Page 1

European

ISSUE 57 – APRIL TO JUNE 2017 £6.95

www.trainermagazine.com

Horse-jockey interaction New research

RACECOURSE STABLING Tightening the girth on security

MAN O’ WAR We celebrate his 100th anniversary

FOCUS ON THE FLAT

Are commercial breeders targeting the right market? EUROPEAN TRAINER ISSUE 57 COVER.indd 12

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NEW

GILES ANDERSON PUBLISHER’S OPINION

T

HE threat of racecourse closures is nothing new in European racing. Sadly, it’s a regular occurrence in Germany, where this year it’s threatened at two tracks and a distinct possibility at one to happen this year. In France, the racing custodians have often speculated that one Parisian course is set to face the chop. But thanks to the determination of those who earn their living from the industry, it seemingly has met with so much resistance that authorities don’t currently dare face the backlash. An example of how high feelings are running could be felt in February on the day racing was set to return to Paris, when a number of people who work on three Parisian courses -- Saint Cloud, Auteuil and Maisons-Laffitte -- went on strike and forced the abandonment of the seasonal opener at Auteuil. Much to the disdain of the runners’ connections, the workers view the threat of closure, or at least job mergers at the tracks, with a sense of heightened anxiety. Those in the know say the strike action cost the industry 1,500,000, and at a time when French racing is coming under real pressure from the opening of wider betting opportunities across the country, it’s easy to see why the authorities have to be prudent with the future funding and sustainability of their major Parisian racecourses. The disruption is likely to run and run until a firm plan is agreed by all constituents. Now counter the French position with that of the UK, where finally horsemen are about to get what’s been needed for a long time: a slice of action from those bookmakers who base their business offshore. They’re also receiving income from picture rights, backed up by an innovative team at the British Horseracing Authority, all of which will combine to steer the good ship racing in the right direction and deliver a much needed injection of funding across all levels and areas of the sport. So, when The Jockey Club chose to announce in January that they are looking at the possibility of closing the famous National Hunt course / run-of-the-mill all-weather track at Kempton Park, the news came as a complete bombshell for the local industry. The news of the proposed closure led to national media coverage, with “where is Kempton Park?” suddenly becoming a highly searched term on Google. Few seemed to know of its existence, but armed with knowledge now, maybe they will make a trip before 2021, when the track could be closed for good. Naturally, trainers in Newmarket were appeased by the promise that The Jockey Club may add a new all-weather facility in their heartland, but equally this was met with absolute horror by trainers in the south and southwest of England, who have come to rely on trips up the M3 for action under both codes. One wonders where these trainers and industry constituents came in the pecking order when the decision was made, as it’s they who will suffer the most should racing get the heave-ho from Sunbury on Thames. If you take Kempton Park out of the equation, their businesses will suffer all the while British racing is calling for an extra 1,000 runners and an increase of annual attendance (to seven million) by 2020. n Continued on page 2

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PUBLISHER’S OPINION n From page 1 I can understand the reasoning behind the decision, but does it REALLY make the best economic sense for racing in the long term? It would be fair to say that since Kempton Park ditched turf Flat racing, it has been increasingly difficult to get a solid fan base to support racing on an expansive area of greenbelt land when the monotony of “lower grade” all-weather action can be viewed from the comfort of home or betting shop. Yes, we’re told that British racing will benefit from additional funding as a result of the plan but has The Jockey Club seriously considered an alternative plan for the site? I’m told that they have looked at a partial development but this was kicked into touch. Having swapped Cheltenham Festival week this year for the sunnier and warmer climate of south Florida, I was able to witness firsthand how a racecourse in an urban and up-and-coming district of Miami has simply been transformed by development. That racecourse is Gulfstream Park and under its chairman Frank Stronach’s visionary plan, the track has become a year-round racing venue that offers complimentary admission (on virtually all days) and importantly has taken portions of land for development with the simple aim of getting more people on-site. The expansive and dusty car parking facility has been replaced by a shopping village with upmarket shops and trendy restaurants. As Frank told me, 20 million people, all of whom are potential customers, live in proximity of the track. But his plans don’t stop there. For the track to thrive and grow for the good of racing for decades to come, plans are afoot to build an on-course hotel, as well as develop high-rise housing and a “themed” area to teach children about the valuable role the horse has played in the world, all without impacting the area used for racing. Frank is a visionary and a self-made man, a toolmaker by trade. He takes great pride in where he has come from and the businesses he has built. His ultimate goal is for this racetrack to be left in trust to the racing industry as a whole so that it may to benefit from his legacy. It’s what he wants to be remembered for. In 1993, United Racecourses (a division of the Levy Board) sold Epsom, Kempton Park, and Sandown Park for a reported £30,000,000 to The Jockey Club to safeguard racing. At the time of the sale, Sir Stanley Clarke, who was born within a year of

Frank Stronach and was also a self-made man, being a plumber by trade, had also come into racecourse ownership and was keen on bidding for the courses, but with the industry wary that the courses might be developed one day for housing, they ended up under the guise of The Jockey Club. Having met both men, I know they would have had much in common, sharing in what would be for the collective good of racing and if (the now deceased) Sir Stan had emerged as the owner, I do doubt that we would be worried about the future as we are today. However, all is not lost, and it would be only fair to say that nothing is yet set in stone. For plans to progress, it would need to be with the small matter of planning permission to be granted. Having listened to and talked with Simon Bazalgette at the recent National Trainers Federation AGM, I am of the impression that The Jockey Club do want to ultimately do what is best for racing. My one wish is for Jockey Club executives to make the 10-hour flight to Miami so they can see what can be achieved with a little imagination and courage, before they sign off on their development proposal. There are many similarities to the sites of Gulfstream and Kempton Parks, with both being situated in major urban areas where land prices are rising. The danger for UK racing is that if a wholesale transaction is agreed at a set price, then racing could be an even bigger loser. Let’s not forget the expansion of the much-heralded ‘cross rail’ project, which will make it quicker to access one side of London from the other. The area where Kempton Park is located is very much in the next phase of development. Looking at the towns in the first area, these urban centres are amongst the ‘hotspot’ areas for property value. Who knows what prize money values and betting income will have increased to by 2021?

IN THIS ISSUE Now let’s turn to what we have for you within the pages of this magazine. From Chris Cook, we have a very interesting article on the security, such as it is in some cases, of racecourse stabling. Nefarious characters have used lax security to their benefit to stop horses, and with modern-day labs testing for doping at infinitesimally low thresholds, even unintentional, environmental contamination is a serious concern. The UK is at the forefront of heightened security measures, which are welcome by trainers,

who are held responsible for anything that shows up in their horses’ tests. What do you make of the discrepancies in the number of Pattern races for middledistance staying types and breeding for a speed-oriented auction marketplace? With 21% of European Group races being contested over 2,400 metres, how much sense does it make that entires who perform well in such events become National Hunt stallions from the get-go? Should we, as suggested by German breeder Heike Bischoff-Lafrentz, look at racing as a “longer-term emotional investment” instead of seeking an immediate return on investment? A quick return may do well in the short-term, but looking ahead, we just may be redefining the breed to suit this whim. In our article on the above topic, Lissa Oliver also highlights how last season’s Flat season trial of converting 85% of the maiden races held from March through July to novice races has, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, met with positive results, enough to encourage the BHA to give it another go in 2017. These innovative changes show that an industry steeped in history is willing to embrace new ideas to move forward. From thoughts of an industry moving forward, we look back 100 years to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Man o’ War, whose name is inevitably included in any discussion of the greatest US horse of all time. Many great racehorses have come and gone in those 100 years, but Man o’ War’s reputation has stood the test of time, as Frances J Karon lovingly writes. Europe can lay some claim to his success: within his first two generations are three Britishbred horses, including 1903 English Triple Crown winner Rock Sand, Man o’ War’s damsire. In his day, Man o’ War, or “Big Red” as he was known, was not eligible to the British Stud Book, but that didn’t stop him from exerting his influence on European turf. His son Battleship – an entire – won the 1938 Grand National, and Man o’ War also appears prominently in the pedigrees of the likes of Derby winners Never Say Die, who in 1954 became the first US-bred winner of the Derby since Iroquois in 1881; Sir Ivor; and Triple Crown winner Nijinsky; and in dual Arc de Triomphe winner Alleged. More recently, the ill-fated Grade 1-winning NH star Simonsig traced directly to an own sister to Man o’ War. Wherever your racing takes you this spring, good luck! n

I was able to witness firsthand how a racecourse in an urban and up-and-coming district of Miami has simply been transformed by development. That racecourse is Gulfstream Park 2

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Issue 57

CONTENTS 12

Focus on the Flat

EMHF

A recent seminar has industry insiders wondering if we are doing right for the breed in the long run, by Lissa Oliver.

One of the trainer’s tasks is to understand regulations concerning staff, by Lissa Oliver.

24

76

Racecourse security

Chris Cook on how the tightening of security in racecourse stable areas is an important and positive move forward.

32

Diagnosis of laryngeal problems The latest research on predicting and monitoring roaring, by Professor Celia Marr.

36

The first 100 years

A celebration of the legendary Man o’ War, by Frances J Karon.

54

No foot no horse

The benefits of salt Salt is a very basic need for horses, but what form and quantity is ideal for racehorses? By Stacey Oke, DVM.

88

Continuing education

It’s back-to-school time for New York-based trainers, by Bill Heller.

94

Staffing pensions

Lissa Oliver breaks down the pension schemes in place across Europe.

6

Dr Catherine Dunnett looks at the core “no foot no horse” belief from a nutritional angle.

Contributors

60

ETF members

Meet the new head of anti-doping in Ireland, by Lissa Oliver.

TRM Trainer of the Quarter

Dr Lynn Hillyer

64

Don’t forget the jockey

Jockeys are not merely along for the ride, performing many moves that can influence a horse’s movement, by Thomas Witte. 4

72

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10

98

Course to course

102

Product Focus

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Trainer-


WANT TO BE KING OF THE NORTH? BRING YOUR HORSE TO NORWAY! Thursday July 13th, to close on May 15th THE OSLO CUP (Group 3) 2400 meters (1m4f), total value NOK 600.000 (€ 66.007) THE POLAR MILE CUP (Listed) 1600 meters (1m), total value NOK 250.000 Saturday July 29th, to close on May 29th THE LANWADES STUD STAKES (Listed) For fillies and mares. 1600 meters (1m), total value NOK 250.000 Sunday August 27th, to close on June 26th THE MARIT SVEAAS MINNELOP (Group 3) 1800 meters (1m1f), total value NOK 1.300.000 (€ 143.014) THE POLAR CUP (Group 3) 1370 meters (6f185y), total value NOK 600.000 (€ 66.007) THE ERIK O. STEEN’S MEMORIAL For fillies and mares, 2400 meters (1m4f), total value NOK 400.000

For each horse trained outside Scandinavia participating in Group races, travel allowances will be subject to agreements. Please note that jockeys are not allowed to carry a whip in races for 3-years old and upwards. For further information, please contact Liv Kristiansen liv.kristiansen@rikstoto.no

Sunday October 8th, to close on August 7th THE NORSK JOCKEYKLUBS SPRINTLOP (Listed) 1170 meters, (6f), total value NOK 250.000

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profeet-

CONTRIBUTORS

Editorial Director/Publisher Giles Anderson Editor Frances Karon Designer Neil Randon

Editorial/Photo Management Suzy Stephens Advertising Sales Giles Anderson, Oscar Yeadon Photo Credits Giles Anderson, BHA, EMFH, Horsephotos, Frances J. Karon, Keeneland - Cook, Keeneland - Thayer, Keeneland Library, Professor Celia Marr, Caroline Norris, Lissa Oilver, Racewood Ltd, RTIP, Shutterstock, Frank Sorge Cover Photograph Caroline Norris

Trainer Magazine is published by Anderson & Co Publishing Ltd. This magazine is distributed for free to all ETF members. Editorial views expressed are not necessarily those of the ETF. Additional copies can be purchased for £6.95 (ex P+P). No part of this publication may be reproduced in any format without the prior written permission of the publisher. Printed in the European Union For all editorial and advertising enquiries please contact: Anderson & Co Publishing Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1380 816777 Fax: +44 (0)1380 816778 email: info@trainermagazine.com www.trainermagazine.com Issue 57

ISSN17580293

Chris Cook has written about horse racing for The Guardian for 12 years, having been in love with the sport since the age of seven, when he stumbled across it on ITV one Saturday afternoon. He has twice won the John Oaksey Trophy for Racing Reporter of the Year. Dr Catherine Dunnett BSc, PhD, R.Nutr. is an independent nutritionist registered with the British Nutrition Society. She has a background in equine research, in the field of nutrition and exercise physiology, with many years spent at The Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. Prior to setting up her own consultancy business, she worked in the equine feed industry on product development and technical marketing. Bill Heller, Eclipse Award winner and author of 25 books including biographies of Hall of Fame jockeys Ron Turcotte, Randy Romero and Jose Santos, is a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communications Corner. He spends summers in Saratoga and winters in South Florida. His 26-year-old son Benjamin lives in Albany, N.Y., is an accomplished runner and recently won a 5-K race and a mini-marathon. Frances J. Karon is from Puerto Rico and graduate of Maine’s Colby College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She is based in Lexington, Kentucky and specializes in sales, pedigree research and recommendations. Dr Paull Khan PhD. is an international horseracing consultant. He is SecretaryGeneral of the European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation and Technical Advisor for Europe to the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. His other clients include the British Horseracing Board. Previously, Dr Khan held many senior roles at Weatherbys, including Banking Director and Racing Director.

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. 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 internationallyrecognised, 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. Anna Walker is currently a lecturer in Equitation Science and has been involved in a variety of research studies at the Royal Veterinary College, Moulton College and Duchy College including studies funded by DEFRA and the Horserace Betting Levy Board. Tom Witte is a Consultant Equine Surgeon and is recognised as an RCVS, American and European Specialist. He trained as an equine surgeon in Kentucky and then Cornell University in New York and currently practices at Oaklands Veterinary Centre. Tom gained his PhD in the Structure and Motion Lab at the Royal Veterinary College while completing a Horserace Betting Levy Board Research Training Scholarship and subsequently developed a research program studying the mechanics of racing encompassing the horse, jockey and their environment.

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Best foot forward to the winning post

Photography: www.racingpost.com/photos

PROFEET is easy to feed, palatable and effective, I use PROFEET because it does exactly what it claims! Philip Hobbs

For more details please call our Nutritional Advice Line: 0800 373 106 or email info@naf-uk.com

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30 YEARS CLEAN

HISTORY

31/03/2017 10:01


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

F

Chairmanship: Guy Heymans (Belgium) Tel: +32 (0) 493 389 140 Email: heymans1@telenet.be

Vice Chairmanship:

Vice Chairmanship:

Treasureship:

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

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

Michael Grassick (Ireland) Tel: +353 (0) 45 522981 Mob: +353 (0) 87 2588770 Fax: + 353 (0) 45 522982 Email: irishta@eircom.net

AUSTRIA

SLOVAKIA

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

NETHERLANDS

Jaroslav Brecka Email: jaroslav.brecka@gmail.com

CZECH REPUBLIC

Geert van Kempen Email: renstalvankempen@hetnet.nl

SPAIN

NORWAY

Mauricio Delcher Sanchez Tel: +34 (0) 666 53 51 52 Email: mdelcher@hotmail.com

Roman Vitek Tel: +42 (0) 567 587 61 Fax: +42 (0) 567584 733 Email: dr.romanrvitek@gmail.com

Annike Bye Hansen Email: annikebyehansen@hotmail.no

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

HUNGARY

Th th m in Eu re do

It M fro in an no ba bl ab op

So ab yo ar yo te th ha to bu

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

Livia Prem Email: queen.quissisana@hotmail.com

Julian McLaren Tel: +46 (0) 709 234597 Email: jmclaren@hotmail.com

SWEDEN SOUTH Jessica och Padraig Long Email: jplong@live.se

If Eu ch K

www.trainersfederation.eu 8 8

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A DV E RTO R I A L

Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Sponsorship at Goodwood

FIND YOUR NEXT LEGEND IN IRELAND The affinity between the Irish and their horses is without equal. There are more horses per head of population in Ireland than any other country in Europe. Nobody really knows when this relationship began - or why - but neither does anyone dispute that it is very real. It is the role of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM) to keep Ireland front and centre as the world leader in terms of the production, sourcing and sale of quality thoroughbreds. A not-for-profit, non-trading company backed by the Irish government and bloodstock industry, ITM guarantees absolute integrity and impartiality in its operations. So how can ITM help you? Well, how about saving you money for a start? If you come to Ireland to buy a horse you are eligible for a contribution towards your flights if you purchase a horse in terms of an Inward Buyer Payment with the sum paid proportional to where you have travelled from. This applies not just to horses sourced at every sale in Ireland, but also to private purchases. If you are travelling from mainland Europe to Ireland, there is a good chance that ITM Marketing Executive Katie Rudd will be able to assist. Katie

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speaks French, Italian and Spanish and is a tremendous asset to many foreign buyers. She is also broadening her expertise to the Eastern European market this year where vouchers for Irish sales will also be on offer to winners of selected races. The same will apply to winners of certain events in Scandinavia, Italy, Spain and Greece. Meanwhile, Eimear Chance remains the principal point of contact for interest expressed from Britain in coming to Ireland. Hers is a constant presence at British racetracks throughout the year and ITM has expanded its sponsorship portfolio to include the Leading Owner at the Cheltenham Festival to Leading Owner and Trainer at Aintree. The Owners and Trainers facility at Goodwood will carry ITM branding along with race sponsorship at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. A similar association will apply to York’s Friday fixtures meetings throughout the season. Irish Thoroughbred Marketing is dedicated to making your trip to acquire horses as straightforward as possible.

Horses Breezing at Goresbridge

ITM can help before you start your journey by booking hotels if required; pick-ups from the airport can be arranged, as can stable and stud visits. ITM is proud of Ireland’s status as a genuine global superpower in horse racing and breeding, but there is never any room for complacency. There is always room for improvement and for new clients to sample what generations of our unique horsecraft can yield. The Punchestown Festival in late April, the Goresbridge Breeze-Up Sale in late May and the NH Store Sales in June are all fast approaching. We hope you can visit to find your next legend in Ireland. Contact the team on info@itm.ie or call +353 45 43000 or online at www.itm.ie

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The Right Man, Didier Guillemin (second right) and connections after an emotional win in the Gr.1 Al Quoz Sprint

Trainer of the Quarter

DIDIER GUILLEMIN

The TRM Trainer of the Quarter award has been won by Didier Guillemin. Didier and his team will receive a selection of products from the internationallyacclaimed range of TRM supplements, as well as a bottle of fine Irish whiskey. WORDS: ANNA ALCOCK PHOTOS: FRANK SORGE

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IDIER Guillemin, based at Hippodrome des Grands Pins in Mont de Marsan in the southwest of France has recently celebrated his first Group 1 victory out of France in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan with 20-1 outsider The Right Man. Owned by Pegase Bloodstock, the five-year-old son of Lope de Vega was making his second start at Meydan, where three weeks earlier he had finished a solid third in the conditions sprint, won by Jungle Cat. Not only did The Right Man beat Jungle Cat in the Al Quoz, he also beat the Group 1-placed Long On Value and the favourite Ertijaal, who had comfortably beaten Jungle Cat in a Group 3 at Meydan a month earlier. This form was an interesting turnaround for The Right Man considering prior to the Al Quoz, he had finished 11th in his first Group 1 attempt at Deauville in August, though he followed that with victory

when dropped in class for the Group 3 Prix de Seine-et-Oise for turf sprinters at Maisons-Laffitte last November. The Right Man has won nine out of 17 starts since spring 2015, with a substantial placing record, so it’s no surprise that Guillemin has announced his intention to run The Right Man in Hong Kong in the spring, with a further view to running at Royal Ascot in the summer. Guillemin’s last major top-level win was in the French 2,000 Guineas in 2011 with Tin Horse. Guillemin retired from his riding career in 1995 aged 30, after riding more than 400 winners. For many years, he rode in the colours of the Marquise of Moratalla, breeder and owner of Tin Horse. It is said Guillemin has made a training career ‘as discreet as it is efficient’, and with just over 80 horses in his care, he has established a substantial operation after initially buying boxes to house his first four horses. The trainer enjoyed a successful

2016 season achieving 61 wins from 290 runners, highlights being Sagaroi (King’s Best) winning his third straight race when taking the Listed Derby du Midi at Bordeaux-le Bouscat, and with the German-bred Sans Équivoque (Stormy River). Bought for 180,000 by Sun Bloodstock at the Arqana Arc sale at Chantilly, Sans Équivoque took only a short while to win for her new colours. The filly won the Critérium de Maisons-Laffitte (Group 2) only 13 days after her purchase by her new owners and even though she is not a particularly big model, in seven runs she has won four times (including the Prix de la Vallée d’Auge (Listed), the Prix Éclipse (Group 3) and finished no lower than third in her other three races. On the back of a fruitful campaign last year, and with his first international Group 1 winner under his belt, Guillemin and his team should be a force to be reckoned with in 2017, in France and beyond. ■

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INDUSTRY

FOCUS ON THE FLAT

Are commercial breeders targeting the right market?

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FOCUS ON THE FLAT

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INDUSTRY

A recent thoroughbred industry seminar held in County Tipperary in Ireland, organised by the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, gathered together a panel of trainers, bloodstock agents, consignors, stallion masters, and breeders. While it will come as no surprise that the panel appeared unanimous in believing the sales ring is the Derby Day for commercial breeders, what is less expected was the belief of the panel that such commercialism may be detrimental to the breed. WORDS: LISSA OLIVER PHOTOS: GOFFS, CAROLINE NORRIS

I

F bloodstock agents, stallion masters, and trainers are concerned by the number of commercially bred, precocious two-year-old types, and the European Pattern Committee has already incentivised the breeding and racing of staying horses, will the marketplace trend change drastically in the coming sales season or have we already affected the modern breed by injecting too much speed? “It’s economics,” Irish trainer Ger Lyons points out. “Harzand, a dual Derby winner, is dropped back to 10 furlongs to prove himself. You see people breeding for the sales ring, that’s their Derby Day and it’s my problem after that.” The world rankings show that Australia produces the best sprinters, and the country will soon host the world’s richest turf race, a 1200m sprint, but Europe remains the primary international source of top-class middle-distance performers, and British trainer Mark Johnston is adamant Europe should promote that and do what it is best at in terms of thoroughbred production. “We are bombarded by speed and speedtesting and breeders trying to get rid of the TT gene (Equinome-identified genomes) when Galileo, the greatest stallion in the world, is TT!” Johnston protests. He also points out some sombre figures for thoroughbred breeders, having concluded that the vast majority of the 50 yearlings he buys each year were bought for less than their production cost. “50% of black-type winners are out of black14

type-winning mares, which equates to 50% of black-type winners are out of 2% of broodmares. Those figures were true 30 years ago and still stand now.” If we take those percentages a step further we see that, excluding races restricted to two-year-olds only, of 334 European Group races, close to 27% (89 races) are 2000m and 71 races (almost 22%) are 1600m. 70 races (21%) are 2400m. The 2% black-type broodmare population now compacts quite sharply and narrows down to the classic middle-distance performer. And yet, as Lyons so succinctly pointed out, the male 2400m performer is more likely to find a career as a National Hunt stallion than find a place in the Flat sire ranks. The Pattern race system is designed to identify the very best racehorses, and

­­“

Harzand, a dual Derby winner, is dropped back to 10 furlongs to prove himself. You see people breeding for the sales ring, that’s their Derby Day and it’s my problem after that

Ger Lyons

there is no doubt from the current Pattern that the emphasis remains on the classic 1600m-2400m middle-distance performer, forming 69% of the Group races in fact. With 13% of races run at 1200m or less, it seems the fashion at stud doesn’t correspond at all to the fashion of the racecourse. Damien Burns of Lodge Park Stud, breeder of Derby winner New Approach, has offered the view that some leading buyers last year somewhat distorted Tattersalls Book 2 by going after more speedy types than they would normally

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An ITBA seminar, top left, was of the opinion commercialism in the sales ring was possibly detrimental to the thoroughbred

target. “A huge amount of sprinter sires are going to stud on the back of that and I just wonder will that continue?” he asks. “This is in stark contrast to the Horses In Training sale, where it is the stayers who are making the money.” Jason Morris, Director of Racing at Horse Racing Ireland, is one of those involved in the evolution of the European Pattern, and he agrees that there has been a growing trend in speed-orientated breeding. “Particularly in Britain there’s a focus on speed,” he observes. “We’re working on

boosting opportunities for Flat stayers and this year sees the first running of a twomile Group 3, the Loughbrown Stakes. The Curragh Cup has been upgraded to Group 2 and a new three-year-old opportunity has been created as a lead-in to the Queen’s Vase. It’s the desire of the racing authorities throughout Europe to ensure the staying race programme remains relevant. “Changes to the sprint programme were simpler as it was just a case of filling in the missing gaps, particularly creating early opportunities for three-year-olds,

who were having to compete against their elders. We were simply catering for an existing population. The staying programme presented more challenges as we are trying to encourage breeders to produce more stayers and encourage more stayers in training and the retention of stayers in training, rather than seeing them exported.” Is there a need for such encouragement? Concerns have been raised by professionals in all sectors of the industry that too many horses are being retired to stand at stud ISSUE 57 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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INDUSTRY

Distribution of Group races for 3yos anD above Britain april

May

June

July

1000m

March

1

1

1

2

1200m

2

2

2

4

1400m

3

1

2

3

1600m 2000m

1

2400m

7

5.9%

13

11%

3

2

1

15 12.7%

3

4

6

4

3

5

2

3

3

1

3

8

6

2

3

2

1

2

1

2

1

1

1

totaL

2

1

2

1

october november

1

1

3

2800m 3000m

august september

2

24 20.3%

2

19

3

26

22%

8

6.8%

5

4.2%

1

3200m 3400m

1

16%

0

0%

1

0.8%

118 ireland March

april

May

1000m 1400m

16

July

august september

1

1200m

after racing only at two and that proven middle-distance performers are being shunned by Flat breeders and marketed as National Hunt sires. Yet the major sales catalogues show a healthy balance between sprint-bred sires, first-season sires, and established middle-distance producers, and the clearance rate matches that balance. The middle-distance animal may be more expensive to purchase, but still changes hands as readily as its more precocious cousin. On the racecourse itself, 2400m races are the most common Group-level races in Scandinavia, Germany, and Britain, while it’s the 2000m race that dominates the Group scene in Ireland, France, and Italy. Throughout Europe, only 4% of races open to horses older than two are run at 1000m, and just short of 9% run at 1200m, matched too by 1400m races. Why then does the middle-distance horse appear fashionable everywhere but at stud? We need to go back to the sales ring, where a quick return is often sought on an investment. Buyers may dream of a Derby winner, but are they prepared to wait? The real dream is of a reasonable investment and the earliest possible chance of a day out at the races. In Germany, where the two-year-old programme is restricted due to climate and a later foaling season, the dream remains the traditional goal of winning the Derby, and the prize money is in place to ensure those dreams continue. Heike Bischoff-Lafrentz, owner of Gestüt Görlsdorf, tells us, “The goal for the breed, as I understand it, is winning the Derby or Oaks or a Classic race. Of course you can breed a sprinter and there are some very good sprint races, but breeding horses with stamina is traditional. “In Germany, the Derby has the best prize money and no sprint can compare, so breeding a middle-distance horse is very much encouraged. We also have a very different climate to Britain and Ireland

June

2 1

1600m

2

3.8%

1

5

9.6%

2

1

2

1

1

3

10 19.2%

2

2

2

4

17 32.7%

2

2

1

1

1

5

2400m 1

2800m

totaL

1 5 2

2000m

1

october november

1 1

8 15.4%

1

1

3000m 1

3200m 3400m

5

9.6%

4

7.7%

0

0%

1

1.9%

0

0%

52 France March

april

1000m 1200m

1

1400m

2

1600m

3 4

1

2000m 2400m

May

June

2

1

July

august september

1

october november

5

5.3%

1

5

5.3%

1

1

6

6.4%

2

1

1

3

3

2

4

1

2

9

4

4

5

3

4

1

4

1

4

3

3

1

1.1%

1

1

1

3

3.2%

1

1

4

4.3%

1

1

1.1%

18 19.0% 1

3000m 2

4000m

35 37.2% 16 17.1%

1

2800m 3200m

totaL

1

1

94 Germany March

april

May

June

July

august september

october november

1000m 1200m

1

1

1

1400m 1600m

2

3

1

3

1

2000m

1

2

1

1

2

2400m

1

1

2

3

2

2800m

3

1 1

1

1

1

1

3000m 3200m

1

1

3400m

totaL

0

0%

3

7.5%

0

0%

12

30%

9 22.5% 14

35%

1

2.5%

0

0%

1

2.5%

0

0%

40

and the grass is much later, so our breeding season is later. The late-maturing horse is much better suited to our season. It is all connected. The German industry and cycle protects the classic thoroughbred who will contest the Classic races and I feel it is important for the breeder to protect the classic horse.”

Bischoff-Lafrentz is passionate about the horse and feels very strongly about protecting and continuing traditional bloodlines. “Of course breeding only for the sales ring is harmful to the breed,” she says. “I feel very sorry for the horses themselves. They are treated like goods and thrown away. If they can only race as two-year-olds

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Tuesday 20th - Saturday 24th June 2017

GROUP 1 – Races closing 25th April 2017 The Queen Anne Stakes

1 mile, Royal Hunt Cup Course (Straight Mile)

£600,000

For four years old and upwards

The St James’s Palace Stakes

1 mile, Old Mile (Round Mile)

£400,000

For three year old colts only

The King’s Stand Stakes

5 furlongs

£400,000

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes

1 ¼1/4 miles

£750,000

The Gold Cup

2 ¼1/2 miles

£400,000

The Coronation Stakes

1 mile, Old Mile (Round Mile)

£400,000

For three year old fillies only

The Commonwealth Cup

6 furlongs

£400,000

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes

6 furlongs

£600,000

For three years old and upwards For four years old and upwards For four years old and upwards

For three years old only

For four years old and upwards

GROUP 2 – Races closing 2nd May 2017 The Duke of Cambridge Stakes

1 mile, Royal Hunt Cup Course

The Ribblesdale Stakes

1 ¼1/2 miles

£200,000

The Queen’s Vase

1 3/4 miles

£150,000

The King Edward VII Stakes

1 ¼1/2 miles

£225,000

The Hardwicke Stakes

1 ¼1/2 miles

£225,000

The Royal Hunt Cup

1 mile, Royal Hunt Cup Course

£175,000

The Wokingham Stakes

6 furlongs

£175,000

For four years old and upwards, fillies and mares only

(Straight Mile)

£175,000

For three year old fillies only For three year olds only

For three year old colts and geldings only For four years old and upwards

HERITAGE HANDICAPS – Races closing 23rd May 2017 For three years old and upwards For three years old and upwards Rated 0-110

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INDUSTRY what happens to them after they have finished racing? I would not like to breed a precocious horse that will not train on and have a long career. “Breeding a commercial horse and using only fashionable stallions is unfair for the breeder and for the buyer. The racehorse should be tough and sound and improve with age, and for me this is the worry if we lose this. Fashion really kills the breed. So many breeders send their mares to a first season sire, when as a breeder we should be doing the best for our mare. Only using a first season sire is very tricky and they can’t all be a success.” Perhaps we should promote the sport as a longer-term emotional investment, as Bischoff-Lafrentz advocates. “The German breeder is not interested in winning one or two races, they want to see their horses in the Derby and continuing to race at four and even at five. It is much more fun to be with a horse for more than just a year.” She warns of the long-term effect that following fashion and the whim of the sales ring may have. “Breeding sprinters and precocious horses will change the breed. A sprinter has a different heart, different muscles, and different physiology, and using more of those stallions will definitely change the breed,” she insists. So perhaps then what is needed is a change to the nursery of racing, and the British two-year-old programme did receive a successful overhaul last year that will be built upon this season. This followed complaints from trainers and owners that two-year-olds who make a winning appearance in the early part of the season had very few opportunities to run again until the start of nursery handicaps in mid-summer. From a spectator point of view, too, those limited opportunities have a tendency to attract only small fields and are therefore, not high on the list of desired programming with most racecourses. In 2013 the race conditions and penalty structure of novice races in Britain were modified and a minimum value of £10,000 introduced. This failed to have the desired effect, with field sizes remaining small and attracting only an average of 4.83 runners per race from 2013 to 2015. Highlighting the lack of competitiveness, the average starting price of the favourite was 10/11. As a result, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced that it would trial a new approach to the Flat two-yearold novice and maiden race programme for 2016. Ruth Quinn, Director of International Racing and Racing Development, revealed of the initial idea at the time, “The BHA has been in consultation with trainers on this matter over the course of a few years and several different proposals have been raised during this time. We should have a system in place that encourages progression and, as things stand, that development programme for two-year-olds in the first half of the season is not working.” Therefore, 175 (85%) maiden races were 18

b

Distribution of Group races for 3yos anD above italy March

april

May

June

July

august september

october november

1000m 1200m

1

1

1400m 1600m

2

1

2000m

1

1 3

2400m

NI

totaL

0

0%

2

8.7%

0

0%

2

1

1

7 30.4%

1

1

2

1

7 30.4%

1

1

1

2800m

LLIO £4.3 MI

6 26.1% 1

4.3%

3000m

0

0%

3200m

0

0%

3400m

0

0%

1

23 Sweden March

april

May

June

July

1200m

august september

october november

totaL

1 33.3%

1

1400m

0

0%

1600m

0

0%

2000m

1 33.3%

1

2400m

1 33.3%

1

3 norway March

april

May

June

July

1400m

august september

october november

totaL

1 33.3%

1

1600m

0

2000m 2400m

0%

1 33.3%

1

1 33.3%

1

3 denmark March

april

May

June

July

august september

october november

totaL

1400m

0

0%

1600m

0

0%

2000m

0

0%

2400m

1 100%

1

total

Scandinavia (as a whole)

1000m

14 4.3%

1200m

29 8.7%

1200m

1

1400m

30

9%

1400m

1

1600m

71 21.7%

1600m

May

2000m

89 26.6%

2000m

2400m

70

2400m

2800m

15 4.6%

3000m

8 2.4%

21%

3200m

6 1.8%

3400m

1 0.3%

4000m

June

July

1

august

september

1 1

1

1

1 0.3% 334

converted to novice contests between the start of the 2016 Flat turf season and the beginning of July, when nursery handicaps began. The idea behind this was to replicate the approach to the National Hunt novice hurdle programme. The high number of maiden races converted to novice races was hoped to alleviate the risk of trainers continuing to run horses in maidens in order to avoid competing with winners. Horses bought at auction were still provided with the opportunity to run

in novice auction events and were not therefore forced to take on winners of open maidens. Penalty structures were watched closely throughout the trial period and the BHA adjusted race conditions where necessary, when evidence indicated that a specific advantage was being given either to winners or to maiden horses in the new events. During the trial period from March to July of 2016, the percentage of median auction and auction races remained

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NI

LLIO £4.3 MI

31/03/2017 10:02


ONEY

britishchampionsday.com N

N IN

LLIO £4.3 MI

£4.3

ONEY PRIZE M

LLIO £4.3 MI

NEY

E MO IN PRIZ

E IN PRIZ ILLION

MONEY

£4.3

IZE M N IN PR MILLIO

£4.3 M

N IN

EY ZE MON

LLIO £4.3 MI

ONEY PRIZE M

I N IN PR

Y

E MONE

IZ N IN PR MILLIO

LLION £4.3 MI

SATURDAY

21 OCTOBER

Y

E MONE

IN PRIZ

LLIO £4.3 MI

QIPCO BRITISH CHAMPIONS DAY BRITAIN’S RICHEST RACEDAY

The QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup, Group 2 (NO PENALTIES) 3-y-o and up, 2 miles (3200 metres), round course

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO), Group 1 3-y-o and up, 1 mile (1600 metres), straight course Prize Money £1,100,000

Prize Money £400,000 The QIPCO Champion Stakes, Group 1 3-y-o and up, The QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes, Group 1

1 mile 2 furlongs (2000 meters), inner flat round course

3-y-o and up, 6 furlongs (1200 metres), straight course

Prize Money £1,300,000

Prize Money £600,000 The QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, Group 1 3-y-o and up, 1 mile 4 furlongs (2400 metres), round course Prize Money £600,000

ENTRIES CLOSE 8 AUGUST

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INDUSTRY

unchanged, at 30% of the number of novice and maiden races. The penalty for winners in novice races was 7lb for each win in novice auction races, while in open novices it was 4lb (1.8kg) for each auction race win and 7lb (3.2kg) for each win in all other races. There were no allowances for unraced horses. This allowed winners of auction and median auction races more opportunities to take on similar horses in novice events, rather than being forced to run in open novice and conditions races. Possibly to the surprise of many, the trial proved highly successful. Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the National Trainers Federation, says of the success, “There was a divergence of opinion amongst trainers about the conversion of such a large proportion of Flat maiden races to novice races for the first three months of the 2016 season. Now the races have been run there is a wide consensus that the new system has worked well. There had been doubts that the additional opportunities for winners would be taken up but it’s good to see more winners have run again. Getting the penalties right was always going to be a ‘best guess’ but the strike rate of previous winners suggests the penalty structure is about right, and the programme dovetails with the introduction of nurseries in July. It has been a good start, with the chance to improve it further with some minor tweaks.” The figures have borne out that positive consensus. Seventy-five previous winners 20

ran again, compared to only 35 in 2015, an increase of 53%. 20 of the 75, or 27% of the winning two-year-olds, were successful on their next appearance, which is comparable to the 23% in 2015. Against expectations, the number of individual winning horses did not decrease from 2015; although only 12 more horses won twice, 14 additional races were added to the programme. Field size numbers also increased significantly, with the average field in novice races increasing from 5.08 to 7.84 and the proportion of novice races with fewer than six runners falling from 62% to 15%. The proportion of races with eight or more runners increased similarly from 15% to 53%. Although overall field sizes across all two-year-old races was marginally down from 8.33 to 8.05, there were 14 more races run in 2016, resulting in an increase of 56 runs in total (up 3.27%). “We’re encouraged by how the trial has

Under the new system, we have seen 40 extra horses who won in the first half of the season reappear in another race

Richard Wayman

performed in its first year and we plan to repeat it during the same period in 2017,” says Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer for the BHA. “Looking back over recent years, there was a clear consensus amongst horsemen that the two-year-old programme did not support progression for those juveniles that won in the early part of the season. The fact that in 2016, under the new system, we have seen 40 extra horses who won in the first half of the season reappear in another race provides a clear indication that progress has been made. “It is early stages yet and large-scale changes such as this should always be given time to bed in before any conclusions are made, so we will continue to monitor the performance of these races in future years and, if necessary, make any changes in communication with our stakeholders. The early signs, however, are promising.” To such an extent, in fact, that the BHA has allowed the trial to be rolled out for the full 2017 Flat season. A further 442 maiden races (82% of maiden races) from July to the end of the season have been converted to novice contests, and there are increased opportunities at 1400m and 1600m in the autumn, with a corresponding reduction in races over sprint distances. Among those trainers who originally expressed some scepticism was Ralph Beckett, who now concurs, “The consensus of opinion is that it worked, and has worked better than anyone might have guessed. Even the biggest advocate of novice

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INDUSTRY

The consensus of opinion is that it worked, and has worked better than anyone might have guessed

Ralph Beckett

races couldn’t have hoped for such positive feedback. I think this has been largely due to the structure of the penalties. There had been concerns about a number of horses farming the novice races, which hasn’t happened, because it has proved difficult to win a novice with a penalty and isn’t as straightforward a task as it might seem. We had a subsequent Group 3 winner who couldn’t win a novice under a penalty. My personal view is that it has worked very well and it’s been positive for everyone.” Andrew Balding, too, who wouldn’t normally be chasing two-year-old wins, agrees that the changes have had a positive effect. “We had more two-year-olds last year than we would usually have and I didn’t notice anything detrimental from the changes made to the programme and I think it has been quite positive,” he remarks. Away from the direct coalface, one man who has been professionally noting twoyear-olds for form guides for many a season is writer Peter Corbett. Corbett advocated this change over a decade ago and would like to see it taken a step further. “The problem trainers faced were with juveniles winning first time out: where to run next? This was addressed but only in respect of early season runners, as the novice races ceased when the nurseries began,” he points out. “No consideration was given to winning debutants later in the year over seven or eight furlongs. These later developing sorts are just as in need of experience outside Pattern and nursery races. So it’s right that the programme of novice races should continue throughout the year.” An even better solution, he believes, would be to abolish maidens for juveniles and replace them with condition or plate races. “These would be open to all two-yearolds that had not won three races. This would allow juveniles to develop at the pace decided by the trainer, who would not be forced to run in black-type races before the horse was ready. Such races could continue for three-year-olds until the end of June the following year. This would also eliminate the problem of small fields in the old-style condition stakes.” Encouraging the late-maturing juvenile and providing end-of-season opportunities is a welcome addition in the reshaping of the two-year-old programme and will hopefully underpin the staying programme for older horses. 22

Distribution of Group races for 2yos Britain June

July

august

september

october

1000m

2

1

1

2

1

1200m

2

4

2

6

2

3

5

2

12

2

3

5

1400m

november

totaL

7 14

1400m 1600m 1600m 2000m

0

ireland June

July

august

2

2

1

september

october

november

1000m

totaL 0

1200m

5

1200m 1400m

3

3

6

1600m

1

2

3

1600m 2000m

1

1

2000m France June 1000m

July

august

september

october

1

1

4

2

4

2

november

totaL

1000m 1200m

2

1200m 1400m

1

1

2

2

3

1

5

1400m 1600m

5

1600m 2000m

1

1

2

october

november

totaL

2000m Germany June

July

august

september

1000m

0

1200m

0

1400m

1

1

1600m

2

1

3

1600m 2000m

0

italy June

July

august

september

october

november

1000m 1200m

totaL 0

1

1

1400m

2 0

1600m

2

2

2000m

1

1

Beckett points out, “There has been a lot written recently about the bias towards speedy two-year-old types, but my own view is that we’ve been going this way for quite some time. The OFT (Office of Fair Trading) ruling in 2004 gave racecourses more autonomy, so they pushed more and more towards that fill, rather than holding a balanced programme.

The number of middle-distance horses being bred probably hasn’t dropped significantly, but the programme has been geared more towards the sprintermiler type. The race programme generally is undergoing significant change, so both issues are now being addressed and hopefully more middle-distance horses will be bred.” ■

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RACECOURSE SECURITY Does it pass the test?

24

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INDUSTRY BHA Staff checking microchip details before the horse is allowed entry to the racetrack stables

A friend’s story casts some light on the value placed on racecourse stable security back in the ’80s. As you’ve probably guessed, that value was not high. WORDS: CHRIS COOK PHOTOS: BHA, Anne-ARmelle lAnglOIS

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NE track, which didn’t issue tickets for access to cheaper enclosures, had regulars who liked to cross the course and watch a race or two next to the obstacles. A way was needed to establish, when they returned to the stands, that they’d already paid to get in, because outsiders could readily get onto the course if they wished. The solution? An official handed out racecourse stable passes to those who crossed the course, then collected them again as the spectators returned. By the penultimate race, the official had usually left his post, leaving a handful of racegoers with stable passes that had no date stamp and were presumably valid for the rest of that season. Well, it was a more innocent time. British racing lost its innocence in the late summer 26

of 1990 when it became clear that someone was doping fancied runners with a sedative. Eventually, Dermot Browne admitted he had ‘got at’ 23 horses while they were in racecourse stables. In the aftermath, a BBC documentary showed a producer walking unchallenged into a stable block. While action was taken, it may not have been immediately effective. In 1997, Lively Knight and Avanti Express also tested positive for a stopping drug. No proof was ever found of who was responsible or how it was done. Those cases had an invigorating effect on racing’s rulers in Britain and, 20 years later, the culture may fairly be said to have undergone a dramatic change. But other countries, which have happily been spared a Dermot Browne-type catastrophe, have been slower to upgrade their security systems, and the question is whether officials in those jurisdictions are now

flirting with disaster. France in particular has a reputation for a relaxed approach to racecourse security that seems at odds with its status as a premier racing nation where the sport is extremely well funded. “There’s a cavalier attitude to security in France,” says the Newmarket trainer Gay Kelleway, who has raced her horses extensively in that country in pursuit of its excellent prize money. “If I was to go over there with a really good horse, I’d be terrified. I’d have to sleep outside its box!” But the British authorities will be heartened to hear Kelleway add: “It would be impossible, in England, to dope a horse [in the racecourse stables].” Nor is she alone in believing that. “The security is tight in England,” says Michael Grassick, chief executive of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association. “Tight” is also the word used now, appreciatively, by

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RACECOURSE SECURITY A urine sample being processed for testing

Willie Mullins, who made headlines before the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 when sharing his fears that an attempt would be made to “nobble” one of his high-profile animals. Another champion trainer, John Gosden, is also impressed with the high standard of security at British racecourse stables and also by the consistent way in which it is applied. “You can’t get in if you don’t have the proper pass, no matter who you are,” he says. Some detail on the ‘English’ way of doing things is offered by Brant Dunshea, Integrity Director at the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), who had 20 years of experience in Australian racing before moving to Britain in 2015. Dunshea says much of the load is carried by Equine Welfare Integrity Officers (EWIO), responsible for monitoring access to the stables and for supervising the

collection of samples from runners. There are three EWIOs on a normal raceday, taking up their positions four hours before the first race. More are used for the busiest days, and Dunshea used a “football team of them” for the Cheltenham

There’s a cavalier attitude to security in France. If I was to go over there with a really good horse, I’d be terrified. I’d have to sleep outside its box!

Gay Kelleway

Festival, where they arrived on site two days in advance to make sure that all was in order. “From the time they start work, management of the environment is carried out according to our operating procedures, which relate to every aspect of the yard, including who may enter and under what circumstances and how they identify themselves and how their presence is recorded,” Dunshea continues. “Our general instructions set out the minimum standards that all racecourses are expected to meet. They’re very specific in ensuring that we have the best security standards around. “We have CCTV cameras in every yard, pointing at every box, with only a handful of exceptions where there are remote boxes in a stable yard. Those boxes aren’t used if at all possible.” Irish racing does not claim to match those ISSUE 57 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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U B F E

For E Conc and to Ra

Leading French racecourses such as Chantilly have superior security compared to their rural counterparts

standards yet but is aiming in that direction, and Gosden has had the impression from his most recent visits that security there “is very much heading the same way” as in Britain. Mullins says: “The Irish system is good. I’d say I can see where there are holes in it. For all I know, those same holes could be in the English system but what we see from England, it looks to be very tight. We have one or two holes here which, for someone in the know, could be used.” Understandably, he does not offer detail. Chris Gordon, head of security at the Irish Turf Club, gives a flavour of how the job is tackled: “We employ 20 people across the country for racecourse security and to work in the weigh room and the jockey room, people who have been there a long time and know everybody. Access to the stable yard requires accreditation. It’s an electronic system, everyone has a card that lets them in, except for trainers, who can sign in. “We introduced CCTV in the stable yard at Leopardstown last year, on a pilot basis. We plan to extend that over the next few years, though we’re short of funding. The plan is to introduce cameras at Dundalk this year, because there are 40 meetings a year there. “A lot of stables are left unattended if the trainer involved is not a big trainer. You don’t like to see that risk but in the present economic situation, there’s not much else we can do.” And so to France, where Kelleway has considered taking her own videos of what goes on in racecourse stables, having seen people walking in unchecked and dogs running loose, and having found herself saddling a horse within five feet of a screaming child in a pushchair. “At the smaller tracks in particular, no one cares,” she says. 28

Speaking for France-Galop, Paul-Marie Gadot, whose role appears broadly similar to Gordon’s, concedes that racecourse stables are not run as they are in Britain. “I recognise that security is not at the top, especially at the small racecourses. It’s not easy to have the same level of security and facilities when you have 62 racecourses and we have 250,” he adds. “The security is good, to be very frank with you, in the main racecourses,” and he means in particular the big-name Paris tracks plus Deauville, which are run and staffed by France-Galop itself. “In the very small ones, it is more rural, it’s more difficult to prevent people going into stables.” Asked if French trainers would like to see more stringent security applied, Gadot allows himself a chuckle. “It is exactly the contrary. They all want to go to the stables with their friends, their family. When you have a Group One race, in particular, people want to go to the stables to see the horses before the race, especially breeders. On a raceday with 100 horses and two or three

A lot of stables are left unattended if the trainer involved is not a big trainer. You don’t like to see that risk but in the present economic situation, there’s not much else we can do

Chris Gordon

persons for one horse, it’s always difficult to be very strict. “When you have an amateur trainer, it’s a family day. He comes to the stable with his wife or his son. How to prevent that? If his son is 11, you can’t say to the son, ‘You stay outside and wait for the horse and your father.’ You have some trainers saying there are too many people in the stables. I say, ‘Yes,’ but generally I see the same trainer asking for entry for his friend ... The aim is to have a good balance. When I see small babies in the stable, I am the first to say it is not acceptable.” If one wished to be provocative, one could say there are echoes in Gadot’s pragmatism of the line taken by David Pipe, PR man to the Jockey Club in the aftermath of the Browne scandal. “Racecourse stables can never be fortresses because so many people have a right to be there,” Pipe told the press at the time, but a great deal has changed in Britain since he uttered those words. According to at least one British trainer, security in Germany is even more lax than in France, but the sport in Germany is hardly well funded. That excuse is not available to France, with its extraordinary income from pari-mutuel betting. And yet visiting trainers do not all insist on France ramping up its security. “The French system is getting tougher,” Mullins says. “In Auteuil, we’ve noticed them tightening up a lot in the last few years.” Gosden has not noticed a parallel tightening at Longchamp, where he says the racecourse stables can be “jam packed” on Arc day, to the point where it can be hard work getting a horse to the paddock. Does that amount to a risk that worries him? “No, it doesn’t concern me,” he responds, coolly. “I think it’s rather a nice sight. You

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do get people within four feet of your horse in some of those crowds and the thing I’m always worried about is that someone will be kicked. “Of course, in England and Ireland we have a different betting industry and in the past there have been famous cases of horses being got at, usually doped to lose. Due to our betting system, an individual can make a considerable amount of money if they know what’s going to happen. With pool betting, it’s a different thing.” Meanwhile, William Haggas points out that the different culture in France is to some extent a consequence of racecourse design. Whereas pre-parade rings in England are fitted with boxes where horses are saddled in view of their owners and anyone else who cares to watch, French tracks have no equivalent in the public areas. “So the pre-paddock in France is inside the stables,” Haggas says. “It’s a different way of doing it but I wouldn’t have any concerns about racing in France.” Standards are much more uniform across the major European racing nations when it comes to the taking of samples from horses at racetracks. Similar and determined efforts are made to ensure that each sample cannot be contaminated, while much emphasis is also placed on ensuring each box is thoroughly cleaned before a raceday. Even so, trainers are not inclined to accept the system as perfect. When Zurigha was disqualified from a Listed success in 2014, Richard Hannon Sr flatly denied that she could possibly have absorbed the offending beta blocker while at the Hannon yard. “If she was put in a box that wasn’t properly cleaned out [at Kempton] ... well, then she could have picked up something there.” Meanwhile in Ireland, the long-running 30

Champoleon case recently ended in that horse being disqualified from a 2015 Punchestown maiden hurdle which he won. Caffeine was the banned substance in his case. Noel Meade is now inclined to let the matter rest after observing a debate at his hearing as to whether metabolites of caffeine had in fact been discovered in the sample. Eventually, the Turf Club ruled that they had been and therefore the caffeine in the sample must indeed have passed through Champoleon’s system. “How he got it or where, nobody seems to know,” Meade says. “They say it’s not [contaminated] and we have to accept it. Looking at the evidence, you can’t prove it either way.”

Some of the testing units would leave a little bit to be desired, regarding cleanliness. Some of the tracks I’m thinking of, you’d be surprised

Michael Grassick

Despite his experience, Meade concludes: “I think we’ve got a very strong testing regime in Ireland, anyway. I’d be very confident that everything is good in Ireland. I’m sure England is as well.” Speaking on behalf of all Irish trainers, Grassick is less sanguine. “The technology is so advanced now, we do worry. There are certain drugs where there’s zero tolerance and so we’re worried about environmental contamination. “Some of the testing

units would leave a little bit to be desired, regarding cleanliness. Some of the tracks I’m thinking of, you’d be surprised.” Rupert Arnold, chief executive of the National Trainers Federation in Britain, is concerned about the large number of cases where the source of a positive test is never identified. “Obviously, the rules say it’s strict liability, so, even when a trainer takes precautions to avoid such things, a positive test is a positive test. “But we do have some concerns. The BHA and its disciplinary panel set a very high bar when asking if the trainer has taken all reasonable steps to avoid [a horse having a banned substance in his system on raceday]. We know of cases where the panel accepts a trainer has done everything he could have done and yet he still gets fined at the entry level for the offence. “I think we would like a greater recognition of the difficulties trainers can sometimes face in preventing contamination. We’d like to see more understanding from the panel and discretion used not to apply a penalty [on top of disqualification], where a trainer has clearly made all reasonable efforts. “I would like to think the system works as it should. I know the BHA go to quite a lot of trouble to check who has come into contact with a sample and whether there might be any cross-contamination. But they could possibly go further.” Arnold concludes, “There are quite a lot of links in that chain, from racecourse to lab, and I think the BHA should be exhaustive in investigating those possibilities. When the disciplinary panel concludes it is not possible to identify the source of a banned substance and the trainer is clear that it can’t have happened in his yard, it leaves us at a loose end, which is not satisfactory for anyone.” n

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VETERINARY

Diagnosis of laryngeal problems: hocus pocus or cutting edge science? Recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (RLN) is the correct term for the condition better known as roaring or laryngeal hemiplegia. It is extremely common in thoroughbreds and represents one of the major causes of poor performance or jockey-reported noise. Because it is so important, many young horses are scoped at sales looking for laryngeal asymmetry to try to identify those that may be at risk of having this condition. But scoping at rest is fraught with difficulty – the larynx may be normal at rest only to show signs of weakness during exercise, so positive cases can be missed. Conversely, tired young horses can have apparently poor laryngeal function at rest that in fact is of little significance. WORDS: PROFESSOR CELIA MARR PHOTOS: HORSEPHOTOS, PROFESSOR CELIA MARR

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ANY question whether subjecting foals and young horses to endoscopy at sales is reasonable, although in part this latter concern is reduced now that videoendoscopy is available. Furthermore, the dynamic endoscopy, overground or on a treadmill, is widely accepted as the best way to evaluate horses suspected of having upper airway disorders leading to dynamic obstruction of the airway during exercise, a population that may or may not have obviously abnormal throats when examined at rest. Nevertheless, there is a need for better tools to evaluate the larynx for clinical application and also to allow researchers to study the condition in

more detail. Two recent studies published in Equine Veterinary Journal have addressed this issue.

What is recurrent laryngeal neuropathy? RLN is actually due to damage to the nerves supplying the larynx rather than being an abnormality of the structure of the larynx itself. The larynx is a cartilage structure which is opened and closed by a collection of muscles that encircle it. Damage to the laryngeal nerves leads to atrophy of the

main laryngeal adductor, the cricoarytenoid lateralis (CAL) muscle; and the main arytenoid abductor, the cricoarytenoid dorsalis (CAD). Atrophy (or wasting) of the left CAD muscle means that it can no longer open the arytenoid cartilage during inspiration. This in turn causes dynamic airway collapse at exercise, reducing the amount of air entering the lungs and, if severe, reducing the arterial oxygen concentration. Traditionally, the diagnosis of RLN has been made using endoscopy to determine the degree of arytenoid abduction or asymmetry.

How reliable is endoscopy in RLN? A team from University College Dublin led by Dr Charlotte McGivney set out to answer this question, and because it had not been

Overground endoscopy is currently considered the definitive method to diagnose recurrent laryngeal neuropathy. Image provided by Rossdales LLP, Newmarket, Suffolk 32

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lARYNgEAl hEmIplEgIA

Standing CT. For the Cornell study on laryngeal CT, horses were examined under general anaesthesia, but it may also be possible to perform this technique under sedation. Image provided by Rossdales LLP, Newmarket, Suffolk

looked at before, they were particularly interested in determining whether different clinicians would have different opinions when examining overground endoscopy images. Dr McGivney collected video material from 43 thoroughbreds in Flat race training that had undergone overground endoscopy examination, on the same gallop. Videos from individuals representing a range of common upper airway abnormalities and

a few horses judged to be normal at the initial examination were included. Four experienced clinicians, all of whom held advanced professional qualifications, then assessed videos of each horse, at rest and at exercise. One of the key findings the assessors were looking for was arytenoid asymmetry because this is relevant to the diagnosis of recurrent laryngeal neuropathy. To add to the challenge, Dr McGivney duplicated all the videos; the observers knew that there were some duplicates in the study sample, but they did not know how many, and the identity of each horse was removed. In other words, the assessors were unaware if the horses were thought to be normal or not, or whether they had looked at the same animal already. The data was then analysed to find out how consistent the assessors were; i.e. whether they arrived at the same assessment when they looked at the same horse twice and how much agreement there was between assessors.

Are individual clinicians consistent when they assess the larynx? RLN endoscopy. The left side of the larynx is typically affected by RLN: when viewed with a scope the left arytenoid, a cartilage forming the roof of the larynx, collapses into the airway. Because the larynx is viewed from the front, the left side of the horse is on the right side of the image

The assessment made when the same person looked at the same horse twice was virtually identical in horses with arytenoid asymmetry at exercise. It was not quite perfect but still substantial for arytenoid asymmetry at rest. Overall the results for other conditions were good, although agreement about some of the less common abnormalities such as vocal fold collapse, ventromedial luxation

of the apex of the corniculate process of the arytenoid, nasopharyngeal collapse, and grading the epiglottis at rest produced only moderate agreement.

Do experienced clinicians agree with each other when they look at the larynx? Fortunately, the results here were also fairly encouraging although not quite as reliable as assessments made by one individual. When assessors were deciding whether or not a specific disorder was present or absent, there was substantial agreement for arytenoid asymmetry at rest and exercise. However, when Dr McGivney looked at specific grades of arytenoid asymmetry assigned by the four independent assessors, the grades assigned for arytenoid asymmetry during exercise were moderately repeatable between observers but there was much less agreement at rest, suggesting there is a degree of individual subjectivity being introduced into the grading of disorders, supporting difference in clinical experience and opinions. There was more grading disparity with some of the other upper airway problems, suggesting that there is a need for better defined grading systems which can be universally applied.

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VETERINARY years now, and in particular ultrasonography can be used to image the CAD muscle. A study published in Equine Veterinary Journal in 2011 by Dr Katherine Garrett from Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky showed that using ultrasonography to look at the muscles of the larynx through the skin was effective for diagnosis of RLN. The key ultrasonographic features that identify RLN are an increase in the echogenicity (brightness) of the muscle and decrease in its size. Comparing ultrasonography findings with the diagnosis made during endoscopy during exercise on a high-speed treadmill in a group of 79 thoroughbred racehorses showed that laryngeal ultrasound was very accurate.

Novel approaches to laryngeal imaging

RLN ultrasonography. The top image shows the left, abnormal laryngeal muscle between the white arrowhead that is smaller and brighter than the normal muscle on the right side. TC, CC, and AC indicate the different components of the laryngeal cartilage that are operated by these muscles. Image provided by EVJ Ltd

An important limitation of transcutaneous ultrasonography is that direct assessment of the CAD muscle is very limited because the muscles above the larynx make it difficult to access. There is a need to have better ways to assess the CAD muscle, not only to improve diagnosis but also because novel treatments are being developed that aim to restore nerve function and glottic opening, and these rely on preventing further muscle atrophy, restoring muscle mass, or improving contractile force. Recognising this need, a research team lead by Dr Jonathan Cheetham based at Cornell University has been working on improved imaging techniques to determine the geometry of the CAD muscle and to characterise the relationship between CAD geometry and laryngeal function. The Cornell group used computed tomography (CT) to create 3D reconstructions of the equine larynx and determine volume and midbody dorsal-ventral thickness and cross-sectional area of the left and right CAD muscles. By comparing CT findings with autopsy, Dr Cheetham’s team have confirmed that there is a very close correlation between CT estimates and actual muscle mass. Determining this relationship

is important, as there is a close relationship between a muscle’s volume and its ability to generate force. This is clinically relevant as the degree of force of the CAD muscle determines the muscle’s ability to abduct the arytenoid cartilage and open the rima glottidis. For the research study the procedure was performed under general anaesthesia, but it may also be possible perform the same technique in standing sedated horses. The other innovative technique used in the Cornell study is transesophageal laryngeal ultrasound. For this procedure, horses are sedated and a video endoscope is placed into the right nostril to confirm correct placement of a human pediatric transesophageal probe via the left nostril across the nasopharynx into the oesophagus. The probe is advanced to image the left CAD muscle ventrally through the oesophageal wall. The procedure takes 1015 minutes to perform and horses typically tolerate the procedure well. To look at transesophageal ultrasonography findings, the procedure was performed in 112 horses with a spectrum of laryngeal function and compared with findings in the same horses with conventional resting endoscopy. In 90 of these 112 horses, endoscopy was also performed during high-speed treadmill exercise. The ratio of left:right thickness in the mid body and caudal body of the CAD muscle was significantly reduced in horses with resting grade III laryngeal function compared to grades I and II. Likewise, the ratio of left:right thickness in the mid and caudal body of the CAD muscle was significantly reduced in horses with grade B or C laryngeal function compared to grade A (normal). Resting laryngeal function does not perfectly predict laryngeal function on exercise and horses evaluated at rest as grade II and III are the most challenging. The addition of transcutaneous evaluation of CAL muscle echogenicity improves the ability to predict abnormal arytenoid movement during exercise but it is not 100% accurate. Therefore the transesophageal technique has great potential to further enhance our ability to predict which horses will develop arytenoid collapse during exercise. The researchers also concluded that together these methods show great promise for monitoring atrophy and its resolution in response to reinnervation therapies.

Summary

CT larynx. CT reconstruction of CAD muscle: structures are delineated on the 2D CT slices, and individual slices are then combined to produce 3D reconstructions of these muscles. Here the normal right muscle is green, the smaller abnormal left one is yellow 34

It has long been suspected that resting endoscopy is a highly subjective business; individual vets are fairly consistent but there is some variability when different vets assign grades. However, this research has shown that agreement is perhaps a bit better than one might fear. Advanced diagnostic imaging techniques, CT, and transesophageal ultrasonography are showing great promise as better tools to address how clinicians predict and monitor laryngeal function. n

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PROFILE Will Harbut showing Man o’ War to Samuel D. Riddle (far right) and friends at Faraway Farm in 1942

Retiring Emirates Racing Authority announcer Terry Spargo, the voice of the Dubai World Cup since 2001, was so impressed with Arrogate’s March 25th World Cup victory that he invoked one of the most sacred names in the history of racing to describe how Arrogate’s powerful winning move made him feel. As Arrogate annihilated the competition with a simply scintillating performance, Spargo asked, “Have we seen the anointing of the Man o’ War of the 21st century?” That Man o’ War, who was born in 1917, could be used to give context to Arrogate’s stunning effort is a testament to the level of greatness the big red horse achieved, because Spargo’s call was a reminder that Man o’ War is no less relevant now than he was in his day. For one thing, Man o’ War appears 24 times in Arrogate’s ancestry, through three sons and seven daughters. But Man o’ War lives on as well at the heart of American racing. Just who was Man o’ War? Read this article we published in our most recent issue of North American Trainer to find out. WORDS: FRANCES J. KARON PHOTOS: FRANCES J. KARON, KEENElAND – COOK, KEENElAND – THAyER, KEENElAND libRARy

“T

O someone like myself, who had not been around long enough to see Man o’ War race, he was a legendary horse, a monument, a part of the history I had read on American racing. I was excited, too, but not prepared at all for the moment to come.” Above are the words of Walter Farley from the foreword to his fictional 1962 biography, Man o’ War. Farley was one of an estimated one-to-two million visitors to see Man o’ War at Faraway Farm. For all but a dwindling few, Man o’

38

War, or “Red” to his friends, exists only in photographs, newspaper clippings, books, or the Herbert Haseltine statue that stands over his remains at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The larger-than-life stature he acquired during his long life as the Bluegrass region’s top tourist attraction blurs the line separating Man o’ War, “monument,” from Man o’ War, “horse.” Even his New York Times obituary personified him: “He had the high qualities we value in a man – strength, endurance, courage, intelligence, responsiveness and affection.” Man o’ War, etched with awe in our affection, his head held high in his regal

pose, gazing at something only he could see, was a celebrity. But occasionally, we are reminded that he was a horse. “He likes nothing so much as retrieving a hat thrown across the paddock,” said Kentucky: A Guide to the Bluegrass State in 1939. The Kentucky Kernel reported on the occasion of Red’s 21st birthday party, aired via the National Broadcasting Company. “High point of the program,” the paper said, “came when the announcer, unable to get any statement from the Warrior for the radio audience, managed to entice the horse near the microphone, fed him a lump of sugar, and thus permitted the radio

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MAN O’ WAR

Man o’ War at three, with Clarence Kummer up

curious to listen to the masticatory sounds as the great one munched his lunch. Even though Man ‘o War (sic) is undoubtedly the greatest race horse living, it seems slightly ridiculous to think of a million people straining their ears to catch the sounds of a horse eating a piece of sugar. Verily,” the writer concluded, “it was the crunch heard round the world.” As we approached the 100th anniversary of Man o’ War’s birth on March 29, 2017, thoughts turned to Farley, the man whose book first made Man o’ War come alive to many of us, describing the moment that Man o’ War came alive to him, as if it could have been any one of us instead of the author standing there. “I stood in his presence in quiet reverence, unmindful of anything but Man o’ War,” he wrote. “It has also been said of Man o’ War,” he continued, “that ‘he touched the imagination of men and they saw different things in him. But one they all remember was that he brought exaltation into their hearts.’ Whatever else may be written or said of Man o’ War, I know this to be true from my one visit to an aged but majestic stallion.”



The daily papers were ink-stained with reports on war. The main headline on the front of the March 29, 1917, Lexington Leader, which cost three cents to buy, said: “WILL AVOID DECLARATION OF WAR AS LONG AS

He had the high qualities we value in a man – strength, endurance, courage, intelligence, responsiveness and affection

New York Times POSSIBLE.” Readers were reminded that on the same date in history, “Russia sold Alaska for $7,200,000 to United States in 1867.” A fair-weathered Thursday with a temperature of about 10 degrees Celcius, the 29th of March was eight days before the United States formally entered World War I. Born at the Nursery Stud late in the evening, Man o’ War’s birth announcement was a small item appearing in the April 1 issue of the Daily Racing Form (DRF). “Many Foals Arrive at Breeding Farms,” began the header. “Six Reported at Kingston Farm, Three at August Belmont’s Nursery Stud.” The Nursery newcomers appeared in the fourth paragraph, which said, “The latest foals at August Belmont’s Nursery Stud are: Chestnut colt by Fair Play—Mahubah;

chestnut colt by Trap Rock—Luxury, and bay filly by Vulcain—Delusion (dam of Danger Rock and Delancey).”



Major August Belmont II was a secondgeneration horseman who received a World War I commission at the age of 65. It was his financier father who had established Nursery Stud and for whom the Belmont Stakes is named, but it was the major who was instrumental in the establishment of Belmont Park in 1905. Upon Belmont Sr’s death in 1890, Belmont took over the lease on the 400acre parcel of land in Lexington, Kentucky, that was owned by Mrs Mary L Norton and known as Nursery Stud. The farm was located on the right-hand side (travelling away from Lexington) of Georgetown Pike, midway between Sandersville and Spurr Roads, right about where Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and Citation Boulevard are now. Belmont bred six winners of the race named after his father and campaigned four: Hastings (1896, racing in the name of Blemton Stable – “Blemton” is an anagram of Belmont), Masterman (1902; by Hastings), Friar Rock (1916; a half-brother to Fair Play), and Hourless (1917). All but Hastings were homebreds; Hastings had been bought as an undefeated two-year-old in 1895 for $37,000. ISSUE 57 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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MAN O’ WAR

Top left, Man o’War and Will Harbut at the second Faraway Farm. Above, the restored stallion barn at Mt. Brilliant. Left, Dr. William McGee last summer beside a replica of the stallion’s door at the first Faraway, now Mt. Brilliant

(August Belmont I bred and raced 1869 Belmont winner Fenian, while August Belmont IV – grandson of August Belmont II – co-owned Caveat, winner of the 1983 Belmont Stakes.) Hastings was a very successful sire but for our purposes, his most important produce was Fair Play, a stakes winner who ran a head behind the undefeated Colin in the 1908 Belmont. Fair Play became the nation’s leading sire three times. At the other end was Mahubah, a daughter of Rock Sand, the 1903 British Triple Crown winner imported by Belmont to stand at Nursery. She’d been trained by Louis Feustel and won just once in five tries, over a distance of six furlongs. Mahubah was the dam of five foals, all by Fair Play. Masda, foaled in 1915, was a winner and became the third dam of 1946 Triple Crown winner Assault. The third, Playfellow (1918), was a winner; My Play (1919) won the Jockey Club Gold Cup and later sired Belmont Stakes winner Head Play; and unplaced Mirabelle (1920) is the seventh dam of Grade 1 winner Delaware Township and, more recently, the eighth dam of Grade 1-winning English hurdler Simonsig. Man o’ War was Mahubah’s second foal,

from Fair Play’s seventh crop. Scribbled in black script, someone noted in the foaling ledger that the newborn had a “star narrow broken stripe from right of star down center of nose. Height 42. Girth 33.” The word “broken” was added as an afterthought. His birth had been preceded at Nursery that year by two sets of dead twins and one colt that died among the first eight foalings, and the night after Red, another was born dead. Eleanor Robson Belmont named her husband’s horses, including Man o’ War, and she wrote in her 1957 memoirs “The Fabric of Memory” that “Mahubah” was “an Arabic greeting…a friendly salutation that meant more than ‘Good Day’—It also implied ‘May good things be with you.’”

I exercised his grandfather, Hastings. I broke and trained his daddy, Fair Play, and his mother, Mahubah. With that breeding he had to be good. But I never dreamed he’d be the greatest of all Louis Feustel

In Man o’ War, she felt, “undoubtedly the world will agree that, as a good omen, [Mahubah’s name] filled its purpose.” Belmont generally raced his homebred stock, but he deviated from the norm with the 1918 yearlings. From that year’s August 24 edition of the Thoroughbred Record: “On this occasion, owing to the fact that military activities here had first claim upon his activities and aspirations, he decided to make a genuine dispersal of his yearlings, and many shrewd breeders and owners of race horses saw an opportunity of obtaining animals rich in the celebrated Nursery strains at public auction when they would be disposed of without reserve or previous selection.” Edward Kane held the title of Nursery Stud manager when Man o’ War was born, but in reality, he had been bedridden for months before his death in May of 1917. Elizabeth Kane had been handling his duties and was elevated to manager after her husband’s death. She recalled in the Lexington Herald in 1920, “[Major Belmont] recognized in [Man o’ War] a champion and intended to keep and train him. After the Major had seen him as a yearling he ordered me to keep him. When he sailed for France in 1918 with the troops, the Major believed he would be unable to train any horses for a long while and wired me to sell the yearlings we had here. Man o’ War went with the rest.” Mrs Belmont confirmed that her husband had intended to keep two colts: “a golden chestnut by Fair Play” – Man o’ War – and another, incorrectly recalled by Mrs. Belmont as a son of Hourless but who was possibly Hackamore, a Flint Rock colt related to Hourless. (Hourless didn’t have yearlings until 1919.) It was not a complete dispersal of the crop, for Belmont did keep some fillies, including Quelle Chance, later the dam of Horse of the Year Chance Play and Belmont Stakes winner Chance Shot. There were 25 yearlings – mostly with war- or military-inspired names such as War Map; Battalion; Mess Kit; and “My Man o’ War,” as the “Local Notes” section of the July 20, 2918, Thoroughbred Record identified Mahubah’s colt – and one racehorse catalogued for auction under the hammer of George A. Bain of the Powers-Hunter Company, conducted in the paddock at Saratoga Race Course. Only 23 of the yearlings made it through the sale, averaging $2,375 for 21 sold. The high price of $14,000 was paid by JE Widener for Fair Gain, a half-brother to Fair Play, followed by $13,600 for Rouleau, bought by FM Taylor; the low was $200 for Sentry. Two didn’t get a bid. Man o’ War, without the “My” attached to his name, brought $5,000, the third highest price. He was signed down to the account of Pennsylvania sportsman Samuel Doyle Riddle’s Glen Riddle Stable. Upstarts in the racing industry, Sam and Elizabeth Riddle ended up with the horse of ISSUE 57 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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PROFILE

A lock of Man o’ War’s mane at the International Museum of the Horse at Kentucky Horse Park

anybody’s lifetime, which the Thoroughbred Record post-sale review described as “a goodsized and well-balanced colt.” The underbidder was RL Gerry, who had heard about Man o’ War and Hackamore from the Belmonts. He bought Hackamore, who turned into a forgettable winner. Gerry’s daughter-in-law Martha Gerry’s Lazy F Ranch would go on to breed and race three-time Horse of the Year Forego in the 1970s. (Forego’s fourth dam, champion Nellie Flag, was sired by Man o’ War’s son American Flag.) Reflecting on the sale of Man o’ War,

Mrs Belmont wrote, “If my husband was disappointed that this great horse did not race under his colors he never indicated it to me or anyone. The science of breeding first-class thoroughbreds with stamina concerned him profoundly. He was always proud that as a result of his careful selection, his stable had produced the sire Fair Play, the dam Mahubah, and their great colt, Man o’ War.”



Man o’ War was entrusted to Louis Feustel, who by 1918 had been involved

with Belmont’s stable for 24 years, ever since he was a boy of 10. Feustel was the ideal person for the challenge of training Red. It was partly down to his prompting that Riddle bought Man o’ War to begin with. The trainer told Arthur Daley of the New York Times in 1960, “I knew Man o’ War’s family. I exercised his grandfather, Hastings. I broke and trained his daddy, Fair Play, and his mother, Mahubah. With that breeding he had to be good. But I never dreamed he’d be the greatest of all.” (Fair Play’s trainer of record is Jack Joyner; Feustel was stable foreman at the time.) Man o’ War, recalled Feustel, “was a rough horse, a tough horse to handle. The first time I put a boy on his back, he was a wild bucking bronco. He threw the boy and ran away in the paddock. Even when he was broken, he was so high-strung that I couldn’t slap a saddle on him and tighten it. I had to inch it tight, one notch at a time.” In contrast, Man o’ War was said to be as “docile as a big dog” in the stable, where his day-to-day care fell to Frank Loftus. It was written that Loftus “would not change his job for any position in the land.” Other people associated with Man o’ War while he was in training were exercise rider Clyde Gordon and stable foreman George Conway. Conway slept in the stall next to the colt’s and would go on to train Man o’ War’s 1937 Triple Crown-winning son War Admiral for Riddle. Red’s jockeys were Johnny Loftus (all 10 races at two); Clarence Kummer (nine); and one race each for Andy Schuttinger and Earl Sande when Kummer was on the sidelines. Riddle’s Major Treat, a tall brown gelding with a small white star, was another

Man o’ War next to a van at Hinata Farm

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PROFILE

Man o’ War’s disposition is perfect and in the stable he is as docile as a big dog. He is ‘Red’ to Loftus no matter what he may be to anybody else and answers that name with promptitude

MAN O’ WAR’S RACES Date

Race

Racetrack

1st (weight in pounds)

2nd (weight in pounds)

Track condition Time

June 6, 1919

Maiden Special Weight

Belmont

5 furlongs

J. Loftus

1. Man o’ War, 115

2. Retrieve, 112

fast

0:59

Won by 6 lengths

June 9, 1919

Keene Memorial S.

Belmont

5.5 furlongs J. Loftus

1. Man o’ War, 115

2. On Watch, 115

sloppy

1:05 3/5

June 21, 1919

Youthful S.

Jamaica

5.5 furlongs J. Loftus

1. Man o’ War, 120

2. On Watch, 108

good

1:06 3/5

June 23, 1919

Hudson S.

Aqueduct

5 furlongs

J. Loftus

1. Man o’ War, 130

2. Violet Tip, 109

fast

1:01 3/5

Won by 1½ lengths

July 5, 1919

Tremont S.

Aqueduct

6 furlongs

J. Loftus

Thoroughbred Record

1. Man o’ War, 130

2. Ralco, 115

fast

1:13

Won by 1 length

August 2, 1919

United States Hotel S.

Saratoga

6 furlongs

J. Loftus

companion. The Major was a retired hunter/ jumper with a calming effect on Man o’ War. From “How Man o’ War is Trained,” which appeared in a 1920 Thoroughbred Record, here is a peek into Red’s day while he was in training: ● 3:30 a.m.: breakfast of 2½ quarts of clipped oats with a little cut hay; he ate all his meals with a bit in his mouth to slow him down. ● 7:30 a.m.: bandages removed; “his lithe body is massaged with a hair brush and the kinks are taken out of his silken mane and tail by the use of a ‘dandy’ brush of corn broom.” ● 8:30 a.m.: out for training in second set. ● Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: jogged a half-mile and cantered a mile-anda-half. ● Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays: work mornings; “he is allowed to spurn the earth with those nimble feet which carry him over the ground ever so swiftly.” ● 11:30 a.m.: lunch of 4½ quarts of oats with cut hay, if he was not racing that day. ● 4:00-4:30 p.m. on work days: handwalked. ● 5:15 p.m.: dinner of 5 quarts of oats and cut hay; three days a week, this meal was substituted with “a mash of crushed oats and bran which is prepared in the morning with scalding water and left to steam for several hour.” ● “Three times a week for a period of ten days, with a ten day interval in between, a tonic composed of equal parts of cream of tartar, oil meal and sulphur is given.” The article also gave insight into Man o’ War’s relationship with Frank Loftus, and on Man o’ War himself: “Loftus and the colt are great chums. The man realizes that a priceless animal has been entrusted to his care and the horse appears grateful for everything that is done for him by his human companion. Man o’ War’s disposition is perfect and in the stable he is as docile as a big dog. He is ‘Red’ to Loftus no matter what he may be to anybody else and answers that name with promptitude. He has been taught to fetch and carry his keeper’s hat and likes to perform for visitors. He shows his affection for Loftus in many ways and is also fond of

1. Man o’ War, 130

2. Upset, 115

fast

1:12 2/5

Won by 2 lengths

44

Distance

Jockey Margin

Won by 3 lengths Won by 2½ lengths

August 13, 1919

Sanford Memorial S.

Saratoga

6 furlongs

J. Loftus

1. Upset, 115

2. Man o’ War, 130

fast

1:11 1/5

Lost by ½ length

August 23, 1919

Grand Union Hotel S.

Saratoga

6 furlongs

J. Loftus

1. Man o’ War, 130

2. Upset, 125

fast

1:12

Won by 1 length

August 30, 1919

Hopeful S.

Saratoga

6 furlongs

J. Loftus

1. Man o’ War, 130

2. Cleopatra, 112

sloppy

1:13

Won by 4 lengths

September 13, 1919 Futurity S.

Belmont

6 furlongs

J. Loftus

1. Man o’ War, 127

2. John P. Grier, 117

fast

1:11 3/5

Won by 2½ lengths

May 18, 1920

Preakness S.

Pimlico

9 furlongs

C. Kummer

1. Man o’ War, 126

2. Upset, 122

fast

1:51 3/5

Won by 1½ lengths

May 29, 1920

Withers S.

Belmont

8 furlongs

C. Kummer

1. Man o’ War, 118

2. Wildair, 118

fast

1:35 4/5

Won by 2 lengths

June 12, 1920

Belmont S.

Belmont

11 furlongs C. Kummer

1. Man o’ War, 126

2. Donnacona, 126

fast

2:14 1/5

Won by 20 lengths

June 22, 1920

Stuyvesant H.

Jamaica

8 furlongs

C. Kummer

1. Man o’ War, 135

2. Yellow Hand, 103

good

1:41 3/5

Won by 8 lengths

July 10, 1920

Dwyer S.

Aqueduct

9 furlongs

C. Kummer

1. Man o’ War, 126

2. John P. Grier, 108

fast

1:49 1/5

Won by 1½ lengths

August 7, 1920

Miller S.

Saratoga

9.5 furlongs E. Sande

1. Man o’ War, 131

2. Donnacona, 119

fast

1:56 3/5

August 21, 1920

Travers S.

Saratoga

10 furlongs A. Schuttinger

1. Man o’ War, 129

2. Upset, 123

fast

2:01 4/5

September 4, 1920

Lawrence Realization S. Belmont

1. Man o’ War, 126

2. Hoodwink, 116

September 11, 1920 Jockey Club S. 1. Man o’ War, 118

2. Damask, 118

Won by 6 lengths Won by 2½ lengths

13 furlongs C. Kummer

fast

2:40 4/5

Belmont

12 furlongs C. Kummer

Won by 100 lengths

fast

2:28 4/5

Won by 15 lengths

September 18, 1920 Potomac H.

Havre de Grace 8.5 furlongs C. Kummer fast

1. Man o’ War, 138

2. Wildair, 108

October 12, 1920

Kenilworth Park Gold Cup Kenilworth Park 10 furlongs C. Kummer

1. Man o’ War, 120

2. Sir Barton, 126

Barry, an Airedale dog, which spends much of his time in the horse’s box. All horses are fond of sugar and Man o’ War will beg for a lump, but his favorite delicacy is an orange.” Man o’ War’s race record is well known. He was champion of his division in 1919 and again in 1920, when he was Horse of the Year. He carried 130 pounds six times at two and as high as 138 at three. He won from five-to-13 furlongs and set or equalled records in most of his sophomore starts. Much has been written of his bypassing the Kentucky Derby; his 20-length Belmont Stakes win; his 100-length win in the Lawrence Realization; his dogfight in the

fast

1:44 4/5 2:03

Won by 1½ lengths Won by 7 lengths

Dwyer, when John P. Grier had an 18-pound weight advantage; and the multitude of excuses offered for his second-place finish behind Upset in the Sanford Memorial Stakes at Saratoga on August 13, 1919. For an idea of the scope of the loss, even then when Man o’ War’s legend was still in its infancy, here is what the DRF reported after the race: “The defeat of Man o’ War in the Sanford Memorial hit jockey [Johnny] Loftus hard. It stung him to the core and made him the most downhearted person at the course. For half an hour after the race he sat by himself in the jockey room moaning over the colt’s defeat, and it was with difficulty that any one, even Mr. Riddle,

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PROFILE could get him to comment on the race.” The Kenilworth Gold Cup at Kenilworth Park Racing Association in Ontario, Canada, on October 12, 1920, was Man o’ War’s final start. Although it ended up being a two-horse race between him and four-year-old Sir Barton (later recognised as the first U.S. Triple Crown winner), it was not advertised as such. Match races were not permitted in Canada, so three entries were made, with the third horse, Wickford, scratched. It was billed instead as a “Special Race.” The event attracted 30,000 spectators who paid a $5 entrance fee to see Man o’ War dust Sir Barton. Rider Clarence Kummer said, “It was about as easy a victory as Man o’ War has ever achieved.” One of Kummer’s stirrup straps broke immediately after the wire, and it appeared to have been cut deliberately. Man o’ War returned to the Riddle stable’s home base at Glen Riddle Farm in Berlin, Maryland. Two months later, in December, the New York Times let slip that Man o’ War had not come away from Kenilworth unscathed: “After his victory over Sir Barton at Windsor the great colt’s off foreleg puffed up, and for a time it was believed he had seriously injured himself. Under Feustel’s care and Dr. McCully’s prescription the swelling was quickly reduced and now there is not a blemish on him.” There was, and had been from the summer of his three-year-old season, much speculation regarding Man o’ War’s future: that he would go to post against Exterminator after the race at Kenilworth; that he would race at four, including a possible trip to England for the Ascot Gold Cup; and that he would make a comeback after a year at stud. Even as late as June of 1921, more than six months after he’d been retired, the Thoroughbred Record printed, “…rumor persists that there is a good chance of the public having another view of this great horse in action before the close of the

46

After his victory over Sir Barton at Windsor the great colt’s off foreleg puffed up, and for a time it was believed he had seriously injured himself

New York Times present racing season. Louis Feustel, who had prepared Man o’ War for all of his races, wants him back in his old quarters, and there are others with influence in the councils of the Glen Riddle Stable just as eager as the trainer to see the big champion sport the black and orange (sic) colors of the confederacy once more in a race.” A week later, the same publication had this quote from Sam Riddle: “There is no foundation for the report that I intend to permit Man o’ War to race again.” By then, the chesnut was completing his first breeding season at Hinata Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, under the management of Elizabeth Daingerfield, who was lauded as one of the premier breeding authorities of her day.



Man o’ War’s retirement to Kentucky had been a matter of great excitement for the state, and for Lexington in particular.

The Lexington Board of Commerce set up a committee to organise a reception for “the first instance on record of a city entertaining in honor of a horse,” reported the Lexington Herald. One of the plans submitted called for the champion to parade “through Main street on a flower bedecked automobile to the Belmont farm on the Georgetown Road for a homecoming visit with his sire and dam, Fair Play and Mahubah.” They went with a more practical approach, a public exhibition at the local track. Man o’ War arrived in Lexington on January 27, 1921, at 11:50 a.m. via the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N). The steam train rolled into the station and the express car transporting Man o’ War; Major Treat, “which trusty old quadruped [Man o’ War] has followed for two adventurous years”; and a mare was uncoupled and diverted to the downtown Kentucky Association racetrack, where they were bedded down for the night in Colonel E.R. Bradley’s barn. Man o’ War was placed in “Stall No. 4,” per the Thoroughbred Record. “Only a small crowd saw the unloading of the trio,” observed the Lexington Herald. At 2:20 the following afternoon, Friday, January 28, Clyde Gordon sported Riddle’s black-and-yellow silks on Man o’ War, who was “prancing and straining at the rein,” and followed Major Treat onto the track in front of 2,000-3,000 people, depending on reports. George Bain, the auctioneer who had handled the sale of Man o’ War as a yearling, introduced Red to an audience of “probably the largest crowd of horse lovers ever gathered together for the mere purpose of looking upon a horse.” The track was “sloppy and wet from the melting of the recent snow.” Gordon steered Man o’ War past the grandstand, then galloped him “almost to the head of the stretch and back again to the grandstand.” The racecourse is long gone, but the grandstand area was close to where Sixth Street meets Shropshire Avenue. Both streets were eventually extended over what was once the Kentucky Association. Man o’ War was cooled off before loading on Daingerfield’s farm van for the about sixmile trip to Hinata, located on the corner of Russell Cave Road and Iron Works Pike. “[Hinata] will be his palace,” reported the Lexington Herald, “until a permanent home can be purchased and remodeled for him.” Daingerfield had acquired a nine-

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Outstanding Results

Lady Buttons, winner of the Barbour Handicap Hurdle at Newcastle, trained by Phil Kirby for Mrs Jayne Sivills and ridden by Adam Nicol

Photograph by Grossick Racing Photography

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PROFILE Pennsylvania so for his visits to Kentucky, he had what Herbert Haseltine called a “Sears-Roebuck bungalow” built behind the office, next to the stud barn at the second Faraway. The office (which still stands) and part of the house are often visible in later photographs of Man o’ War. In 1996, that Sears and Roebuck mailorder house at Faraway became the second Riddle home to be destroyed by fire, after the mansion on Glen Riddle Farm in Maryland in 1969.

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year lease on Hinata, which abutted her Haylands Stud. The farm had a four-stall barn with three stallion stalls: one for Man o’ War, another for his one-time rival Golden Broom, and a smaller stall for Major Treat, of whose life thereafter history seems to have lost track. On his arrival, Man o’ War was 16.2 hands tall and weighed in at 1,200 pounds. Frank Loftus came, too, and stayed in a house on the farm for a couple of months. He eventually stepped aside to allow Daingerfield’s stud groom John “Buck” Buckner, who she said was “probably the best-known and certainly the most satisfactory stud groom in Kentucky,” to take charge of Red. Man o’ War stayed there for nearly two full breeding seasons, until the Faraway Farm that Riddle and Golden Broom’s owners Walter and Sarah Jeffords (Mrs. Jeffords, Mrs. Riddle’s niece, was like a daughter to the Riddles) had purchased together was ready. Red and Golden Broom moved to Faraway, just a few miles from Hinata on Huffman Mill Pike, on May 23, 1922. Daingerfield and 48

Buckner retained their positions as Red’s manager and stud groom. At Faraway, Man o’ War resided in the first stall on the left in a simple but comfortable four-stall, white-and-green stallion barn for nearly 15 years, the most time he spent in any one place. A number of his sons, including Riddle’s American Flag and Crusader, and Jeffords’ 1926 Travers winner Mars, stood at Faraway at one point or another and lived there with him. (Mars is one of seven of Red’s sons and daughters interred behind the barn, as is Golden Broom.) Man o’ War was moved to a similar but slightly larger barn with an attached breeding shed on an adjoining property in late 1936 or early 1937. This final home was also called Faraway Farm, and it belonged to the Riddles, while the Jeffords maintained the first property. Again, the first stall on the left was Red’s. His 20th birthday party was celebrated there. Today these properties are Mt Brilliant Farm and Man o’ War Farm, respectively. Riddle’s primary residence was in

Daingerfield retired from Faraway in the autumn of 1930, and new manager Harrie B Scott replaced John Buckner with his own stud hand, whose name was to become synonymous with Big Red: Will Harbut. If Man o’ War’s exploits were not already enough to secure his place as the stuff of legend in the annals of history, William Luther “Willie” Harbut was there to make sure of it. Harbut became the primary caretaker of Man o’ War, whose daily schedule called for four a.m. breakfast before turn-out; a five-mile canter under tack at seven, after which he was inside for the day from 7:30 onwards; and meals at 11 a.m. and four p.m., around the time Harbut ended his 12hour work day. (Varying reports suggested Red’s morning and evening meals were served at 4:30.) A night watchman came on duty at five. There was always someone to keep an eye over Red. But Will Harbut was more than Man o’ War’s caretaker. He was his most devoted admirer…and his unofficial public relations director. Faraway was routinely open to the public from 7:30-4:00, during which time Harbut entertained regular folks and dignitaries alike with an inspired narrative of Man o’ War’s greatness. Harbut was an electrifying orator (and by many counts, more well spoken than he was widely portrayed). He had charisma, and together with what Neville Dunn described in the Thoroughbred Record as Man o’ War’s ability to wield “a sort of magic influence over every one who went to see him,” man and horse left quite an impression. “He took his job seriously,” said the Lexington Herald of Harbut after his death in 1947, “and he thought of Man o’ War always in superlatives…Soon after taking charge of the stallion, Harbut studied up on the record of Man o’ War and his sons. Horsemen have long been familiar with the famous stallion’s career, but it was Harbut who vivified the details for casual visitors – estimated at from 30,000 to 50,000 a year before Big Red was secluded this year—to whom Man o’ War symbolized the racing industry. “With unending patience and unerring accuracy, Harbut would detail – while Man o’ War inspected or ignored visitors as was his whim – the horse’s races, his sons’ races,

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PROFILE and their breeding records.” Frank Talmadge wrote in the Blood-Horse that, similarly to Frank Loftus before him, Harbut used to say, “I’ve got the biggest job in the world. I’d rather have this job than be president.” Red and Harbut were separated in March, 1946, when the stud groom was incapacitated by a stroke, losing his eyesight and becoming paralysed on his right side. Bob Groves took over Man o’ War duty. On October 3, 1947, Harbut died in his home on Huffman Mill, less than a mile away from where his beloved red stallion lived.

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Man o’ War sired foals from 1922 to 1943, but in modern-day terms, the crops were small: no more than 10-23 foals per year. There were 381 registered foals, including a pair of surviving twins, in total, with 199 fillies and 182 colts or geldings. As Dr Luke Fallon of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute said, there were a number of hindrances to bigger books, including that mares needed to come into season naturally. “He wouldn’t have started breeding, really, till mid-April. They didn’t put mares under lights in those days,” said Fallon. Man o’ War covered about 25 mares per season. Most were owned by Riddle

or Jeffords, meaning that Red, kept primarily as a private stallion, did not have access to top mares or female families. Dr William McGee, the veterinarian overseeing the Riddle account when Man o’ War was in his final years, said, “One reason that Man o’ War probably wasn’t as great a sire as he could have been was the fact that Mr Riddle wouldn’t let anybody breed to him, unless they were a good friend of his. He would take somebody that he liked and they could send almost anything over there” – pedigree and credentials be damned – “and breed it to him. But [Man o’ War] got enough good mares.” Man o’ War is officially recognised by The Jockey Club as the sire of 62 stakes winners. That equates to a phenomenal 16% of his foals, with 41 stakes-winning colts or geldings and 21 fillies. The best of them were Horse of the Year War Admiral, Clyde Van Dusen (1929 Kentucky Derby), American Flag (1925 Belmont), Horse of the Year Crusader (1926 Belmont), and steeplechaser Battleship (1938 Grand National in England). Like their sire, Battleship, Crusader, and War Admiral are enshrined in the US Hall of Fame. Among many other Hall of Famers linked to Red are five-time Horse of the Year Kelso (whose second dam was by Man o’ War), Seabiscuit (by Man o’ War’s son Hard Tack), and Stymie,

whose granddams were both daughters of Man o’ War. In 1944, Charles Hatton opined in DRF, “There is some doubt that [Man o’ War] will establish an enduring male line. Certainly such of his daughters as Speed Boat, Regal Lily, Army Flirt, Fairy Day, Spotted Beauty and Furlough have more of his physical characteristics than any of his sons.” Hatton continued, “Man o’ War is a horse of distinctive and heroic proportions. His outsize stifle, short cannons and oblique shoulder are a grouping of faculties that is a predisposition to ‘speed and more speed.’ His daughters inherit these architectural attributes in greater degree than his sons… It is a posthumous distinction for August Belmont that he bequeathed breeders a horse who ‘improved the breed’ and one upon whom they could not improve.” Man o’ War was the leading sire in just 1926, although he was second in 1937 and fifth in 1941. Of his sons, War Admiral earned leading sire accolades in 1945, while American Flag and War Relic were both among the top five sires once each. Red never headed the broodmare sires list, but he was second every year from 1942-1950. Bloodstock writer Frank Mitchell pointed out that Man o’ War’s contemporary Sir Gallahad III bred large

Tiznow in his paddock at WinStar Farm. The 2000 Horse of the Year is carrying on the Man o’ War sire line 50

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MAN O’ WAR

Man o’ War’s sons War Relic and War Admiral are buried at the head of his grave at the Kentucky Horse Park

books of mares for the time period, siring 557 foals. Thus, the sire of Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox held a big advantage in the numbers game. For eight of the years Man o’ War was second leading broodmare sire, Sir Gallahad was first. The mares sired by Red and his sons, particularly War Admiral, were highly influential, ensuring that Man o’ War’s name is found deep in pedigrees today, even as far away as Japan, where his Japanesebred son Tsukitomo sired the fourth dam of Mejiro McQueen, classic winner and broodmare sire of that country’s 2011 Triple Crown winner Orfevre. Tsukitomo sired numerous classic winners in his native country and was among the top broodmare sires in the 1960s, but he failed to leave behind a surviving male line. If not for War Relic, Hatton would have been right about Man o’ War not establishing an enduring male line. Riddle’s homebred War Relic was good enough to beat 1941 Triple Crown winner Whirlaway by 4½ lengths in that year’s Narragansett Special, in receipt of 11 pounds. At stud, War Relic sired Intent, who got champion sprinter Intentionally, who got In Reality. In Reality was inbred 3x3 to War Relic, and he is responsible for the two branches that are still salient in North America: Relaunch and Valid Appeal. Valid Appeal is the sire of Successful Appeal, an active stallion at Walmac Farm; and Relaunch is the grandsire of 2001 Horse of the Year Tiznow, who is establishing his own legacy with a growing number of sons at stud, including Gemologist and Tourist, both of whom stand at WinStar Farm,

like their sire. Another son, Tizway, is at Spendthrift Farm, part of which occupies the land that was once Hinata.

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Man o’ War was measured by S Harmsted Chubb, associate curator of comparative anatomy at the American Museum of Natural History, at Glen Riddle Farm in Maryland on December 12, 1920, more than three months before Man o’ War’s actual fourth birthday. In “Man o’ War and Gallant Fox” published in the May-June, 1931, issue of Natural History, Chubb presented his findings of 11 years previously: Man o’ War stood at 16 hands 1-5/8 inches high at the withers, with a height of 16.2 at the crest of the ilium. His girth measured 71¾ inches. Frank Loftus told Charles Hatton in 1958 that Man o’ War wore a size five shoe. Those were measurements of a still-

One reason that Man o’ War probably wasn’t as great a sire as he could have been was the fact that Mr. Riddle wouldn’t let anybody breed to him, unless they were a good friend of his

Dr. William McGee

developing horse. The heaviest Red was ever said to weigh was 1,375 pounds, well into his stallion days. In the 1940s, sculptor Herbert Haseltine “took literally hundreds of very careful measurements” of Man o’ War. These figures don’t appear to be published, but Haseltine’s impression of Man o’ War comes to us from The Memoirs of Herbert Haseltine: Man o’ War and Me, edited by Rachel V Berry and published by the International Museum of the Horse and the Kentucky Horse Park in 1981. The sculptor had a sharp, artistic eye for detail. No one would have studied Man o’ War’s physical attributes and angles more intently than Haseltine, who made two statues of Red – three if you count the bronze of George Washington on the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., riding a horse modelled after Man o’ War – and labored over the stallion’s heroic-sized statue for seven years. He wrote: “I had heard so much talk about him – what a magnificent-looking horse he was – at the back of my mind I wondered if I should be disappointed, as is often the case when some person you are about to meet has been praised to sky-high limits. My misgivings were instantly dissipated when, with head held erect, Man o’ War was led out. “There was something that emanated from this noble animal that took my breath away. A golden chestnut with a metallic sheen, he measured 16.2½ hands and gave the impression of being taller. His withers were well outlined and surmounted a perfect sloping shoulder. His massive quarters were a phenomenal length from ISSUE 57 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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PROFILE hipbone to hock, which is said to be the reason for his great stride. “And what legs! Rarely have I seen four limbs with such tremendous bone, and not a blemish of any kind to be found. They are a lesson in what a Thoroughbred’s legs should be: tendons standing out like cords, pasterns sloping at right angles, and the most perfect oval hooves I have ever had the privilege to see. The silhouette of those limbs seen from any angle constituted a perfect harmony in line. “I cannot say that Man o’ War possessed the most beautiful head, eyes, or ears, but that proud and alert carriage and the keeness (sic) of that ‘eagle eye’ swept away any possible criticism, and made him what he was – the grandest horse of the time.”

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But even the grandest ones are mortal. On November 1st, 1947, about 10 miles away from where he was born, Man o’ War lay dying. Thirty-year-old Red had been in failing health when he was retired from public viewing on May 23rd. His oak casket

Rarely have I seen four limbs with such tremendous bone, and not a blemish of any kind to be found. They are a lesson in what a Thoroughbred’s legs should be

Herbert Haseltine was ready and gathering dust, discreetly pushed up against a wall in the breeding shed, for about a year, per the recollection of Dr McGee, who said last June, “I guess he didn’t know what it was.” McGee was the stallion’s regular veterinarian near the end of Red’s life. He came to Kentucky in 1940 to intern for Dr Charles Hagyard of Hagyard & Hagyard (later Hagyard-Davidson-McGee, now Hagyard Equine Medical Institute), and recently celebrated his own centenary, turning 100 on February 1st, 2017. “I was impressed,” McGee recalled of Man o’ War. “But if you knew who he was, he was way ahead [of all other horses] to start with.” Medically, Man o’ War “really never required a lot of attention” other than routine care. “I might have given him a dose of colic medicine, but he didn’t have any rolling-around type of colics.” As the horse grew older he notably developed some lumps on his body, which were not of particular concern to McGee. 52

Man o’ War had been gradually slowing down in his last five years of life, leading to his retirement from breeding in 1943. His heart would “stop for about three or four beats every once in a while, then it’d start back up again,” said McGee. “I think it was just worn out.” McGee was in the stallion complex at Faraway, where War Admiral and War Relic were living, when one of the stable hands came looking for him on November 1st. “You’d better come up. The old horse is down and it doesn’t look very good,” McGee recalled the man saying. The vet left the barn and headed towards a long, white broodmare barn behind it to check on Man o’ War, who had likely been relocated to the quieter location when he stopped receiving visitors in May. “The horse was laying down, breathing fairly naturally and not suffering any,” said McGee. “And I got down at his head and took his pulse. I’d had instructions from Mr. Riddle that any time it looked like he ought to be put away, to go ahead and do it. He’d said, ‘You don’t have to call me; if the time is right just go ahead.’” McGee saw that Man o’ War, stretched out on his right side, looked comfortable enough, and he opted to let things progress naturally. “It’s not going to be very long,” he said to Faraway’s then-manager Patrick O’Neill. “In about five minutes I took his pulse again and he was gone,” McGee said. “He died on a Saturday. It must have been right after noon or something like that. “I was in a way glad to see it happen that way. He just decided to leave, and he left.” Big Red was dead. The Sunday Herald-Leader reported the time of death as 12:15 p.m. Twenty-four thousand people were at McLean Stadium in downtown Lexington for a 2:00 p.m. kickoff to watch the 13thranked University of Kentucky football team, coached by “Bear” Bryant and on a five-win streak, lock horns with 18th-ranked Alabama on Stoll Field. They learned of Man o’ War’s passing when announcer Claude Sullivan broke the news over the public address system. It might have been around that moment when William McCarney, a World War II Army veteran in the employ of mortician Davies McCullough “Tully” Lowe, was summoned from the DM Lowe Funeral Home on West Second Street. That Man o’ War would be embalmed had been prearranged with Lowe. “Oh, he was aware of it quite a while before it happened,” said McGee. Novelist and short story writer Chris Offutt, a great-nephew of McCarney, said, “Lowe may have overseen the procedure due to the popularity of the horse, but McCarney did the actual labor.” Man o’ War was preserved in the barn, with 23 bottles of embalming fluid during a two hour-long process. It was not the first time a horse had been embalmed, said a spokesman for the American Veterinary

Medical Association, but Man o’ War was “the first instance brought to our attention of a horse being embalmed in preparation for burial.” He lay in state for two days in the middle of the stud barn before being interred in what had been War Admiral’s paddock on Tuesday, November 4, the day of Kentucky’s gubernatorial election. Some 2,000 mourners attended the service, which was broadcast live on the radio and is available to hear on YouTube. Haseltine’s statue was completed and placed over Man o’ War’s grave in 1948.

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Sam Riddle died in 1951 and deeded the two-and-a-half-acre Man o’ War Memorial Park, as the Faraway burial site came to be called, to the city of Lexington’s Fayette County, with a stipulation that it always be free to visit. One by one, the remains of Man

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MAN O’ WAR o’ War’s progeny War Admiral, War Hazard, War Kilt, and War Relic joined him, as did those of War Admiral’s dam Brushup and three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Isaac Burns Murphy, who died in 1896 but who was reinterred there in 1967. It was meant to be their final resting place. In December of 1973, state park commissioner Ewart Johnson brought a proposal to the county’s fiscal court to move all of them to the Kentucky Horse Park, slated to open in 1977. “Man o’ War is to the horse industry what Babe Ruth is to baseball. (His name) is known to everyone, even those not familiar with the sport. That is why he belongs in the place where he can do the most for Kentucky, Fayette County, and the horse industry.” Johnson added that vandals “periodically” desecrated the Faraway cemetery.

The disinterment was on September 21, 1976. Among those present was Red’s embalmer McCarney, representing Whitehall Funeral Chapel. The top of Man o’ War’s casket had caved in under the weight of the dirt. He was placed in a new casket and stored at Whitehall (now The Carrick House) on North Limestone Street awaiting reburial, which occurred at the Kentucky Horse Park on June 23, 1977. The original coffin and the dirt from inside of it was placed in the vault with Man o’ War, beneath the bronze statue by Herbert Haseltine. One casket handle and a lock Tully Davis posthumously took of Red’s mane are on display at the Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse.

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A 1961 issue of Time said, “The greatest

champion of American thoroughbreds died in 1947 and was buried beneath the bluegrass of Kentucky’s Faraway Farm. But the truth is that Man o’ War never really died…So storied was his running prowess that today, 41 years after his last race, Big Red’s record remains the standard of purity and perfection against which the performance of every other race horse, sooner or later, must be measured.” One hundred years after Man o’ War was born, 70 years after he died, and 55 years after those words were written, that standard still holds. It’s part of the allure of racing that the argument over who is the greatest thoroughbred of all will never definitively be settled, but Man o’ War will invariably be included in the discussion. It was just as Will Harbut always said. “Folks, this is the mostest hoss in the world.” n

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NO FOOT NO HORSE

The influence of diet on the hoof

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HOOVES AND DIET

The expression ‘no foot no horse’ is one that has stood the test of time, and discussions about hoof shape, horn quality, and foot conformation continue to dominate in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry. WORDS: DR CATHERINE DUNNETT BSC, PHD, R.NUTR PHOTOS: CAROLINE NORRIS, SHUTTERSTOCK

T

HOROUGHBREDS in particular have a reputation, perhaps undeserved, for poor foot conformation but can frequently experience problems relating to either hoof horn quality or growth rate during their training careers. An inability to retain shoes, the appearance of hoof cracks, thin soles, white line disease, and brittle or crumbly feet are all practical issues related to horn quality that trainers may experience in some horses. Whilst it is easy to perhaps appreciate familial

traits in foot conformation and hoof shape, experts also suggest that hoof horn quality is also influenced by genetic factors as well as nutrition, environment, and farriery. Stable cleanliness is also very important, with studies showing that equine faeces have a very detrimental effect on hoof horn integrity, especially where the structure of the horn is not robust. The focus of this article is the influence of diet on the hoof and how this relates to a typical racing ration. Hooves contain a large amount of protein, roughly 90% on a dry matter basis, and the most

abundant structural protein present is keratin, which contains approximately 18 different amino acids. These chains of amino acids give keratin its primary structure, and the orientation and interconnection of these chains then gives a specialised secondary structure that relates to location and its function. The hoof tissues are complex and show a high level of differentiation to deliver functionality. For example, keratin in the hoof capsule is rich in disulphide bonds (double sulphur bonds) that bridge two cysteine amino acids to form cystine to deliver hardness and strength, whereas

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the keratin found in the frog and white line region have less of these disulphide bonds (S=S) and more sulfhydryl bonds (S=H), affording less strength but more flexibility. Methionine is a dietary essential sulphur containing amino acid, i.e. it cannot be synthesised from other amino acids in the body. Methionine can be converted to cysteine, which is integral to the form and function of keratin, and is a limiting amino acid in the equine diet, together with lysine and threonine. There are many factors that affect the rate of growth of hoof horn, many of which are unrelated to diet. However, like all other tissues, hoof horn requires a constant source of energy, including a supply of glucose. It is also important that certain key nutrients are present in sufficient amounts in the diet to support and drive hoof horn growth and to maintain its integrity, which in turn delivers normal functionality. Studies have shown that it takes about 9-12 months for the hoof wall to grow from the coronary band to the weight-bearing surface and so a great deal of patience is required to see any benefit from changes made to the diet. Biotin is probably the most well-known micronutrient with respect to hoof quality. It is a water-soluble B-group vitamin, used by most cells of the body when converted to carboxybiotin, a component of many enzymes. Biotin is found naturally at a relatively low level in some feed ingredients such as alfalfa, soya, and brewer’s yeast and is also synthesised by many of the resident bacteria found in the horse’s intestinal tract. It is assumed that this bacterially synthesised biotin is available to the horse, as under normal circumstances no supplemental biotin is required. However, this may change where the hindgut environment is compromised and the microbial population sub-optimal, which may be the case in some horses in training maintained on a high-starch diet with limited forage intake. Horses with poor hoof horn quality or growth may benefit from additional biotin in the diet. Biotin has been shown to have a positive effect on the intracellular glue 56

or keratin found as an integral part of hoof horn structure. The normal maintenance requirement for biotin in the diet is about 1-1.5mg per day for an average 500kg horse, but studies have revealed that for an improvement in hoof horn quality or growth, the intake of biotin needs to be significantly higher, with levels of 1030mg per day being cited as beneficial in scientific studies. Typically, between 2-6mg per 100kg bodyweight of biotin has been supplemented in those scientific trials where a positive effect on hoof has been demonstrated over a prolonged period. Most racing diets will deliver biotin at a maintenance level and are generally not formulated to deliver the higher

Whilst selenium is an important trace element needed in sufficient amounts in the diet, an excess of selenium can have a severe effect on hoof horn structure

amount needed to improve hoof horn quality, although there may be exceptions. Where a higher intake of biotin is advised, supplementation is usually the route taken. Remember, however, that 10-30mg of biotin is still a tiny amount and so biotin supplements will always be provided on a carrier to ensure that the quantity fed per day is manageable. As powdered supplements in feed can be problematic for fussy feeders, it is worth using one that is quite concentrated and so delivers the requisite amount of biotin within a relatively small serving. Excessive intake of biotin is not desirable, although, as it is a water-soluble vitamin, any excess will be lost in the urine.

There are many cases where biotin supplementation seems to have no beneficial effect, even when fed over a prolonged period. This is because where hoof quality or structure is poor, there can be more than one type of defect responsible in the hoof horn. Dr Sue Kempson, a noted equine nutrition researcher, showed in the 1980s that it was defects to the outermost layers of hoof horn structure that were most often resolved with biotin supplementation. In contrast, where there is defective horn on the innermost part of the hoof capsule -- which accounted for 94% of her cases -- biotin was ineffective on its own in resolving the issue. However, sufficient biotin in the diet in combination with adequate calcium and quality protein to supply important amino acids was more successful in improving this type of defect, according to Kempson’s research. Much research has also been carried out on the role of calcium in hoof horn structure and growth. Calcium is needed to activate an epidermal enzyme, or transglutaminase, which is present and active in the crosslinking of keratin fibres and so it is important for cell-to-cell attachment. Calcium also plays a role in depositing the intracellular lipids in the horn structure, which influences moisture balance in the hoof and the ability to repel bacteria from the environment. Inadequate calcium in the diet is often characterised by crumbling hoof horn, especially around the nail holes and heels. Dr Derek Cuddeford, formerly of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, published work supporting the use of alfalfa or lucerne to improve hoof quality and growth by providing a bioavailable source of calcium, as well as an increased intake of digestible protein, delivering an important source of amino acids. Zinc is an important trace mineral with respect to hoof structure and it is needed for the optimum activity of near to 200 enzymes in the body, including those involved in keratin formation. Supplemental zinc has been shown to improve hoof horn quality, but this will only be the case when zinc intake was previously marginal or low. In cattle, research has suggested that organic or chelated zinc, where the zinc is attached to an amino acid or small protein fragment, is more efficient in this respect, although this has not been studied in horses. It is believed that zinc is particularly important for adherence of the horn cells together with a sort of intracellular glue. A significant effect of zinc supplementation on the growth rate of hair, another keratin-rich structure, has been reported previously in ponies. In Photo 1, the higher growth rate of mane hair during periods of zinc supplementation in grazed ponies is visually significant when compared with the non-supplemented periods. Copper is also an important cofactor, as it is responsible for activating an enzyme called thiol-oxidase that is involved in the formation of the disulphide bridges in

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keratin. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is also needed for the development of horn epithelial tissue, although an excessive intake has a detrimental effect on horn structure. Whilst selenium is an important trace element needed in sufficient amounts in the diet, an excess of selenium can have a severe effect on hoof horn structure, as selenium has a relatively narrow margin of safety. Excess selenium in the diet prevents the disulphide bridges being formed correctly with selenium (Se) replacing sulphur (S), making the structures inherently weaker. The requirement for selenium for a typical 500kg horse is in the range of 1-3mg per day, but there is some controversy as to where the safety margin lies with particular respect to hoof horn structure. The scientific literature suggests that 10mg per day is the upper safe limit for selenium in the diet, while more conservative estimates suggest that this may be nearer to 5mg per day. Kempson suggests that horses with persistent thrush that do not respond to conventional treatment may be exposed to an excess of dietary selenium. The most severe cases of selenium toxicity can result in the hooves sloughing off like slippers. Selenium intake should certainly be investigated, especially as it is common practice in racing to use multiple supplements, many of which may contain selenium. Most people are aware of the link between excessive or inappropriate nonstructural carbohydrate intake and laminitis. Non58

structural carbohydrates, or NSC, consist of starches and sugars as well as fructans, which are the storage polysaccharide of many grasses. Starches and sugars would predominantly be digested in the small intestine, whilst fructans are usually fermented in the hindgut. When a large amount of NSC reaches the hindgut complex, it is readily and rapidly fermented, leading to significant change in the resident microbial population with associated shifts in pH and mucosal cell permeability. Laminitis can then arise,

Horses with poor hoof horn quality or growth may benefit from additional biotin in the diet

although the exact mechanism for this remains unclear. However, the clinical signs of laminitis are unlikely to be a ‘cliff edge’ scenario and there may be deleterious effects on hoof stability long before a laminitis attack is suspected. Vets at Rood & Riddle in Lexington, Kentucky, suggest that low-grade chronic laminitis is very common in thoroughbred horses, and that these are the horses that will go unnoticed until further complications arise such as lameness. They also suggest that abnormal hoof growth is a common finding in these cases, with evidence of more heel growth

compared to the toe, with a dished dorsal hoof wall and toe cracks. The racing diet may add to the risk of laminitis in some cases, where a very highstarch ration is fed, often exacerbated by large meals which allow an unregulated dumping of NSC into the hindgut leading potentially to chronic hindgut acidosis. This may also impact the biotin status of these animals, as the numbers of biotinproducing microflora are reduced in the resident population. The rations of most horses in training should provide plenty of protein and so should easily fulfill the requirements for methionine and other important amino acids. Racing diets are also generally wellfortified with the key micronutrients including calcium, zinc, copper, and vitamin A needed for good hoof quality. The intake of calcium is usually far in excess of requirements, although the Ca/P ratio can sometimes be a little low, if for example diets are top-dressed with significant quantities of oats. Maintaining the level of calcium relative to phosphorus is also important, as this may impact hoof horn quality. The level of biotin is most likely to be present at a standard maintenance dose in most racing rations and so this is the nutrient that is more likely to require supplementation. However, we should always remember that a holistic approach to hoof quality is required with all aspects of management, feeding, environment, and farriery being considered and improved where necessary. n

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PROFILE

DR LYNN HILLYER

The veterinary chief of Irish racing The appointment last year by the Irish Turf Club of Dr Lynn Hillyer PhD, BVSc CertEM(IntMed), MRCVS as the chief veterinary officer and head of anti-doping in Ireland has given this busy and experienced vet yet another powerful string to her bow and sees a further step forward in the quest for unified European racing regulations. WORDS: LISSA OLIVER PHOTOS: CAROLINE NORRIS, LISSA OLIVER

H

ILLYER began her appointment for the Turf Club and Irish NH Committee in September 2016, having previously worked with the regulator of British horseracing since 2004, focusing on anti-doping and medication control. Significantly, she has led the European regulatory veterinary group of the European Horserace Scientific Liaison Committee (EHSLC) for the last six years and is the European representative on the Executive for the International Group of Specialist Racing Veterinarians (IGSRV). This has meant involvement in policy development on endemic and exotic infectious diseases, as well as access to any databases held by European racing nations on such records as racing-related equine injuries, for example. Hillyer’s network of European and, indeed, international connections will no doubt prove invaluable to Irish racing, but similarly she will bring much of what is learned from her new role to the European table. “In a strategic sense, it’s a resource to help us draw up best practice,” Hillyer explains. “We can apply elements of what others are doing across the world to accelerate what we are doing; for example, development of our Irish Racehorse Welfare Strategy. In a practical sense, I directly access international sources of information in what is, by necessity, a confidential and sensitive subject area. “I am involved with EHSLC in the harmonisation of medication control

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advice; on the IFHA Advisory Council, looking at such things as cobalt and use of B12 supplements; on the International Movement of Horses Committee, where for example African Horse Sickness is currently in focus; and working for the education and development of regulatory vets with IGSRV.” Hillyer has settled into her new Irish home comfortably and is more than pleasantly surprised at how much she is enjoying the lifestyle and rural environment. All the better for her to focus on the new position. “I was very keen to do the job, I welcome the challenges, that’s what I took the job for,” she enthuses, as she explains what she sees as one of the biggest challenges – maintaining and handling sensitive data. Perhaps not the first task we would associate with a chief veterinarian’s job. “Database and information management systems are complicated; holding and accessing the information that is there in an efficient, confidential way is difficult.

Recording the right information in the right place is complex and not the usual thing a vet normally has to deal with

Recording the right information in the right place is complex and not the usual thing a vet normally has to deal with,” she agrees. “There is a major new IT system coming in, which should help me and my team access the information we need to be able to carry out our work. Collecting and storing the right information, and knowing where to find it, is critical to me.” Easy access to vital information is essential, but equally important is the storage and handling of that information, ensuring confidentiality and adherence to legal requirements, all of which means working towards a careful balance and compromise. She is also very conscious that the thoroughbred industry is governmentfunded and often in the public spotlight, not only scrutinised by those with an understanding of its intricacies. “It is imperative we keep that social licence,” she insists. “We need to be consistent, accountable, reliable, and trusted. Intelligence gathering and what we do with that intelligence is very important, but top of the list is communication and education.” Data issues regarding disclosure and freedom of information must be considered. “A good example of this is the need for an intelligence management system,” she says, “a high security database to store sensitive information, which can be used to build an overall picture to inform our anti-doping strategy.” The benefits of maintaining such a system become more obvious as Hillyer expands on the possibilities. “Another good example is

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DR LYNN HILLYER

Michael Grassick meets Dr Lynn Hillyer

the need for an equine injury management system, a database holding equally sensitive information, which we can use to better understand the risks to our horses, when and why the injuries are occurring, and so reduce them. I’m looking forward to building on the veterinary function and team towards improving racehorse welfare. When it comes to welfare strategy, it would be very easy to put together a fancy video presentation, but we need to have the substance behind it to back it up. It’s about developing research initiatives to underpin our policies.” Though she speaks comfortably of policies, Hillyer’s passion, it’s clear, is the horse. She is a vet first and foremost, and that shines brightly through her words and agenda. She is genuinely hoping to make a difference and every objective has been meticulously thought through. “I’ve not personally come across any racehorse welfare issues,” she stresses, “but

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understanding the public’s perception of racehorse welfare is important. We also need to know what our own industry thinks and what they consider to be a happy horse. We automatically think of racing welfare as being about what happens to the horse after it has retired, but we need to also look at the welfare of horses in training and in the pre-training stages. We have to make

Intelligence gathering and what we do with that intelligence is very important, but top of the list is communication and education

sure we’re in sync with what others are doing; Racing Victoria, for example, and France are also looking at this, so we can follow their lead. “A key focus is injury recording, to help us understand why, and how, injuries occur, and understanding the circumstances and having the courage to face that. We need to gather facts and establish a picture. We’re looking at the data we have and making sure that what we’re collecting will help us, and we want to work closely with industry bodies such as the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association to ensure we’re right.” In taking responsibility of injury recording and by recording every detail, Hillyer is aware it can sound as though she is focusing on the negative side, but, as she points out, “When we get a handle on it we can find positive solutions and we’ll be able to say, ‘Here’s what we’re doing about it.’ “I want to develop the veterinary officer role on raceday and my aim is less ISSUE 57 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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paperwork, more horse. I’m establishing a veterinary committee and there will be a minimum criteria for a racecourse vet, so not any vet can come in on raceday. The horse should expect at least the level of veterinary care he would receive at home, for it’s on the racecourse he is at most risk. I’ve spoken with all parties and all are supportive. My team will have the skills to audit what they see, and we’ll be developing pre-race testing and stable inspections. It’s all part of being one big team.” The introduction of out-of-competition testing and pre-race testing at the racecourse has been controversial in Ireland and not without its critics, but, as Hillyer points out, there has already been a certain level of out-of-competition testing for several years and she and her team need to ensure they have all horses covered. “Ninety-nine percent of trainers are good,” she reminds us, “and we have to help the trainers who are doing a good job to continue to do a good job, but pick up on the bad elements who aren’t. We are helping, and I’d like trainers to see us as another pair of hands.” In this respect, her awareness of the equine welfare issues that are entirely beyond a trainer’s control is a welcome help. She not only sees the broader picture, but understands completely the working mechanisms of the industry and 62

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its interwoven cogs. In talking to her, as pleasant and calm as she is, there is the definite impression she will fight to achieve her goal, a winning battle plan already drawn up. One such identified challenge is the variability of stabling facilities on Irish racecourses. This is possibly not an issue limited only to Ireland, and trainers are frequently seeing the health and wellbeing of their horse compromised by poor facilities at the racetrack. “From the numbers of boxes and their quality, biosecurity and drug-security, horse walkways through to obstacle design, there needs to be a common line,” she recognises, “a clearly defined standard.” When it comes to clearly defined standards, the procedures in operation when a horse falls on the track, for example, are far from lucid and, again, this is a

I want to establish a world-class anti-doping system here in Ireland, and the financial commitment has been given

common problem across Europe. “What is the procedure?” she notes. “There is a rule book and theoretically it can all be found in there, but it’s a question of finding it, and also understanding it and using common sense. “So I am drafting a set of guidelines, a manual making clear what the procedure is and where to find it, and it will be fully searchable online. For vets, there will be a veterinary guide. The biggest job will be to get rid of the jargon and have it in clear English, formal, but accessible.” There is clearly so much more to Hillyer’s role with the Turf Club than her job title suggests and it appears to be a role of onestop-shop for the solving of many of racing’s ills. There is no better person for the job and certainly no one better placed. “I’m so lucky to be based within the Turf Club offices at the Curragh,” she agrees. “To be able to simply walk down the corridor and talk to the right person is imperative. The collaboration is very positive. The stewarding team and clerks of the courses are all supplying valuable information and, of course, there is an overlap. When we talk about racehorse welfare in terms of falls, that also impacts on the jockey, so it’s all interlinked, and we have a connection with the medical services. “It’s about understanding from the ground up what the gaps are and how we can address them, such as racecourse processes, running and riding, whip infringements, unexpected performances, through to the recording, follow-up, and understanding of injury to ultimately reduce risks. “I liaise daily with INHSC, licensing and, of course, the Turf Club, as well as working closely with the security teams – Chris Gordon and Declan Buckley at its head and all those on the stable yard and other visits. The anti-doping role is a new one, and the opportunity to bring together veterinary, security, licensing, and stewarding functions to achieve best practice, starting with a blank canvas, is extremely exciting. I want to establish a world-class anti-doping system here in Ireland, and the financial commitment has been given.” As Hillyer explains, in the wake of events in 2014 when doping scandals rocked Irish sport, it was seen that more could be made of the links between the Department of Agriculture, vets, trainers, and racing’s regulators. “Intelligence sharing, common links across animal sports, and pooling veterinary resources all made sense and have delivered some significant results. The security team are key to intelligence gathering and the real skill is in being able to differentiate between tittle-tattle and genuine information and the ability to handle it sensitively and use it to effect, without causing any trouble to the individual. “Department of Agriculture authorised officers have extensive authority to act in terms of search and seizure, as appropriate

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DR LYNN HILLYER to their roles. Only a small proportion of training yard visits to date have had the involvement of the Department of Agriculture. It is the intention going forwards that planned training yard stable inspections and out-of-competition testing visits do not involve the Department of Agriculture as a routine, but that there is the option of a rapid response in either direction should the need arise.” Whether that need will ever arise is one that Hillyer is happy to debate. “First and foremost, neither I nor my colleagues at the Turf Club or INHSC think that Irish trainers are doping horses. Every sport has an element that will try to sail too close to the wind or cross the line. I want to build on the foundations laid by the task force to reassure trainers across both codes, and point-to-pointing, that we are actually on the same side.

First and foremost, neither I nor my colleagues at the Turf Club or INHSC think that Irish trainers are doping horses

“None of us should tolerate cheats or those who mistreat horses. It’s the Turf Club’s job to have a fair, consistent, transparent policy on anti-doping, which impacts on horse and jockey welfare. We must then communicate that policy and underpin it with rules that are clear, not open to interpretation, and that are backed by appropriate sanction.” As she

emphasises, “Sanctions are the backstop; communication and education up front are key to prevention. “Trainers as licensed individuals have already signed up to these rules of the game. The times that I’ve found that trainers and their veterinary surgeons feel understandably uncomfortable about new anti-doping or equine approaches are if they feel that the reasons and background for policy is not clear, they do not believe a policy to be fair or well informed, they have not had the opportunity to be involved or consulted, or if they feel targeted. “We must be upfront and disclose fully what we’re doing and why. It needs to be fair and reasonable and it should be absolutely clear to the trainer why we are there. Racing’s social licence needs to continue, and if trainers can work with us to develop our service it will be very exciting.” ■

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JOCKEY TRAINING

Don’t forget the jockey: Horse-jockey interaction in racing. ISSUE 57 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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All the hard work a trainer and stable staff puts into training a racehorse is placed in the hands of one person, the jockey, once the rider has been given a leg up in the parade ring. The relationship the jockey has with the horse plays a vital role in how the horse performs. Are riders receiving the correct off-course training techniques? WORDS: ANNA WALKER & THOMAS WITTE PHOTOS: RACEWOOD LTD

Abstract The interaction between horse and jockey in racing is a fundamental partnership that can be optimised to achieve peak performance. Performance benefits have been demonstrated for major changes in jockey technique such as the change from seated to the modern martini glass posture. However, if the partnership between horse and jockey does not work effectively together in a synchronised and complementary manner then, irrespective of the ability of the horse, performance may be constrained and the risk of injury of both horse and jockey may be increased. Jockey training techniques have 66

developed rapidly in recent years to involve sport-specific fitness training and technique optimisation, often using mechanical racehorse simulators. Simulators allow carefully controlled, safe, and cost-effective training environments that can be used for prolonged periods to improve fitness, train neural pathways, and develop muscle memory. Simulator training allows the jockey and coach to focus on specific elements of technique with immediate and detailed feedback, which in some cases can include physical manipulation to improve position and help jockeys to ‘feel’ the correct posture. Furthermore, additional skills such as correct use of the whip can

be practiced in a safe, repeatable, welfare friendly environment. Our research set out to characterise optimum jockey technique, measure the similarities and differences between simulators and real horses, and to measure changes in ability between jockeys of different experience levels. Using wireless sensor technology we have identified targets for skill optimisation with the potential to form the basis for improved feedback to jockeys during training.

Optimising performance Extensive research has been carried out for many years to establish optimal breeding and training of thoroughbred racehorses to improve performance, reduce race times, and minimise injuries and horse falls. Methods for early prediction of performance extend to genetic, physiological, and microbiological testing, and studies have become so specific that even the effect of girth tension has been

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JOCKEY TRAINING investigated. This body of work has led to the refinements of tack, breeding, training, and veterinary care that underpin the sport and wider industry. One aspect that remains underinvestigated is the jockey. It is self-evident that the jockey plays an integral role in race performance and injury prevention, but the mechanics of the horse-jockey interaction have not been quantified. We do know that jockeys are not a passive load, simply being carried by the horse. On the contrary they are high-performance athletes who work hard during a race to isolate their movement from that of the horse and reduce the negative impact of load carrying on locomotion.

Research Recent studies funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board and carried out by the Royal Veterinary College applied modern sensor technology to measure the biomechanics of the horse-jockey interaction. Advances in technology have allowed movement and force data to be collected in the field for the first time. Data were collected to support and further develop anecdotal and historical theories, which is hoped will facilitate future training. Improved understanding of the repetitive, cyclical movement of jockeys of varied experience and skill level helps to define optimal technique which can then be used as a model for trainee jockeys. Defining this model will

provide opportunities to adapt training and feedback to best practice, as undertaken in other elite sports where such feedback has been shown to speed up the rate of skill development. In jockeys this approach has the potential to reduce the risk of injury and falls, and to improve welfare.

Simulator vs. horse Our most surprising results were obtained when comparing racehorse movement patterns to the movements of a racehorse simulator commonly used for training jockeys. Movement of the simulator, when viewed from the left side, formed an anticlockwise oval trajectory while movement of a real horse, subtracting the effect of forward movement, moved clockwise. In other words, both moved in a cyclical manner but in opposite directions. The simulator also had a larger range of forwards-backwards motion while the real horse had a larger up and down movement. As may be expected, jockey pelvis movement was consistently measured in a cyclical trajectory opposite in direction to that of the simulator and horse. In both cases, the amount of vertical movement of the jockey’s pelvis was found to be less than half that of the horse, supporting previous work showing that the jockey’s legs act like a damper. The jockey’s legs effectively absorb the movement of the horse resulting in a

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comparatively stationary, stable position of the trunk, minimising the impact on the horse of carrying the additional weight of the jockey. Also striking was the difference in force through the stirrups measured during galloping on a horse compared to a simulator; the forces on the horse were more than double those on the simulator. This difference stems from the fact that the simulator cycles horizontally, rather like a rowing machine, resulting in a relatively consistent weight distribution through the stirrups. In contrast, a horse effectively jumps from stride to stride with an aerial phase resulting in higher force peaks (Figure 1). Interestingly, on a simulator left to right symmetry of stirrup forces were more symmetrical in elite jockeys compared to novices. However on a horse symmetry was not significantly different across experience levels, likely due to the inherent asymmetry from horse trunk roll that is absent in the fixed simulator, where there is very little sideways movement or roll for jockeys to accommodate. 68

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The absence of trunk roll on a simulator eliminates one of the more complex elements of the movement to which a jockey must respond and adapt. The direction and timing of the sideways displacement and roll in horses is linked to gallop lead. The start of the stride coincides with the trunk rolling away from the lead leg before rolling towards the lead leg mid-stride and

“

Epidemiological studies have highlighted jockey experience as a key risk factor for injury and falls. Novice jockeys are at higher risk of falling than their more experienced counterparts

�

then away again just before the start of the next stride (Figure 2). This movement appears to have less effect on the stability of experienced jockeys who are more balanced and displace less during a stride cycle and may thereby be able to maintain a solid base of support, an important factor in the risk of falling. These differences between simulators and horses raise important questions about the effect of training on a simulator. Although important in the development of sport-specific endurance and stamina, simulators may be deficient in precise skill and technique development.

Jockey experience Epidemiological studies have highlighted jockey experience as a key risk factor for injury and falls. Novice jockeys are at higher risk of falling than their more experienced counterparts; however specific differences in technique have not been measured. As with most practical skills, technique changes as jockeys become more experienced. Experienced riders are more stable and balanced than novices. We

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Figure 1a

have measured this as a smaller range of movement and more consistent movement after subtracting the effect of the horse or simulator. More even weight distribution is seen between the left and right stirrups during simulator training, although the importance of this is difficult to judge in light of the inherent asymmetry of horse motion at a gallop.

Whip use

Figure 1b

While the effect of using a whip on jockey position and riding technique requires further detailed analysis, our initial results indicate that with experience jockeys are more able to apply the whip at a specific target time within a stride cycle. Sensor measurements suggest that jockeys move more from side to side during a cycle in which the whip is applied, which combined with twisting of the upper body enables correct contact to be made for optimal effect and to avoid penalties.

Impact on racing Defining and understanding what constitutes optimal jockey technique will inform future training and improve safety and welfare of both the horse and rider. By further understanding the differences between a real horse and a horse simulator, training of both novice and experienced jockeys can be optimised and simulators used for maximum benefit in training and rehabilitation. Any counterproductive exercises can be eliminated or adapted as appropriate.

Next steps

Figure 1a: Stirrup force profile during a) gallop on a real horse and Figure 1b) simulated gallop from an experienced jockey. Red and blue are right and left stirrup forces respectively. The black dashed box indicates one stride cycle.

Figure 2

Further investigation is required into non-steady state events such as whip use, jumping, riding out of starting stalls, and riding a finish. Real-time feedback systems should soon be available to aid the development of specific skills, providing opportunities for the objective monitoring of training, development, and performance. In preliminary testing we have found that such feedback is most effective when jockeys have already established the basic neuromuscular fitness and control required for the repetitive cyclical movement exhibited by both racehorse simulators and real horses.

Conclusions

Figure 2: Horse pelvis roll during right lead (red) and left lead (blue) gallop. A positive roll indicates a roll to the right with negative a roll to the left. Each line represents an individual stride.earned more than $1.1million. 70

Multiple factors influence the complex interaction between horse and jockey. Differences between a simulated and real horse gallop may limit the suitability of simulator training for skill development, but the benefits to cardiovascular and musculoskeletal conditioning and training cannot be contested. Non-steady state locomotion such as riding a finish or whip use significantly alters jockey movement and technique affecting their interaction with the horse, and these areas warrant further detailed investigation to ensure that any future changes to racing regulations remain evidence based. n

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Large crowds enjoying racing at Markopoulo Racetrack

Greece becomes EMHF member

With unanimous support from the existing membership, the Jockey Club of Greece has been accepted into the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation as its 28th member. I visited their offices and the country’s sole racecourse, at Markopoulo outside Athens, in November and was encouraged by the signs of a renaissance in a country which not so long ago boasted vibrant crowds at the now-closed city-centre racetrack of Faliron. WORDS: DR Paull Khan, SecRetaRy-GeneRal, euROPean anD MeDiteRRanean hORSeRacinG FeDeRatiOn (eMhF) PhOtOS: eMhF

G

REEK racing provides a fascinating case study of a government-run betting operation recently privatised, and other racing authorities (and governments) might be well advised to keep a close watch, to see whether the early progress can be maintained. For decades, Greece has supported a single racetrack on which thoroughbred Flat racing has been staged. However, the scale and health of the sport in recent years has been but a shadow of the past. Faliron closed in 2003, when a new racecourse was built at the site that was to host equestrian activities at the 2004 Olympics, in

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Markopoulo, a suburban town some 35km, or an hour’s drive, southeast of the capital. As recently as 2006, betting turnover stood at €337M. By 2013 it had plummeted to €31.4M – a literal decimation in under a decade. At the time of the move, the pool of home-trained horses (on which Greek racing relies entirely to sustain its fixture list) numbered a healthy 1,800. However, by 2015, horses in training had fallen to just 290, critically near the tipping point of unsustainability. Similar patterns can be traced in attendances and owners. A vicious circle had taken hold that, one must conclude, was a very real threat to the sport’s existence. There were many causes: the lack of

public transport links between Athens and Markopoulo; increasing governmental indifference and lack of expertise, leading, among other things, to sclerotic management of the state-owned betting monopoly; a growth in alternative betting products available to Greek citizens; and an own-goal of a law introduced in 2010 (since repealed) that required every owner to be a corporate entity, and would be taxed as a company, at a stroke excluding from the ownership ranks those doctors, lawyers, etc., who were self-employed. All this, and then the global recession. In 2013, a law was passed providing for the privatisation of the horserace betting operator ODIE, which was enacted as recently as January 20th, 2016. The new operator is Horse Races SA, a subsidiary of OPAP SA, a large company with significant Czech shareholding, to which the government had already, in 2011, sold monopoly provider rights to sports betting, the lottery, and other games of chance such as keno. Horse Races SA has a 20-year nonexclusive licence to organise and conduct racing in Greece, in addition to a 20-year exclusive right to organise and conduct

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EMHF

terrestrial and online mutual horseracing betting in Greece on both domestic and foreign products. For this purpose they rent the facilities at Markopoulo. OPAP has conspicuously invested in foreign management with specific horseracing expertise. Its CEO Damian Cope, who is also the chairman of Horse Races, has bookmaking experience with Ladbrokes and Corals in Britain, and Fin Powrie, a horseracing administrator who has worked in Dubai, India, New Zealand, and Bahrain as well as his native Australia, is a hands-on director of Horse Races. They have adopted a more international, outward-focused approach. On the day I attended Markopoulo races, they announced a strategic partnership with the PMU, and senior members of the PMU and France Galop were present. Helped by an ingenious loan scheme to help stimulate the purchase of foreign-bred thoroughbreds, horses in training have bounced from their low of 290 to nearly 400, with a better proportion of active and younger horses. On the card that day, 60% of the 55 runners were foreign-bred, mostly from Britain and Ireland, and several of them were graduates of this loan scheme. Racing takes place pretty much throughout the year, with just a three-week break in August. More than 400 races will be run, all but three of them being entirely open to foreign-trained competition. The exceptions are the Greek Derby (€30,000) and the three-year-old Criterium and Fillies ‘Oaks’ (both €25,000), which are open only to Greek-breds or unraced imports. Two €25,000 Winter Challenges will be run

– one for three-year-olds and one for fouryear-olds – and prize money ranges down to €7,800 for two-year-old and three-yearold maidens. Fixtures are displayed three months in advance on www.horseraces.gr. Trainers wishing for further information regarding opportunities available to race in

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Clearing house service for officials’ development launched The EMHF is committed to raising standards of racing administration across the EuroMed region. Last year, we announced a new service, whereby we act as a ‘clearing house,’ matching up requests from our ‘minor’ racing nations for assistance in the training and professional development of their racecourse officials with senior officials from one of the ‘major’ countries, to shadow them, normally for two days, on the racecourse. The racing authorities

of France, Germany, Great Britain, and Ireland all generously agreed to provide such training – whether for handicappers, stewards, starters, clerks of the course, judges, medical officers, or veterinary officers – at no cost. The initiative got off the ground on March 3rd, when eight visitors from Turkey were hosted by the British Horseracing Authority at Lingfield racecourse. The party included stewards from six racecourses across Turkey.

Divided into two groups, they spent time in the Stewards’ Room, as well as viewing the races from the side-on box with their British counterparts and inspecting the photo finish and starting arrangements. Their spokesman, the Turkish Jockey Club’s Turgay Sakizli, said: “I can say with certainty that the expectations of my colleagues were met. They were given a very comprehensive, firsthand insight into all aspects of British stewarding.”

Jersey plays host to stewarding seminar The following day, the focus shifted to Jersey, home of the most southerly racecourse in the British Isles. Most EMHF Seminars take place in one of the large racing nations in our region, but, on March 4th, it was the Channel Islands Racing and Hunt Club (CIRHC) that played host to a group of international stewards. Jonathan Perree, the CIRHC’s stewards’ secretary and an EMHF Executive Council member, explains how the seminar came about: “We had asked Colin (Vickers) to deliver some training to our stewards’ panel, along the lines of that which the BHA organises regularly for its own stewards. “I knew that one of the suggested topics which EMHF were considering for a seminar was on stewarding, so I suggested that the offer be extended to

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all EMHF members. I was bowled over by the level of interest!” The day began with a visit to Les Landes racetrack, from which the expansive sea views to the neighbouring islands of Sark, Herm, and Guernsey impressed, despite the grey and blustery conditions. Back at the conference hotel, following sessions on the island’s stewarding and veterinary arrangements, the BHA’s Colin Vickers delivered a description of the stipendiary stewards’ role in Britain and continued with a wide selection of race recordings that illustrated interference, whip misuse, non-trying, and various other misdemeanours. His audience of around 30 boasted, in addition to visiting stewards from Greece, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, and Turkey, a strong and varied home contingent from Jersey and Guernsey, with the notable inclusion of

Arc- and multiple Breeders’ Cup-winning trainer Jonathan Pease, who has moved to Guernsey since retiring from his Chantilly training operation two years ago. The invitation had also been extended to some Channel Islands trainers and journalists, which helped generate a lively and interesting discussion about the similarities and differences in the disciplinary regime across Europe. On spotting non-triers, a fresher steward told me that, having experienced the video-based exercises, he felt emboldened to voice his opinions more freely to his fellow panel members. A consensus view was that the tariff for persevering vigorously with a clearly exhausted horse, rather than pulling it up, should be raised, to exceed that for over-use of the whip. And on the latter subject, the source of constant debate, although each country represented had different rules as to the number of strikes allowed, a common theme was that this number had been subject to progressive reduction in recent years, leading to speculation on whether, while whips would always need to be carried for safety reasons, it was only a matter of time before their use for encouragement is banned altogether. The great majority of the Channel Islands’ races are open to foreign competition and offer visiting trainers a contribution towards travelling costs. For some, the fact that not only the hurdle race that begins each card but also the four Flat races that follow are started by barrier, not stalls, is an attraction. Prize funds range from £2,800 to £3,750. Guernsey’s sole meeting takes place on the first Monday of May (www. guernseyraceclub.co.uk) and details, including race entry forms, of Jersey’s nine, fortnightly summer meetings can be found at www.jerseyraceclub.com.

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Your Chances in Germany To close on May 2nd 2017

DORTMUND - Sunday, June 25th

Preis der Wirtschaft - Group III - 55.000 Euro - 3+ - 1750 m To close on May 9th 2017

HAMBURG - Friday, June 30th

Hamburger Stutenpreis - Group III - 55.000 Euro - 3f - 2200 m

HAMBURG - Saturday, July 1st

ATM Horsetrucks are designed and manufactured with care, experience and passion to create the ultimate bespoke transport for your horses. FOR YOUR LOCAL DEALER PLEASE CONTACT: pedromescudeiro@gmail.com guy@horseboxesheymans.be

WWW.HORSEBOXESHEYMANS.BE

Hansa-Preis - Group II - 70.000 Euro - 3+ - 2400 m

HAMBURG - Monday, July 3rd

Hamburger Stutenmeile - Group III - 55.000 Euro - 3+f/m -1600 m

HAMBURG - Tuesday, July 4th

Hamburg Trophy - Group III - 55.000 Euro - 3+ - 2000 m

HAMBURG - Wednesday, July 5th

Flieger-Preis - Group III - 55.000 Euro - 3+ -1200 m

MÜNCHEN - Sunday, July 30th

Dallmayr-Preis - Group I - 155.000 Euro - 3+ - 2000 m To close on May 23rd 2017

COLOGNE - Sunday, July 16th

Meilen-Trophy - Group II - 70.000 Euro - 3+ - 1600 m

BERLIN-HOPPEGARTEN - Sunday, August 13th

Slimline Wheelbarrow

Preis von Berlin - Group I - 175.000 Euro - 3+ - 2400 m

Product Code: TWB7

• 250 Litre Capacity • 4 wheel barrow with 2 swivel wheels for optimum manoeuvrability. • Narrow shape makes it suitable for passageways in farm buildings. • 2 varieties of lids and a divider available separately.

Equine Floor Feeders Square & Round Models

• Allows the horse to feed in a natural grazing position. • Strong and durable, built to withstand impact.

FOR MORE INFO CONTACT US ON:

To close on June 13th 2017

BADEN-BADEN - Sunday, September 3rd

Preis von Baden - Group I - 250.000 Euro - 3+ - 2400 m - Racecourses offer additional transport allowances

For detailed conditions see European Pattern Book or call Rüdiger Schmanns (German Jockey Club) Tel. 0049 221 7498-20 E-Mail: rschmanns@direktorium.de

Meet the German Breeders and Racecourses in Newmarket on Saturday August 12th

01691 659226

infouk@jfcequine.com

www.jfcequine.com

www.german-thoroughbred.com

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SALT

ThE bENEfITS of SALT

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For being such a simple molecule – a mere ion of sodium joined with a single ion of chlorine to make sodium chloride (NaCl – the crystalline chemical known as salt causes much confusion and prompts many questions. Why do horses need salt, and in what form? How often? Is the entire purpose of salt simply to help slake a horse’s thirst and replenish sodium (Na), chloride (Cl), and other important electrolytes lost in sweat following exercise? WORDS: Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc PHOtOS: SHUtteRStOck, GILeS aNDeRSON

B

ASED on years of research into feeding practices of domesticated horses, Kathleen Crandell, PhD, a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research located in Versailles, Kentucky, affirms that salt supplementation is indeed very important, but not always as straightforward as one might think. “Most forages destined for equine consumption have low levels of sodium and chloride. As such, equine nutritionists recommend supplementing all horses’ diets 78

with salt. The type, frequency, and amount will vary depending on the individual horse’s work level and environmental conditions,” advises Crandell. The main focus of this article pertains to the importance of salt in equine diets and ways to provide appropriate amounts either using salt granules or blocks/licks, or electrolytes in the form of water-soluble powders or pastes. In addition, “other” uses of salt in thoroughbreds, including medicinal uses such as salt therapy (salt rooms) and salted aqua trainers, are addressed.

Why horses need salt Unlike animals living in oceans that need to continually excrete excess salt, land mammals like horses have the complete opposite problem: they must obtain and maintain sufficient quantities of Na from their diets to support bodily processes. Working in concert, the adrenal glands (located above the kidneys), liver, lungs, and kidneys all play key roles in conserving water, Na and Cl. Using several hormones and enzyme systems, referred to as the “aldosterone-renin-angiotensin system,” the kidneys receive signals to either excrete or reabsorb Na, Cl, and water in exchange for potassium (K) to maintain appropriate levels of all these electrolytes within the body. Sodium is distributed amongst all almost all organs and fluids. High levels of Na exist in skeletal tissues (about 50% of the body’s total Na), blood, muscle (11%), skin (8.5%), and internal organs (2%). In addition, approximately 12% of the body’s Na is found within ingesta located in the

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SALT Salt blocks are a common way to supplement a horse’s salt intake

blocks that historically held salt blocks frequently become prey to a horse’s oral cavity, slowly licked or chewed to shreds in situations involving Na deprivation. Ultimately, every horse has unique tastes and flavour preferences, and their salt needs can vary dramatically. According to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Nutrient Requirements of Horses, sixth edition, horses consume anywhere from 0 to 62mg of salt/kg bodyweight a day when offered a free-choice salt block. “For an average 500kg horse, the NRC recommends offering 25g of NaCl daily,” notes Crandell. “Horses receiving commercial concentrate feeds will get a portion of that requirement from the feeds, as nearly every concentrate contains some salt.” Classic ways of supplementing salt include: ● Simple NaCl granules, such as table salt or “loose salt,” top dressed on feed (concentrates) or offered free-choice in a mineral feeder; ● Free-choice salt licks/blocks; ● Free-choice mineral licks/blocks (the colored mineral blocks), which in addition to Na and Cl, can include other minerals like iron and iodine (red block) or copper, zinc, and manganese (brown blocks). However, mineral levels in red and brown blocks are usually too low to meet a horse’s total requirement for “other” minerals but normally quite sufficient for salt. Specially formulated electrolyte supplements for horses, available as powders or pastes, can be added to the feed, dissolved in water, or dosed when a paste. The first ingredient of a good electrolyte will be salt (NaCl), so some owners/trainers prefer to either give electrolytes daily in place of salt or supplement only when the horse has been sweating to replace the lost electrolytes.

“Electrolyte pastes are good for when a horse is in need of quick electrolyte replacement,” Crandell advises.

Tailoring salt intake to the task at hand While the NRC recommends approximately 25g of NaCl per horse daily, the exact amount of salt offered depends on the individual horse, its level of athleticism and fitness, and environmental conditions. “Daily salt supplementation is particularly important for horses involved in heavy or prolonged exercise to replace the major electrolytes, Na and Cl, lost in the sweat,” Crandell notes, “Salt supplements can also be used to encourage drinking water for appropriate hydration.” Horses adapted to exercise excrete less Na than untrained horses. In humid environments, however, and with prolonged exercise, more NaCl-laden sweat is produced, necessitating additional supplementation after exercise to replace these losses. For example, horses training in more northern climates suddenly moved to a humid, warmer environment will likely require additional NaCl following exercise. According to the NRC, “Because of limited data on specific requirements for sodium and the influence of activity, adaptation, and environment on animal needs, precise recommendations cannot be made.” They did note, however, that intensely exercising horses in a hot climate likely meet their Na demands when trainers add 0.9% salt to the diet—equivalent to 90 grams per day for a 500kg horse consuming 10kg of feed per day. While this may seem like a lot of salt, consider that endurance horses may consume up to 180 grams of salt in the course of a 160 km race. A more precise method of determining salt requirements described by the NRC involves measuring weight loss as an

gastrointestinal tract. This serves as an effective reservoir for Na, especially in athletic horses. “In times of need, horses absorb sodium from the intestinal contents to replenish those lost in sweat,” Crandell explains. “Sodium is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, meaning that more than 90% of ingested Na is available for the body to use.” Sodium is required for a wide array of body systems to function. Among the most important are the central nervous and muscular systems. Specifically, nerves require Na to stimulate skeletal muscles to contract.

Current salt intake recommendations While some horses don’t seem particularly interested in their licks, other horses actively go out of their way to find salt, licking anything and everything they can get their tongues on to fill some apparent void. Sweat-covered tool handles or wooden ISSUE 57 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM

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estimate of sweat loss. Sweat contains 2.8g NaCl per liter, prompting experts to suggest offering 3.1g of Na for each kilogram of bodyweight lost during exercise to replenish lost NaCl.

What If I don’t supplement? Feral horses clearly don’t randomly happen upon salt blocks mysteriously appearing in their range like elaborate crop circles created by nocturnal aliens. So is Na supplementation really necessary? “It isn’t until the 1800s that books devoted to feeding horses finally make mention of adding salt to horses’ diets other than mixing it with wine and rubbing it on the gums to stimulate a horse to drink. It is possible that caretakers of domesticated horses did not realise the benefit of salt in the diet, or that up until the 1800s authors just did not think salt merited mentioning,” Crandell explains. That said, some authors of texts that Crandell has studied did make reference to feeding horses dirt or letting them get their daily dose of dirt when they are turned out. “I assume that horses not offered supplemental salt seek out salt deposits in soil, which is where it seems that feral horses obtain dietary salt. In the wild, however, ingesting salt from soil deposits would probably not occur on a daily basis,” suggests Crandell. John Stewart made several recommendations for the use of salt in his book, Stable Economy: A Treatise on the Management of Horses (1860) regarding hay, 80

including salted hay, which is hay mingled with salt at the time of stacking. Stewart wrote, “The principle motive for salting hay is to preserve it when the weather requires that it be stacked before it is sufficiently dry, horses are said to prefer it to any other.” He also wrote, “Salt, I think, should not be forced on the horse. It may excite too much thirst. Given apart from the food, he may take all that is good for him.” According to Crandell, by the 1900s, references to salt supplementation were widespread. In The Way of a Man with a Horse (1929). Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Brook advised, “All horses should have rock salt in their mangers, and 1 oz. in their boiled feeds or mashes. Salt promotes the digestion and aids in building up tissue.” Horace Hayes in Stable Management and Exercise (1900) wrote, “The bad reputation which wheat has in England as a producer of colic and laminitis, is chiefly due to ignorance of the proper way to prepare it

In times of need, horses absorb sodium from the intestinal contents to replenish those lost in sweat

Kathleen Crandell

for a horse to eat. A couple of pounds of boiled wheat, in which a little salt has been mixed, form an agreeable repast for a horse at night when soft food is required.” Hayes’ advice on making a proper bran mash was to add “…about 3 lbs. of bran with an ounce of salt, and pour in as much boiling water as the bran will take up.” To help horses drink, Indian author Rangin wrote, “After returning from furlough and before showing a horse at darbãr a sawar gives the following: dry ginger, black mustard seed, salt, ajwãin or ajova seeds. One ounce of each is powdered, mixed in ãtã and given at bed-time. The horse will drink deeply in the morning.”

A dab too much, a drop too little? Wondering when to say “Whoa, whoa!” like a parent watching their child pour milk on their morning cereal? Generally speaking, offering a bit too much salt isn’t problematic. “Being water soluble, excess salt generally gets excreted by the body, largely without harm or foul as long as there is water to drink. In terms of palatability, horses generally don’t tolerate NaCl in a very high concentration in their feed, usually no more than 1.5% before they start refusing it. That would be equivalent to 15g of salt in every kilogram of feed,” shares Crandell. “That is why feed manufacturers usually recommend offering salt free-choice alongside a concentrate.” That said, reports exist describing either the development or exacerbation of gastric

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Equine Halo Therapy

Acid Aid Specifically formulated to promote stomach health. 1.5kg lasts 30 days

Equine Halo Therapy is the inhalation of dry salt aerosol/mini microns which pass through the respiratory system cleansing and acting as preventative measure to guard against the accumulation of harmful mucus. The therapy also treats skin conditions and lethargy. Developed with extensive research, assistance and guidance from the Irish Equine Centre and Dublin City University – our bespoke designed salt chambers create a controlled climate where your horse can relax, enjoy and absorb the benefits of our salt therapy.

To learn more about the benefits of this safe, non-invasive therapy, please contact us below: Austin O’Callaghan – CEO Tel: 0035387 9222 162 | Email: aocallaghan@ccg.ie

Tom Taaffe – Director of Sales Tel: 0035386 2568 807 | Email: ttaaffe@ccg.ie

Donna Crampsie – Head of Group Development

C

O

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HALO THER AP

P

E IN QU

Y

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Tel: 0035387 741 7371 | Email: dcrampsie@ccg.ie

PL

ET E CA R E G R

OU

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Leading the Way T: +44 (0)28 3084 8844 E: info@horsefirst.net

www.horsefirst.net

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ulcers with repeated administration of electrolyte solutions. “Because gastric ulcers pose health and performance problems for athletic horses, including thoroughbred racehorses, appropriate supplementation and attention to gastric protection should be embraced,” advises Crandell. “Similarly, endurance horses are particularly at risk with the high intakes of electrolytes they receive, especially during a competition.” Researchers from Germany recently reported that in addition to gastric ulceration, high levels of NaCl (100 g) to moderately exercising horses daily for two weeks results in a mild metabolic acidosis. This means that the pH (acidity) of the blood decreases, becoming more acidic, which negatively impacts the excretion of other minerals and electrolytes, including calcium. The full text of this article is available for free at https://www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5207637/. Rarely, psychogenic salt consumption occurs. In such cases, horses voluntarily ingest excessive Na and, not surprisingly, drink and urinate more frequently. If you are concerned your horse is drinking and urinating more than normal (e.g., compared to previous levels or herd mates), it is important to consult with your veterinarian. They will help rule out other causes of excessive thirst and urination, including diabetes (mellitus or insipidus), Cushing’s disease, and Addison’s disease. “Classic signs of sodium deficiency

SALT

Being water soluble, excess salt generally gets excreted by the body, largely without harm or foul as long as there is water to drink

Kathleen Crandell

include dehydration, incoordination of skeletal muscles, including chewing abnormalities, and an unsteady gait,” shares Crandell. In addition, the concomitant decrease in feed and water intake also causes weight loss.

Other Uses for the Salts in Horses Wounds/Abscesses Salt is widely touted as having natural antiinflammatory and antibacterial properties that help fight infection. For example, salt dissolved in water can be packed into or placed on wounds and abscesses to help fight infection. The Merck Veterinary Manual describes using Epsom salt to help manage sole punctures or abscesses. In this case, however, it’s important to note that Epsom

salt isn’t actually NaCl or any type of salt but rather a mineral compound containing magnesium sulfate. Recent research in human medicine tends to support the use of salt for various types of wounds, especially considering the surge in human patients preferring to use natural and alternative therapies first rather than jumping directly to pharmaceutical drugs (an approach increasingly mirrored throughout the equine industry). For example, a 2017 study published in the journal Wounds found that topic administration of a sea salt-based spray to human patients with diabetic foot ulcers was beneficial.

Medications Several pharmaceutical drugs used in horses come as salts, which help stabilise the medication. Ceftiofur sodium (Naxcel) and ceftiofur crystalline free acid (Excede) can be used in horses. Both medications include the same basic drug used to treat the same infections but are dosed much differently because of their unique preparations (salt versus crystalline free acid). Excede, for example, treats respiratory tract infections in just two doses, whereas Naxcel is licenced for the same respiratory diseases but is administered daily for up to consecutive 10 days. Another interesting example of how different formulations impact dosing involves glucosamine, commonly found in various joint supplements. Some

Salt rooms are used as non-invasive methods to treat respiratory and skin conditions 82

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Breathe Easy

WHY USE THE FOUNDERS OF EQUINE SALT THERAPY?

Equine Salt Therapy

As the originators of Equine salt rooms, we aim to improve and maintain performance, recovery and wellbeing of equine athletes via our patented dry salt therapy delivery system that is second to none.

The unique dual treatment offers benefits to skin conditions and respiratory complaints of which horses are often susceptible. Treating Mucus, I.A.D, Coughs, Travel Sickness and a variety of Skin complaints. Used in the dry climates of the UAE to the freezing temperatures of Ireland and the UK.

The original, patented system distributes fine dry salt particles through the salt room via the latest in halo generator technology to create a perfect microclimate for optimal absorption.

Drug Free Therapy. The use of Equine Salt Therapy reduces the reliance on antibiotics and other often harmful medications by providing a natural solution to day to day lung and skin issues. Our salt rooms provide a safe and calm environment reducing stress on the horse.

Over 8,000 safe/effective equine treatments 6 years Research & Development with the worlds finest vets Patents in UAE, South Africa, USA, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand & Australia.

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• Thoroughbred Horse • Endurance Horse • Camel For more information including video footage of horses using the salt room then please visit our website at www.equinesalttherapy.com CONTACT DETAILS: Equine Salt Therapy P. +61 414 262 505 E. info@equinesalttherapy.com

Upcoming Races May & June 2017 RACE

DISTANCE

PRIZE FUND

CLASS

AGE

ENTRY DEADLINE

The Temple Stakes (Group 2)

5f

£100000

1

3+

09/05/17

Saturday 27 May 2017 The Silver Bowl Open Handicap Stakes

1m

£60000

2

3

22/05/17

The GPW Recruitment Handicap Stakes (81-100)

2m 45y

£20000

2

4+

22/05/17

The 188Bet Sandy Lane Stakes (Group 2)

6f

£90000

1

3

22/05/17

The EBF Stallions Cecil Frail Stakes (Listed Race)

6f

£47000

1

3+

22/05/17

5f

£37000

1

3+

03/06/17

7f

£63000

1

4+

05/06/17

£63000

1

4+

05/06/17

Friday 9 June 2017 The Apollobet Cash Back If 2nd Achilles Stakes (Listed Race)

Saturday 10 June 2017 The Timeform Jury John Of Gaunt Stakes (Group 3)

The 188Bet.co.uk Stakes 1m 3f 200y (Registered as The Pinnacle Stakes) (F. & M., Group 3)

Travel allowances will be paid to overseas runners, please contact Kirkland Tellwright (Clerk of Course) on +44 7748 181595, for further details.

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VETERINARY supplements contain glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl) and others contain glucosamine sulfate. Both products dissolve in fluid in the gastrointestinal tract to generate “glucosamine free base” (GFB) that is available for absorption. However, the HCl form produces more GFB than the sulfate form. This means that if two supplements contain 1000mg of glucosamine but one has 1000mg of glucosamine HCl and the other has 1000mg glucosamine sulfate, 830g of GFB from the HCl product is available for absorption, whereas only 600g of GFB is available for absorption from the sulfate product. This doesn’t mean that a product containing the sulfate form is inferior; it simply shows that not all salts are equal.

Salt therapy (Salt Rooms) Salt rooms are exactly what they sound like: rooms or modified stalls/boxes that have salt either pumped into the air or caked onto the walls and floors. In either design, aerosolised salt directly contacts the horse’s skin while simultaneously being inhaled. This therapy mimics salt caves that were once a haven for people with various respiratory afflictions, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), equivalent to heaves in horses. Using salt therapy as a natural, noninvasive method of managing skin and respiratory issues is not new, but interest in, and availability of, salt therapy has only recently surged in the equine industry. Now, several therapy facilities offer services around the world, and some horse-rich regions even have mobile therapy units relatively readily available. According to companies offering salt therapy, the benefits for thoroughbreds are: ● Suffering from respiratory conditions, including lower airway disease (e.g., inflammatory airway disease that is common in young, racing thoroughbreds); ● With skin conditions, such as rashes, boils, dermatitis, mud fever, and ringworm; ● By facilitating recovery following training or racing (presumably by replacing lost

Salt rooms are exactly what they sound like: rooms or modified stalls/boxes that have salt either pumped into the air or caked onto the walls and floors

He also pointed out, however, that there are no evidence-based findings to create guidelines for patients and clinicians about treatments such as salt therapy, and he questioned how well maintained the rooms are. The concern was that bacteria could grow in unmaintained rooms, potentially exacerbating skin and respiratory conditions. In summary, the American Lung Association’s final verdict was that salt therapy should be discussed with a medical professional—in our case, a veterinarian.

electrolytes during exercise); and, ● Through performance-enhancing mechanisms when used prior to competing. Like many alternative and complementary therapies used in horses, the million dollar questions are: does this work and if so, how? To date, no studies on salt therapy in horses have been published. Even in the human literature, very few controlled studies exist. Recently, a team of scientists reviewed the available literature on salt therapy for patients with COPD (one of the most common indications of salt therapy). In their study, published in the February 2014 edition of the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease the authors wrote, “From this review, recommendations for inclusion of salt therapy as a therapy for COPD cannot be made at this point and there is a need for high quality studies to determine the effectiveness of this therapy.” In response to public-generated interest, Dr Norman Edelman, the senior scientific advisor for the American Lung Association, contributed to a statement on the use of salt therapy. Based on his musings, there does seem to be scientific validity to the therapy. Edelman wrote, “When fine salt particles are inhaled, they will fall on the airway linings and draw water into the airway, thinning the mucous…. Also, these environments are allergen-free and thus good for people with allergies affecting their lungs.”

Aqua trainers

Much like salt rooms that create an ocean beachfront feel, aqua trainers can produce a similar environment. In addition to the standard benefits of a water treadmill (e.g., conditioning, rehabilitation, etc.), the salt can aerosolise, potentially benefitting the respiratory tract and skin.

Concluding remarks: use salt with a grain of salt Regardless of whether you are seeking salt for daily supplementation, electrolyte replacement, wound management, respiratory health, or other reasons, there clearly remains a great deal to learn. As always, consult with your veterinarian prior to any change in diet or supplement strategy, and choose products manufactured by reputable companies. Quality supplements are more likely to contain the type and amount of ingredient listed on the label and be free from contaminations, including illegal substances that could hypothetically generate a positive drug test (believe me, it’s happened!). Many respiratory and skin conditions require veterinary intervention; therefore, salt therapy and aqua trainers should only be explored after your horse has been examined by a qualified individual. ue affecting their interaction with the horse, and these areas warrant further detailed investigation to ensure that any future changes to racing regulations remain evidence based. ■

Our Facilities: • 37 acres of well-maintained & securely fenced grazing, • Stabling for 28 horses,

Gow Equine is situated in the tranquil Suffolk countryside in striking distance of Newmarket, the home of British Horse Racing. We are passionate about delivering first class care to the individual horse & offer a series of tailored services to the Thoroughbred Training, Racing and Breeding Industry. Please contact Jamie Peel: +44 (0)7703 503100 84

Our Services: • Broodmare Boarding • Foaling

• Galvanised turnout pens for horses requiring restricted turnout,

• Sales Preparation

• 5 bay enclosed horse walker.

• Breaking

• All weather arena.

• Rest and Rehabilitation

Woodhall Stables, Balsham, Cambridgeshire, CB21 4DU

www.gowequine.com

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THIS COULD BE YOU!

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Continuing education for New York trainers 88

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Everyone’s worst anxiety dream – being back in school – has become reality for New York’s thoroughbred trainers. A rule approved by the New York State Gaming Commission in mid-December mandates that all thoroughbred trainers and assistant trainers have continuing education of at least four hours every year. WORDS: BILL HELLER PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, HORSEPHOTOS, RTIP

Publisher’s note: We are reprinting this article from our most recent issue of North American Trainer to highlight what is going on in New York, which as home to Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course is one of the most highprofile racing jurisdictions in the US, and to put this question to our readers: Would continuing education be beneficial for European trainers?

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VERYONE’S worst anxiety dream – being back in school – has become reality for New York’s thoroughbred trainers. A rule approved by the New York State Gaming Commission in mid-December mandates that all thoroughbred trainers and assistant trainers have continuing education of at least four hours every year. Trainers who don’t live in New York and start fewer than 12 horses at New York racetracks can seek permission from the stewards to be exempt from the continuing education program. The clock is ticking for all the other New York trainers. But maybe that’s a good thing. “For God’s sake, massage therapists in New York require continuing education,” Rob Williams, the executive director of the gaming commission, said. “Here in racing, we have individuals who are at the peak of the game in the United States. We should have trainers with the best practices, ones that are up to date with scientific findings.” Dr Scott Palmer, the New York State equine medical director and an adjunct professor at

the prestigious Cornell University, put it this way: “The goal of this program is to bring new information and research to trainers who otherwise would not be aware of it. The goal is to make sure that we do our part raising horsemen’s awareness of safety and research.” Of course, horsemen have an entrenched history of resisting change, so the news of the rule didn’t have trainers dancing in the streets. “Whenever you are introducing a new concept in horseracing, there’s always going to be push back,” Palmer said. “This is a trainer benefit. It’s not punitive. It’s purely professional development. Being a 40-year vet, I’ve had to do it my entire career. It’s helped me grow, personally and professionally.” The idea of continuing education for trainers traces back to October, 2006, when the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Jockey Club (TJC) held a two-day “Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit,” which was hosted by the Keeneland Association. “The idea was to develop enhanced programming to raise the bar for licensees, getting a unified trainer’s test first, then getting continued education,” said Cathy O’Meara, the industry information coordinator of TJC. “Some people might think, ‘They’re telling us how to train,’ but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about getting current information out there that may affect them to make better decisions to take care of the equine athlete.” But even with the backing of TJC and

the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), the idea didn’t spread like wildfire. In the ensuing 10 years, only Indiana and Colorado adopted a rule mandating continuing education for trainers that is still on the books. South Dakota approved the rule, then abandoned it when no other states approved it. Washington has a voluntary program. As a major racing jurisdiction, adding New York was a breakthrough for broad acceptance of continuing education. “It is what it is,” trainer Rick Violette, the president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, said. “They were hell-bent on getting this done, and we’ve got to do the best we can with it.” Palmer said, “We wanted to get this rolling. We’d been talking about it for years.” To smooth the transition all New York trainers have to make this year, Palmer held a session with 30 horsemen and horsewomen at Aqueduct Racetrack in midDecember about equine safety, focusing on the results of necropsy the last three years and the origin of injuries. “Dr Palmer did a great job,” Violette said. “It was pretty well attended. We’ll do the best we can to make this stuff easily accessible.” Violette and other horsemen pointed out that harness trainers in New York don’t have the same requirement for continuing education. That will change. “We anticipate rolling it out for harness trainers,” Williams said. Many New York thoroughbred trainers welcome continuing education. ”In the environment we’re in, there are so many subjects: insurance, workman’s comp, immigration, that will be welcome for us,” Linda Rice, a leading New York trainer, said. “I hope it’s something quite useful. Frankly, I think there are various segments in the industry that could benefit from continuing education.” Trainer Rick Schosberg sees a lot of upside as well. “It can help you make more informed decisions regarding your racehorses,” he said. “I’m all for it. If you think you know everything, you’re probably not the smartest guy in the room. Why not absorb any information you can? They’re not ramming it down our throats. If you were a CPA (certified public accountant), you wouldn’t have any business if you didn’t keep updated. “There’s always trepidation. Our industry

Dr. Palmer did a great job. It was pretty well attended. We’ll do the best we can to make this stuff easily accessible

Rick Violette 90

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TRAINER EDUCATION

The goal is to make sure that we do our part raising horsemen’s awareness of safety and research

Dr. Scott Palmer

is resistant to change. It doesn’t always embrace change. I’ve always said, ‘There’s a fence around Belmont Park. It doesn’t mean we’re cut off from the rest of the world.’ Just look at what they’re doing at the Ruffian Medical Center 100 feet from my barn: CT scans, MRIs, scintigraphy. There’s a whole lot of information out there that’s good for trainers.” Is there enough for hundreds of trainers? “There are five modules offered for free on The Jockey Club website,” O’Meara said. “They take 30 minutes to an hour. At the end of it, there’s a little note you can check to be credited for the course by the gaming commission. At the end of 2017, there will

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be eight modules. Then 12. The content is growing.” But locating them isn’t easy. “There are five outlets on The Jockey Club website, but prepare to spend half an hour trying to find it,” Violette said. He’s got a point. If you Google The Jockey Club, on the homepage, there are items under “Aftercare” about the Thoroughbred Incentive Program and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and there are “News Releases” and “World Rankings” for horses and jockeys. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage, and there are many listings under “Resources,” “Advocacy/ Promotion,” and “About Us.” There is also “Contact Us” and “Follow Us” on Facebook and Twitter, but not a word about continuing education for trainers. However, if you know where to look, you can click on “Safety Initiatives” under “Advocacy/Promotion” and get a link to the Welfare and Safety Racehorse Summit. Click on that and you can then click on advanced horsemanship programs and find the courses. Maybe trainers need to hire a detective or a tour guide. According to the New York State Gaming Commission, the five Jockey Club modules and the Cornell University and ARCI’s continuing education programs have already been approved by the gaming commission. Public presentations by Palmer, such as the one conducted at Aqueduct last December, are counted toward completing the continuing education requirement. But other continuing education programs must be approved by Palmer. A complete list of all courses and complete information about them would obviously be helpful and probably should have been in place and readily available to trainers before the rule was adopted. Schosberg said, “We have to work on the implementation. I think the rollout was a little abrupt. Anything new takes a little time.” Violette added additional concerns of policing and monitoring. Regardless, the rule went into effect

Some people might think, ‘They’re telling us how to train,’ but that’s not what it’s about

Cathy O’Meara

January 1st, and not complying with it can be costly for trainers. “Just like in any profession, like with vets, I’m required to keep my records,” Palmer said. “There will have to be some audit process later. Falsifying records could affect their licences.” Palmer, though, is enthusiastic that mandated continuing education for trainers in New York will work and lay the groundwork for other racing jurisdictions to follow. “I’m excited about this,” Palmer said. “I think they need this information and want to get this information. They go to work every morning at four. It’s important for them to know where they can go to get this information. I think it’s going to help.” n

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FLAT RACING IN BELGIUM From early January until late December, two Belgian Racing associations organise “Premium Races”, supported by France Galop and the French PMU. You can even bet on these races from the UK! During these “Premium” days, at least six races are planned and the guaranteed prize money for the winner varies from 5000€ in the feature race to 2000€ for the allowance races and claimers. MONS – GHLIN: The “Hippodrome de Wallonie” holds race meetings throughout Oostende’s off-season on their left-handed All-Weather track. The Open de Mons, a National Listed race, is run in autumn over 1500m and is the feature race of the meeting. Mons is situated approximately 180km from Calais. OOSTENDE: This coastal right-handed turf track has nine meetings in 2017, starting on 3rd July and ending on 28th August. Oostende is only 100km from Calais and, through the Channel Tunnel, takes less than two hours from Folkestone. The “Prince Rose”, a National Listed race, named after probably the best horse ever trained and owned in Belgium, is run over 2100m and is the highlight of the meeting. Race conditions are published on www.jockey-club.be/Meetings.htm and information can always be requested at dir@jockey-club.be Note that horses trained outside Belgium do not have to qualify for handicaps when they already have a handicap rating in the UK.

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INDUSTRY

STaff peNSIoNS

Safeguarding the future As government resources become increasingly stretched throughout Europe, the guarantee of a reasonable state pension decreases. Private individuals have been encouraged to take out private pension plans to safeguard their standard of living in retirement, and now many countries are taking this a step further by introducing mandatory workplace pension schemes. Already enforced in Britain, it is likely to be adopted by all European countries within the next few years, and employers in every sector, including the racing industry, need to be aware of their responsibilities to their employees and the likely cost added to their business. WORDS: LISSA OLIVER PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

Britain

In Britain, most employers already offer access to a pension scheme at work for their employees and those who don’t yet offer workplace pensions will have to do so by april of this year. Starting with the largest organisations, employers had to automatically enrol their eligible employees into a workplace pension, and those remaining will be informed of the deadline via their employer Tax Reference Code. a workplace pension scheme is a way for employees to save for retirement through contributions deducted direct from wages. The employer may also make contributions to the employee’s pension through the scheme. Where employees are eligible for automatic enrolment, the employer has to make contributions into the scheme. There are two types of workplace pension schemes: occupational pensions and group personal or stakeholder pensions. Group personal pensions and stakeholder pensions work in a similar way to those one can arrange oneself. The employer chooses the pension provider, but the employee will have an individual contract with the provider. occupational pension schemes, however, are set up by employers to provide pensions for their employees. These can be either final salary schemes or money purchase schemes.

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A workplace pension scheme is a way for employees to save for retirement through contributions deducted direct from wages

a final salary scheme is linked to salary and increases as pay rises. The pension is based on pay at retirement and the number of years in the scheme. This type of pension entitlement does not depend on the performance of the stock market or other investments. The employee pays a set percentage of their wages towards the pension fund and the employer pays the rest. final salary schemes are becoming less common and most employers no longer offer them. Money purchase schemes see the money paid into the scheme invested with the aim

of providing money on retirement. The pension is based on the amount of money paid in and on how the investments have performed. The employee pays a percentage of wages into the scheme and the employer may also pay a regular amount in, but this can be optional until automatic enrolment begins. When an employer becomes entered into the automatic enrolment pension scheme, which is currently being rolled out based upon employers’ Tax Reference codes, the employer’s contribution is mandatory. Between october 2012 and april 2017, all eligible staff must be enrolled into a workplace pension. eligible staff are aged 22 or over not already in a workplace pension and under state pension age, and who earn more than £10,000 a year. employees who

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peNSIoNS

In general, large employers in Ireland have workplace pension schemes, but many smaller employers do not and there is no legal obligation to provide them

don’t want to enrol in a pension scheme can choose to opt out. If you already have a workplace pension scheme for your employees, you must ask the provider if it meets the automatic enrolment rules. You must pay at least 1% of your employee’s ‘qualifying earnings’ into your workplace pension. This will rise to 3% in 2019 if approved by parliament.

You can work out qualifying earnings as either the amount an employee earns before tax between £5,824 and £43,000 a year, or their entire salary or wages before tax. You must deduct contributions from your staff’s pay each month. You’ll need to pay these into your staff pension scheme by the 22nd day, or 19th if you pay by cheque, of the next month. You may be fined by The pensions Regulator if you pay late or don’t pay the minimum contribution for each member of staff.

Ireland

In general, large employers in Ireland have workplace pension schemes, but many smaller employers do not and there is no legal obligation to provide them for employees. However, more and more employers are putting schemes in place and there is positive government encouragement to do so. Workplace (or occupantional) pensions are organised by employers to provide pensions to one or more employees on retirement or to surviving dependants on the death of an employee. These may be contributory or non-contributory, funded or unfunded, defined benefit or defined contribution. In contributory schemes, both the employer and employee pay contributions.

In non-contributory schemes, the employee does not contribute, but the employer does. funded schemes are the most common of workplace schemes, and contributions are put into a designated fund.

France

In france, the basic pension is topped up by compulsory supplementary pensions. The mandatory occupational pension is a defined contribution scheme that is based mainly on redistribution, but also relies to a lesser extent on investment. The aim of the scheme is to supplement the state pension and increase income in retirement by 20%30%. There are several schemes, depending on company and role, but generally onethird of the contribution is paid by the employee and the remaining two-thirds by the employer. The following table shows the basic level of the main contributions that are payable by both employer and employee: These rates are based on a percentage of salary and are as a general guide only, due to the complex nature of the french system. Rates will vary according to the industry, size of the company, the type and status of the job, and the level of the remuneration. There are also many exemptions and reductions available to french employers as a result of positive government measures to stimulate employment and regenerate unemployment black spots. The employer rates are lower on wages close to the minimum wage and for part-time employees. french employees may also be offered a share option or savings scheme, which is

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INDUSTRY exempt from social security contributions. The employer must pay a 2% tax on sums distributed under these schemes.

Germany

The government-run public Retirement Insurance System is mandatory for employees, based on annual wage. premiums are deducted by the employer, with the employee paying half and the employer half. The premium is currently 18.7% of the gross monthly wage. Government tax breaks and subsidies encourage companies and employees to also invest in private occupational pension schemes. Though company schemes are not compulsory, three-fifths of the working population are enrolled in occupational pension schemes. Due to mandatory regulations entitling employees to demand employee-funded occupational pension schemes, it is nearly impossible for any employer in Germany to avoid. In order to make tax and social security subsidies available for employees, an employer must accept a certain level of liability for pension payments, even if the pension scheme is employee-funded. The three types of pension schemes are the payment promise (Leistungszusage), where the employer promises to pay the employee a pension amounting to a specific sum after his or her retirement; the Contribution-oriented payment promise (Beitragsorientierte Leistungszusage), where the employer promises to grant a pension based on specific contributions; and the Contribution promise

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CONTRIBUTIONS PAYABLE BY EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE IN FRANCE Charge Employer Employee Family Benefits 3.45% 0% Health/Sickness 12.84% 0.75% Social Charges (CSG/CRDS etc) 0% 8.0% Accident at Work 3% 0% Unemployment Benefit 6.40% 2.40% Main Pension 9.90% 6.75% Complementary Pension 16.45% 11% Total 50% 30% with Minimum payment (Beitragszusage mit Mindestleistung), where the employer promises to make certain contributions to an insurance-based pension scheme while at the same time promises that at least the sum of the promised contributions will be available for an old-age pension at the time of the insured event.

Though company schemes are not compulsory, three-fifths of the working population are enrolled in occupational pension schemes

employers may choose a direct pension promise (Direktzusage), where the employer is obliged to pay a certain amount to the retiring employee, or a support fund (Unterstützungskasse), where a pension promise is arranged through a support fund. Support fund schemes are usually reinsured so that the employer’s contributions match the necessary contributions of the fund to the reinsurance. another option is direct insurance (Direktversicherung), where the employer takes out an insurance policy on the life of the employee, in order to fulfil the obligations arising from the pension promise. The insurance will pay the resulting pension directly to the employee, so that the employer has only a secondary liability.

Sweden

Mandatory occupational pension schemes are in place for employees working in industries covered by nationwide collective bargaining agreements. employers who are not part of collective agreements may offer plans on a voluntary basis. Voluntary individual pension savings complement the state pension. There are three methods available to Swedish employers to fund pension benefits: pension funds, pension insurances, and book reserves. Risk benefits are generally fully insured, even if the employer uses a pension fund or book reserves for financing the pension plan. pension insurance is the most common form for financing pensions in smaller companies. n

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NEWS

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

Double promotion for the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot

The Queen’s Vase, previously a Listed Race, has been promoted to Group 2, giving it a double promotion to the second tier of global racing. Following a near two-year investigative project across Europe into how to create an enhanced programme for stayers, it has been agreed by the racing authorities in Europe (including our own British Horseracing Authority – BHA) that a marker needs to be put down in the shape of a major long distance race for threeyear-olds at the continent’s flagship race meeting. This mirrors a similar programme instigated in 2015, which saw a new Group 1 race for three-year-old sprinters created at Royal Ascot. The result of that innovation was an immediate increase in the profile and quality of sprinting in Europe. 98

The distance of the Queen’s Vase has actually been reduced to a mile-and-threequarters from two miles to provide a viable alternative to, or opportunity after, the Derby at Epsom. This creates an opportunity for potentially top class horses needing a greater test than a mile-and-a-half but a slightly less extreme stamina test than was previously the case. Following consultation carried out by the BHA, many horsemen and industry stakeholders indicated that they felt two miles in mid-June was too far for three-yearolds and that the new trip would provide a better graduation towards races like the Goodwood Cup (two miles) in early August, a race that itself has been promoted from Group 2 to Group 1. Prize money for the Queen’s Vase

increases to £150,000 from £90,000. The Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, run over a mile-and-a-half for three-year-olds, also goes up this year from £200,000 to £225,000. This brings prize money at Royal Ascot up to a record £6,665,000 and follows an increase of £1,000,000 across the programme last year. Royal Ascot’s 30 race programme consists of 19 Group Races (eight of which are Group 1); four Listed races (one of which is a Listed Handicap), six handicaps and the much loved Queen Alexandra Stakes, a two-andthree-quarter mile Conditions race, which closes the programme. The Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes, named as such to mark 300 years of racing at Ascot in 2011, reverts now to its historical title; The Hampton Court Stakes.

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NEWS

Come and visit Norway! Norwegian racing would like to welcome horses, owners and trainers from all over Europe to their biggest raceday of the season, Derby Day on August 27th 2017 at Øvrevoll, the only racetrack in Norway, situated just 15 minutes west of Oslo City Center. Each year this meeting attracts a big crowd and it is the flagship of Norwegian racing. The sport might not be as big in Scandinavia as in other European countries but the horses trained here have won races and respect across Europe, as well as Dubai. They should not be underestimated, especially on their hometracks, but we welcome competition! The Marit Sveaas Minnelop has been run on this day since 1991, it got its Group 3 status in 2001. The distance of 1800 metres (1m1f) on Øvrevoll is challenging, and horses with staying qualities usually win the race. The track has two home bends, and this race runs through the outside bend, giving the race a home straight of approx. 800 metres (4f). Total value is 1.300.000 NOK (143.014), with 800.000 NOK to the winner. This year, The Polar Cup (Gr. 3) will be run on Derby Day for the first time. The race over the distance of 1370 metres (6f185y) actually starts at the same place as Marit Sveaas Minnelop, but runs through the inside bend.

Total prize money is 600.000 NOK (66.007), with 300.000 NOK to the winner. Also run on the day is the Erik O. Steen Memorial for fillies and mares over 2400 metres (1m4f). This race used to be a Listed race until 2012, and awards 200.000 NOK to the winner. All entries for the three racesclose on June 26th 2017; travel allowances will be subject to agreements. Please see the Pattern book or contact us for further information. We are also included by Horse Racing Abroad who are organising a trip to our Derby Day this year.

Merial Racedays 2017

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NEWS

QIPCO British Champions Day

M

Almanzor wins the Gr.1 QIPCO Champion Stakes from Arc winner Found

Almanzor is greeted by the Champions Day crowd after his victory

QIPCO British Champions Day is the breathtaking finale to the British Flat racing season. Ascot Racecourse is set alight on the nation’s richest ever raceday, as champions are crowned Kings and Queens of the turf. Since its inauguration in 2011, QIPCO British Champions Day has firmly established itself as one of the world’s highest quality fixtures in the racing calendar. Last year it was the only day in Europe to feature multiple races from the top ten highest-rated races in the world. As a result, the event attracts not only one of the biggest crowds seen at any racecourse in Britain, but also the country’s most esteemed guests, such as Her Majesty The Queen, who has attended every year thus far. Four Group 1 contests and a Group 2, all run over different distances, ensure that the quality of the racing and the accompanying atmosphere are nothing short of exceptional. This year’s renewal of QIPCO British Champions Day will offer a record-breaking purse of £4.3million, guaranteeing another raceday fit for the world stage. The feature race of the day, the £1.3million G1 Champion Stakes, is the highest rated race in Britain and consistently attracts topclass thoroughbreds, with victory in 2016 going to the 129-rated Almanzor. The roll of honour for this race features some of the greats, including Frankel and his brother, Noble Mission. The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is Europe’s richest mile race, and victory last year added the final flourish to Minding’s spectacular season. The QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes over six furlongs and the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes over a mile and a half complete the Group 1s on the day. For more information about QIPCO British Champions Day, please visit britishchampionsday.com or contact joldring@britishchampionsseries.com.

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Equimax and Eraquell provide proven and trusted product efficacy, offering flexible dosing options. Virbac offers you unrivalled help and support, providing information to help you plan a more targeted, strategic worming programme through our 3D Worming approach. Many factors contribute to the effectiveness of a worming regime including timing, product selection and rotation. While spectrum of activity and safety are the key drivers behind the choice of product, its formulation is also important. A 2009 study* showed that anthelmintics delivered in tablet form actually induced less stress compared to those delivered in a paste formulation. Uniquely, Virbac offers flexible dosing options with Equimax and Eraquell ranges available both in syringe and tablet form. Yard Packs (48 syringes) are ideal for larger yards and studs with each syringe easily accessible without the additional outer blister to reduce waste. Both Equimax and Eraquell syringes treat up 700kg bodyweight. TABS are presented in individual tubes of eight tablets. With a dose rate of one tablet per 100kg, each tube will treat 800kg – the largest dose wormer

Equimax and Eraquell – flexible worming from Virbac and thus help minimise the onset of resistance. TABS are also helpful for owners with small ponies as unused tablets may be kept for up to a year in cool conditions away from direct sunlight. Both Equimax and Eraquell are suitable for mares in foal throughout gestation, lactating mares and breeding stallions. Equimax can be used in foals from two weeks of age and Eraquell in foals from six weeks of age. currently on the market. This makes it easy for horse owners to calculate how many tablets are required for their horse or pony. The apple-flavoured tablets can be added to a small feed, making them ideal for horses that are syringe or head shy and helping to reduce the risk of spit out. Avoiding spit out is one factor that we have control over to ensure correct dosing

To find out more about our product range visit www.virbac.co.uk/home/products/ equine.html To find out more about 3D Worming visit www.3dworming.co.uk/ Or alternatively contact Virbac enquiries on 01359 243243 or contact your Virbac Territory Manager ISSUE 57 TRAINERMAGAZINE.COM 103

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PRODUCT FOCUS

Super Sound Cu

enhances the performance of the horse Thanks to Copper (Cu) Shield Technology™, our most advanced race plate, Super Sound Cu® offers even more protection to the weight-bearing edge of the hoof and the white line area, for stronger and healthier hooves. The Super Sound Cu® really has it all! A combination of unique patented Kerckhaert features guarantees: ● Greater comfort ● More support ● More pitch ● Increased protection ● Natural, unimpeded hoof expansion ● Drastic reduction of bruising & soreness ● The only aluminium race plate made with Cu Shield Technology™

Cu Shield Technology™ The same technology that was first developed for Liberty Cu horseshoe nails is now also used on the Super Sound Cu ® race plates. Copper (Cu) Shield Technology™ is unique to Kerckhaert. Hoof wall, white line and sole are stronger and healthier when Liberty Cu horseshoe nails are used on a daily basis. In 2016, two independent scientific studies on Liberty Cu horseshoe nails have confirmed these benefits.

More info at www.stromsholm.co.uk

STERI-7 XTRA Antibacterial Antiseptic Shampoo Developed specifically for animal use, STERI-7 XTRA Antibacterial Antiseptic Shampoo is a multipurpose, medicated cleanser that lathers easily, gently cleansing the skin and hair, removing debris and helping to manage contamination. STERI-7 XTRA Antibacterial Antiseptic Shampoo is effective against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, yeast, fungi and spores. Use regularly to ensure a fresh, healthy, clean coat. STERI-7 XTRA Antibacterial Antiseptic Shampoo is an easy to rinse, soothing shampoo that is gentle on the skin. A highly effective shampoo, that is 100% organic, non-perfumed, detergent and soap-free, effective in either hard or soft water, leaves no grease and is economical in use.

STERI-7 products contain highly potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial ingredients. PH-balanced and Hypoallergenic formulas will not burn or affect open wounds, helpful in the forestalling and avoidance of bacterial and fungal skin infections. ● Works rapidly against many common micro-organisms in as little as 20 secs ● Kills up to 99.9999% of common bacteria that can cause infection, contamination or illness ● Effective up to 3hrs ● Dye and fragrance-free formulation ● Foam formulation allows quicker and more effective application ● Non-irritant and non-corrosive ● 100% Organic ● Fully European compliant

Contact - Farm & Stable Supplies LLP Tel: +44(0)1730 815800 | +44(0)7825 313426 | Email: sales@farmstable.com Omega House, Hazelton Interchange, Lakesmere Road, Horndean, PO8 9JU

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65% Connolly’s Red Mills of gRade 1 CheltenhaM festival winneRs weRe fed on

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alTIOR

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SIZING JOHN WinnEr oF ThE TiMiCo ChELTEnhAM GoLd CuP ChAsE (GrAdE 1) Mrs John Harrington 2017 cHelTeNHaM feSTIval wINNeRS feD ON cONNOlly’S ReD MIllS Race

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Stan James Champion Hurdle (Grade 1)

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Advert by kind permission of trainers. Photos: The Racing Post

Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny, R95 EKH4 T: 059 977 5800 E: info@redmills.ie

FEEd Your dEsirE To Win EURO TRAINER TRAINER ISSUE 57 OBC.indd 1

Woodland Granaries, Narrow Lane, Wymeswold, Loughborough, LE12 6SD T: +44 (0)1386 552 066 E: info@redmills.co.uk

www.redmills.com 31/03/2017 09:50

European Trainer, issue 57 - April to June 2017  
European Trainer, issue 57 - April to June 2017