Lameness is the most common reason for the vetting out of horses on endurance rides around the world, a study has revealed.
Researchers A Nagy, JK Murray and SJ Dyson compared the frequency of occurrence of elimination due to lameness and metabolic reasons from FEI endurance rides of greater than 100km from 2008 to 2011 in all countries.
They aimed to assess risk factors for elimination due to lameness and metabolic reasons. Data for the study was collected from the website of the FEI, the world governing body for horse sport.
Between 2008 and 2011, there were 30,741 horse starts at FEI endurance rides of 100-160 km distance in 47 countries. Of all started horses, 30% were eliminated for lameness.
Eliminations for metabolic reasons were recorded for 8.7% of all started horses.
There was a large range of winning speeds amongst countries, with times from 10.2km/h to 29.5km/h noted.
“Analysis revealed that the risk of elimination due to lameness was significantly associated with the country where the ride was held, the year, the distance of the ride and the number of entries. Elimination for metabolic reasons was significantly associated with the country where the ride was held, the year and the number of entries,” the researchers said.
The abstract for the study is here.