blend of straight raw materials rather than a complete feed. One of the ways in which blends are superior to most straights, however, is that they have been supplemented with the major

minerals calcium, sodium and magnesium. For example, feeding 14% Mix instead of cooked barley/sugar beet/oats/alfalfa to working horses, reduces or eliminates the need to add salt. 14% Mix has a high energy (calorie) level of 13MJ/kg, which, together with the protein, will promote condition and topline, and provide the energy for hard work. The formula maximises the use of highly digestible fibre sources and contains a good level of oil to help promote a shiny coat. For more information please visit

Product for nervous or over-excited horses Scientists have been unable to fully investigate the horseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s olfactory sense because it is too ambiguous to scientifically measure. This can give rise to the belief that the olfactory sense is unimportant. Nothing could be further from the truth. Equine science has discovered that the olfactory sense is linked to the endocrine system and therefore can alter behaviour in a split second. For example; the smell of adrenalin instantly triggers the flight-fight response, whilst the smell of oxytocin instantly creates calmness and social behaviour. Oxytocin also creates long-lasting benefits to health by influencing health-giving transmitter systems and lowering cortisol levels and blood pressure.

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Gastro Essentials Natural support for the stomach lining Formula 707 Gastro Essentials has been specifically formulated with an effective combination of natural soothing herbs, essential amino acids and minerals to support digestion and maintain healthy gastric function. We go to exceptional lengths to give you the most complete, potent and affordable products to help keep your horses fit and healthy. American Thoroughbred Products Ltd Tel: 01985 844613 Email: EuroTrainer_Win16_GastEss 17 December 2015 09:54:04




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Already 3 Gr.1 winners from our 2012 September Yearling Sale

LUCKY LION • a BBAG graduate 1. Großer Dallmayr-Preis, Gr. 1 1. German 2.000 Guineas, Gr. 2 2. German Derby, Gr. 1

FEODORA • a BBAG graduate 1. German Oaks - Gr.1

SIRIUS • a BBAG graduate 1. Großer Preis von Berlin, Gr. 1

Sales dates 2016 Spring Breeze Up Sale: 27th May Yearling Sales: 2nd September October Mixed Sales: 21st and 22nd October EUROPEAN TRAINER ISSUE 52 STAKES SCHEDULES.indd 74

18/12/2015 01:59






Races are divided by distance and the relevant surface is indicated as follows: AWT - All Weather Track D - Dirt T - Turf. Countries covered in this issue are: France, Ireland, Norway, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America. Closing dates for all Irish races are set for domestic entry dates. Please check International entry dates with the relevant issue of The Racing Calendar.

Under Copyright law, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means. This includes but not limited to; photocopying for commercial redistribution and or facsimile recording without the prior permission of the copyright holder, application for which should be addressed to the publisher. Whilst every effort has been made to publish correct information, the publishers will not be held liable for any omission, mistake or change to the races listed in all published indexes.

Call us on +44 (0)1380 816 777 to subscribe from £13 Country GB UAE UAE UAE GB GB

Track Lingfield Park Jebel Ali Meydan Meydan Bath Newmarket

Race Name & (Sponsor) Hever Sprint Jebel Ali Sprint Meydan Sprint Al Quoz Sprint Lansdown St (EBF and Whitsbury Manor Stud) Palace House St (Pearl Bloodstock)


Meydan Lingfield Park Meydan Meydan Meydan Cork Doncaster Newmarket Ascot

Dubawi Stakes Cleves St Al Shindagha Sprint Mahab Al Shimaal Dubai Golden Shaheen Cork St Cammidge Trophy ( Abernant St (Connaught Access Flooring) The Merriebelle Pavilion St


Meydan Abu Dhabi Meydan Lingfield Park Wolverhampton Dundalk Newmarket Newmarket Newbury Leicester

Al Fahidi Fort HH The President Cup Meydan Classic Spring Cup (32Red) Lady Wulfruna Patton St Nell Gwyn (Lanwades) European Free H'cap (CSP) Greenham St (Aon) King Richard III EBF St (Stallions Totepool)


Meydan Jebel Ali Meydan Meydan Meydan Meydan Cagnes Sur Mer Cagnes Sur Mer Meydan Meydan Curragh Meydan Doncaster Kempton Park Lingfield Park Newmarket Sandown Park Ascot Newmarket Goodwood

Maktoum Challenge R1 Jebel Ali Mile Cape Verdi Firebreak St UAE 1000 Guineas UAE 2000 Guineas Prix de la Californie Prix Saonois Zabeel Mile Burj Nahaar Park Express St (Lodge Park Stud EBF) Godolphin Mile Doncaster Mile Snowdrop St Rob Moseley Int. St. Craven St Sandown Mile (Bet365) Paradise St 2000 Guineas St (Qipco) Conqueror St (EBF)

Class L L Gr 3 Gr 1 L Gp 3

Race Date 28-Feb-2016 5-Mar-2016 6-Mar-2016 27-Mar-2016 16-Apr-2016 1-May-2016

Value £45,000 AED 500,000 $175,000 $1,000,000 £40,000 £60,000

5f (1000m)

Age 4+ NH & SH 3YO+ NH & SH 3YO+ NH 3yo+ SH 3yo+ 3+ F 3+

Surface AWT D T T T T

Metres 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000

Furlongs 5 5 5 5 5 5

NH & SH 3YO+ 4+ NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ NH 3yo+ SH 3yo+ NH 3yo+ SH 3yo+ 3+ 3+ 3+ 3


1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200 1200

6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ NH 3yo+ SH 3yo+ 3 4+ 3 3 F 3 3 C&G 4+


1400 1400 1400 1400 1400 1400 1400 1400 1400 1400

7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7

$250,000 NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ D AED 575,000 NH 4YO+ & SH 3YO+ D $200,000 NH F&M 4yo+ SH F&M 3yo+ T $200,000 NH 4YO + & SH 3YO+ D $250,000 NH 3YO F SH 3YO F D $250,000 NH 3yo SH 3yo D €60,000 3 AWT €52,000 4+ AWT $250,000 NH 3yo+ SH 3yo+ T $200,000 NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ D € 77500 3+ F T $1,000,000 NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ D £37,000 4+ T £37,000 4+ F AWT £37,000 3 AWT £60,000 3 C&G T £95000 4+ T £37,000 4+ T £500,000 3 C&F T £40,000 3+ F T

1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600 1600

8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

Visit L L Gr 3 Gr 3 Gr 1 L L Gp 3 L

15-Jan-2016 7-Feb-2016 12-Feb-2016 6-Mar-2016 27-Mar-2016 29-Mar-2016 3-Apr-2016 15-Apr-2016 28-Apr-2016

$150,000 £37,000 $200,000 $200,000 $2,000,000 € 40,000 £37,000 £60,000 £80,000

6f (1200m)

Now available for iPhone/iPad via Appstore Gr 2 L L L L L Gp 3 L Gp 3 L

22-Jan-2016 15-Feb-2016 4-Mar-2016 6-Mar-2016 13-Mar-2016 2-Apr-2016 14-Apr-2016 14-Apr-2016 17-Apr-2016 24-Apr-2016

$250,000 AED 380,000 $125,000 £45,000 £50,000 €45000 £60,000 £37,000 £60,000 £50,000

8-Jan-2016 23-Jan-2016 3-Feb-2016 5-Feb-2016 12-Feb-2016 13-Feb-2016 15-Feb-2016 21-Feb-2016 26-Feb-2016 6-Mar-2016 21-Mar-2016 27-Mar-2016 3-Apr-2016 3-Apr-2016 10-Apr-2016 15-Apr-2016 23-Apr-2016 28-Apr-2016 1-May-2016 1-May-2016

Oaklawn Park

Apple Blossom H

Gr 1



Meydan Meydan Gulfstream Park Gulfstream Park Meydan Meydan Meydan Gulfstream Park Newmarket Newmarket Oaklawn Park

Singspiel Stakes Al Rashidiya Donn H Gulfstream Park Turf H Balanchine Jebel Hatta Dubai Turf Florida Derby Feilden (Ebm-Papst) Earl of Sefton St (Weatherbys) Arkansas Derby

L Gr 2 Gr 1 Gr 1 Gr 2 Gr 1 Gr 1 Gr 1 L Gp 3 Gr 1

15-Jan-2016 29-Jan-2016 7-Feb-2016 7-Feb-2016 4-Mar-2016 6-Mar-2016 27-Mar-2016 3-Apr-2016 14-Apr-2016 15-Apr-2016 17-Apr-2016

5-Jan-2016 19-Jan-2016 2-Feb-2016 2-Feb-2016 9-Feb-2016 9-Feb-2016 6-Feb-2016 13-Feb-2016 23-Feb-2016 1-Mar-2016 16-Mar-2016 16-Jan-2016 29-Mar-2016 29-Mar-2016 5-Apr-2016 9-Apr-2016 17-Apr-2016 22-Apr-2016 26-Apr-2016 26-Apr-2016

8.5f (1700m) 4+ F&M





1800 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800

9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

Now available for iPhone/iPad via Appstore UAE UAE USA USA UAE UAE UAE USA GB GB USA

19-Jan-2016 9-Feb-2016 1-Mar-2016 1-Mar-2016 8-Mar-2016 29-Mar-2016 8-Apr-2016 8-Apr-2016 12-Apr-2016 19-Apr-2016

8f (1600m)

Visit USA

12-Jan-2016 2-Feb-2016 9-Feb-2016 1-Mar-2016 16-Jan-2016 24-Mar-2016 29-Mar-2016 9-Apr-2016 22-Apr-2016

7f (1400m)

Call us on +44 (0)1380 816 777 to subscribe from £13 Gr 2 Gr 3 Gr 2 Gr 3 L Gr 3 L L Gr 2 Gr 3 Gp 3 Gr 2 L L L Gp 3 Gp 2 L Gp 1 L

Closing 23-Feb-2016 1-Mar-2016 1-Mar-2016 16-Jan-2016 10-Apr-2016 26-Apr-2016

9f (1800m)

$150,000 NH 4YO + & SH 3YO+ $200,000 NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ $500,000 4+ $350,000 4+ $200,000 NH F&M 4yo+ SH F&M 3yo+ $300,000 NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ $6,000,000 NH 4YO+ & SH 3YO+ $1,000,000 3 £37,000 3 £60,000 4+ $1,000,000 3

12-Jan-2016 26-Jan-2016 25-Jan-2016 25-Jan-2016 1-Mar-2016 1-Mar-2016 16-Jan-2016 21-Mar-2016 8-Apr-2016 9-Apr-2016




18/12/2015 01:59

STAKES SCHEDULES Call us on +44 (0)1380 816 777 to subscribe from £13 Country UAE UAE UAE UAE

Track Meydan Meydan Meydan Meydan

Race Name & (Sponsor) Maktoum Challenge R2 UAE Oaks Al Bastakiya UAE Derby

Class Gr 2 Gr 3 L Gr 2

Race Date 5-Feb-2016 4-Mar-2016 6-Mar-2016 27-Mar-2016

Value $250,000 $250,000 $250,000 $2,000,000

9.5f (1900m)

Age NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ NH 3F SH 3F NH 3yo SH 3yo NH & SH 3YO+

Surface D D D D

Metres 1900 1900 1900 1900

Visit UAE

Jebel Ali

Jebel Ali Stakes



AED 500,000

9.75f (1950m) NH 4YO+ & SH 3YO+



Now available for iPhone/iPad via Appstore GB FR UAE GB FR UAE UAE GB GB

Lingfield Park Cagnes Sur Mer Meydan Lingfield Park Cagnes Sur Mer Meydan Meydan Kempton Park Newmarket

Winter Derby Trial Grand Prix de la Riviera Cote d’Azur Dubai Millennium Stakes Winter Derby Stakes Prix Policeman Maktoum Challenge R3 Dubai World Cup Magnolia St The Harbour Watch Newmarket St

L L Gr 3 Gp 3 L Gr 1 Gr 1 L L


Sandown Park Sandown Park

Classic Trial (Bet 365) Gordon Richards St (Bet365)


Abu Dhabi Newbury

Abu Dhabi Championship Dubai Duty Free Stakes


Newbury Newmarket Goodwood Ovrevoll

Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Jockey Club St (The Dunaden At Overbury) Daisy Warwick EBF (EBF) Scandic Norwegian Derby

7-Feb-2016 15-Feb-2016 19-Feb-2016 28-Feb-2016 27 Feb-2016 6-Mar-2016 27-Mar-2016 27-Mar-2016 1-May-2016

£37,000 €60,000 $200,000 £100,000 €60,000 $400,000 $10,000,000 £37,000 £40,000

23-Apr-2016 23-Apr-2016

4+ 4+ NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ 4+ 3 NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ 4+ 3 C&G


2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000

3 4+


2010 2010

NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ 3+ F


2200 2200

4+ 4+ 4+ F 3 CG + F


2400 2400 2400 2400


2410 2410

£65,000 £65,000

21-Mar-2016 17-Apr-2016

AED 400,000 £60,000

17-Apr-2016 1-May-2016 1-May-2016 27-Aug-2017

£60,000 £100,000 £40,000 NOK 1,200,000

10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10

2-Feb-2016 6-Feb-2016 16-Feb-2016 23-Feb-2016 20-Feb-2016 1-Mar-2016 16-Jan-2016 22-Mar-2016 26-Apr-2016

10.05 17-Apr-2016 10.05 17-Apr-2016

11f (2200m)

Now available for iPhone/iPad via Appstore Gp 3 Gp 2 L L


10.05f (2010m)

Visit Gr 3 Gp 3


10f (2000m)

Call us on +44 (0)1380 816 777 to subscribe from £13 Gp 3 Gp 3

Furlongs Closing 9.5 2-Feb-2016 9.5 1-Mar-2016 9.5 1-Mar-2016 9.5 16-Jan-2016

11 11

14-Mar-2016 12-Mar-2016

12f (2400m) 12 12 12 12

12-Apr-2016 26-Apr-2016 26-Apr-2016 7-Mar-2016

AUGUST 27TH 2017 – CLOSING ON MARCH 7TH 2016 NORSK DERBY 2017 (L) NOK 1,200,000 / €126,000 | 2400m / 12f | 3YR VISIT WWW.OVREVOLL.NO FOR MORE DETAILS Call us on +44 (0)1380 816 777 to subscribe from £13 UAE UAE

Meydan Meydan

Dubai City of Gold Dubai Sheema Classic

Gr 2 Gr 1

6-Mar-2016 27-Mar-2016

$250,000 $6,000,000

12.05f (2410m)

NH 4yo+ SH 4yo+ NH 4yo+ SH 4yo+

Visit FR

Cagnes Sur Mer

Grand Prix des Alpes Maritime


27 Feb-16

12.5f (2500m)





Now available for iPhone/iPad via Appstore GB UAE

Nottingham Meydan

Further Flight St (E.B.F) Nad Al Sheba Trophy

L Gr 3

7-Apr-2016 4-Mar-2016

£40,000 $200,000


Meydan Ascot

Dubai Gold Cup Sagaro St (Longines)

Gr 2 Gp 3

27-Mar-2016 28-Apr-2016

$1,000,000 £60,000



14f (2800m) 4+ NH 4YO+ & SH 3YO+


2800 2800

Call us on +44 (0)1380 816 777 to subscribe from £13 UAE GB

12.05 1-Mar-2016 12.05 16-Jan-2016

NH 4yo+ SH 3yo+ 4+

14 14

1-Apr-2016 1-Mar-2016

16f (3200m) T T

3200 3200

16 16

16-Jan-2016 22-Apr-2016



18/12/2015 01:59


18/12/2015 02:09



Providing scientifically advanced nutrition and healthcare solutions for animal health, well-being and performance.


Goresbridge, Co. Co Kilkenny, Ireland. Ireland UK Tel: +44 1386 552 066 T: +353 59 9775800 IRL Tel: +353 599 775 800 E: E:

18/12/2015 03:59 02:09 15/09/2015

European Trainer, January to March 2016 - issue 52  
European Trainer, January to March 2016 - issue 52